Monday, December 22, 2014

Gift Baskets On a Budget

'Tis the season to go broke. Falalala la la la. 

Well, hopefully that won't happen which is why I try and think of thoughtful yet frugal things to give as gifts.  This was the case when we discovered we were getting new neighbors!  They closed a week before Christmas when my gift giving budget is at its lowest.  I wanted to give the new neighbors something to make them feel welcome to the neighborhood all while on a budget.

So, I made a trip to Goodwill.  Not necessarily my go to when shopping for gifts but I hoped for some inspiration.

Goodwill generally has a large selection of baskets.  Though I initially worried Goodwill would let me down, I spotted this basket for .99 cents!  It was the perfect size, big enough to fit a few thoughtful things inside but not too big that I'd go broke trying to fill it up.

Having lucked out with the basket, I decided to see what else they might have. It just so happened, the day I went to Goodwill was the same day they marked down all Christmas items 50% off.  Our new neighbors just so happened to be closing the week before Christmas so why not fill their gift basket with some festive finds.

If you're keeping track, the basket was .99 cents, the bough of holly was .99 cents marked down to .50 cents, the believe vase was .99 cents marked down to .50 cents, the gold sleigh was .99 cents marked down to .50 cents, the red ornament was .50 cents marked down to .25 cents and the package of chalkboard tags were .25 cents. I also bought myself a shirt (I couldn't resist browsing for something for me as well!) but that doesn't factor into the $2.99 I invested in the welcome to the neighborhood gift basket I was making.

I also bought a package of cocoa for a few dollars, wrapped some ribbon around a few packets and tucked them into the gold sleigh.

I had some plaid fabric in my 'never seems to dwindle fabric stash' so I quickly sewed up a basket liner and then filled the basket with all my frugal finds.


I might be wrong but I'd like to believe my new neighbors will enjoy their welcome to the neighborhood basket.

With the basket loaded...

*We proudly delivered our gift basket.

All for less than $5.

During this gift giving season, even frugal gifts can have a big impact and be heartfelt.

*In my mind, I had imagined passing the basket along to our new neighbors instantly bonding. In reality, the new neighbors must have decided not to move in prior to Christmas.  Grace got sick and I sat by her bedside tending to her every need.  This pretty basket sat on my counter being admired by me.  I began to worry my festive gift wouldn't get delivered until after Christmas. SO with strict instructions, I told my husband if he had any neighbor spotting to bring them the basket.  Such a spotting was made, while my husband was in tattered working in the garage clothes, wearing what he describes as his 'thug' hat.  The basket was brought over, while in those same tattered clothes and thug hat and the neighbors ignored his knocking.  I suspect they worried he was a random homeless person :)  The basket was left just outside their door and eventually retrieved after the "homeless man" left their front porch...but I'm sure we'll be best of friends as soon as they realize the "homeless man" is harmless.  Then, as soon as Riley starts incessantly barking at them, I'm sure they'll start to avoid us again :)


  1. hahaha such as it goes right?! its all very cute - that believe bottle is CA-UTE! the ornament is my colors are and very modern retro - perfect in my eyes! Hope Grace is better or at least on the mend! what lucky neighbors - wish I were them - I STILL don't know my neighbors after almost 9 years. I've tried but there isn't much reciprocation interest.

  2. What a lovely, thoughtful gift. I love the little paragraph at the bottom - things never turn out exactly as imagined! I'm sure your new neighbours will love you! Hope Grace is feeling better, Merry Christmas to you all! xx

  3. Darling basket of goodies! Love that you found all that at Goodwill. And the story of how it was delivered made a great blog post!
    MerryChristmas my friend!

  4. Oh I love this story! So glad you're blogging again!!

  5. I have the urge to sing as Mr. Rogers.... It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Or considering the thug hat, it's a beautiful day in the 'hood.

  6. Oh what a lovely basket of Christmas cheer! I'm sure they'll enjoy it! I'm also sure they'll enjoy having you for a neighbor just as soon as they get to meet you. I'm so sorry Grace was ill and I hope she's feeling better now. I had to laugh at your story. When I first moved to Montana and met the woman who lived next door, she said her husband would stop by and introduce himself later, but he was shy and didn't talk much. He did come by and stayed 3 hours and talked the whole time!! Guess what? They are our best friends to this dear friend Judy and her husband you never know!!

  7. When are you going to be my neighbor? Cora and Grace are destined to be besties. Look, Utah is the place you always wanted to be, I just know this. And since you're going to move here, I'll give you a welcome home basket!!!! I'll make sure to fill it with my favorite Pride and Prejudice movie so we can have an 8 hour movie marathon!!!! And you will come to LOVE period romances, I just know it. Very funny about your beloved delivering the gift in his homeless/thug attire.

  8. That is a very thoughtful thing to do, and great that you could do it affordably too. I had to chuckle at the delivery part lol.

  9. HA!
    This is so funny. I just love it.

    Great ideas regarding the basket. :-)
    Have a great Christmas.

  10. First of all this was adorable! And second, I can't wait to hear Part 2 of this story when you become friends with your new neighbors!

  11. LOL loved that last * bit!! And I absolutely loved your gift basket and every item inside of it. You are truly the Goodwill Queen!! I can't imagine anyone not loving it. Please do update us on what happens next. :D

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