Frugal Gifts of the No- and Low-Clutter Varieties

Frugal Gift Ideas

“With a little bit of planning and thinking outside the box, you can give thoughtful, frugal gifts while saving time and money.”

– Frugal Living Now

Looking for frugal gifts, but don’t want to add clutter? No problem. There are lots of useful and thoughtful no-clutter and low-clutter gift options for under $20.

No-Clutter Gifts

Some of the clutter-free gifts I mentioned in an earlier post are inexpensive:

  • Most edible and drinkable gifts are quite inexpensive, even if you go for the luxury version. Wine is an obvious exception, but you can get high quality chocolates, craft beer and other goodies for well under $20. Homemade baked goods are often especially inexpensive for high-quality items.¹
  • Many other consumable items (craft supplies, cosmetics, etc.) are also available at low cost.
  • Charitable donation of $20 or less.
  • Coupons for your own services (say, housecleaning or yard work) or fun activities (massage for your spouse or evening of playing video games with your child) are basically free.
  • Gift cards are often available in $5, $10 and $20 denominations.
  • Some experiences (e.g. movie tickets or miniature golf gift certificate) can be had for under $20.

Low-Clutter Gifts

  • Personalized calendar.
  • Family history DVD.
  • Family-recipe cookbook.
  • Reusable water bottle or travel mug.
  • Small homemade sewn or knitted gift (e.g., fabric napkins, skillet-handle cover, tablet cozy, winter hat, mittens, cowl).
  • High quality refillable pencil or pen (or a set).
  • Portable power source for cell-phone charging.
  • USB drive.
  • A poem you’ve written or piece of visual art you’ve made.
  • Handmade jewelry (a search on Etsy for handmade jewelry for items under $20 nets 250 pages of results, even limiting the search to US stores).
  • Earbuds.
  • Toys that will likely hold the child’s interest for years, such as building blocks.

Do you have any ideas for frugal low-clutter gifts you’d like to share?


¹ I just made the fun “rice topped” or “Dutch crunch” bread shown in the photo, using Peter Reinhart’s Vienna Bread recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Fun technique – and could be applied to bread made with frozen dough.


2 thoughts on “Frugal Gifts of the No- and Low-Clutter Varieties

  1. Hi Christy, I smiled as I read realizing I had given a few of these myself this year. I come from, or should say I created, a family of readers since none of my siblings reads but I and my children do. Anyway, I gave my son a book this year and while a book could be clutter this book will be read by him, passed to his ex-wife, then to me, followed by another daughter-in-law. Once the family had read it the book will then be passed around to friends. Eventually my son might receive back his gift.

    I’ve made blankets, given books,robes, cookies and bars, and other useful gifts rather then a lot of “stuff” this year.

    • Thanks for sharing, Lois. I love how books can be passed around to friends and family. Often people are just as happy to receive a used book as as a new one for a gift, so they are good for regifting as well.

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.