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Low-cost gifts for young adults - store bought or home made


klmama
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We usually spend roughly the same total amount and have roughly the same number of gifts for each of our dc on Christmas.  This year, one of my adult dc will receive one large gift. That dc will be very pleased and will protest if we spend additional money, but I would still prefer for dc to have other small gifts from us to open Christmas morning.  

 

I was thinking of making a personal cookbook, with copies of dc's favorite recipes.

 

Do you have any other ideas to share for no-cost or low-cost gifts for a young adult living in an apartment?

 

 

 

 

  

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I love the idea of a personal cookbook!  :001_tt1: I hope you add family quotes/anecdotes/memories and pictures throughout - what a great gift.

 

When I got married, my MIL gave me a calendar that was filled in with important family dates - birthdays, anniversaries, etc. It was so helpful, and having it all in one place made it easy to transfer to my own "main" calendar every year after that. I stole the idea and it's now my go-to gift whenever a sibling moved out or got/gets married. Most of the time I just plot the dates on a small wall calendar, the kind that fits inside a cupboard or on a refrigerator. For a few of my brothers I did a perpetual calendar because I have a feeling they'll be perpetual bachelors (and they're not the type to transfer information into an annual calendar every January!) 

 

A similar idea would be an address book. Sure, we have most people's information in our phones but phones get lost or broken!! And one day, we may want to send some distant relative a formal letter/invitation or congrats/sympathy/graduation cards, but they may not otherwise be in our list of contacts. It's nice to have all of that information in one place, in a junk drawer somewhere. I write names in pen, addresses/numbers/email in pencil.

 

A total "mom gift" would be a monoxide detector, and is fairly cheap and necessary ... yet surprisingly not common in apartments! LOL

 

Between $5-10:

Quirky fridge magnets; kitchen tools - bag clips, Pampered Chef type brown scraper, holiday kitchen towels, "dishes clean/dirty" magnet for the dishasher (homemade), fun gourmet food (e.g., something from the food aisle at Ross/Marshall's - fancy salt, gourmet popcorn, teas, etc.), oven mitts, cute placemats or table runner (can be homemade), quirky salt and pepper shakers, fun mug.

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I got a bunch of fun low-rise socks for my daughter at Old Navy. Print outs of family photos with a dollar store frame?

 

To go with the theme of the cookbook (which I think is a great idea), maybe a small kitchen utensil or ingredients for one of the dishes? Coupons for a favorite home-cooked/baked specialty to be redeemed later? Nice dishtowels or good oven mitts? A small basket of some favorite snacks/teas/drinks?

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One year for a friend who is single and doesn't cook much, I did a set of various "mug cake" mixes for one. There are all sorts of recipes on the web. You could put the dry ingredients portioned together in baggies, with a tag that tells what to add and how long to microwave. Similarly, you could do some of the "mixes in a jar" for things like desserts and soups.

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Power strip would be a good apt gift for $10

I usually give the kids extra phone cords for stocking stuffers. I like to buy ANKER power+ brand cords on Amazon, and everyone loves them.  We all have long 6 or 10ft ones by the beds and a few shorter ones for travel.

What about boxes of favorite cereals, treats, fruit roll ups or cookies/crackers. Just something silly and fun to unwrap.

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One year for a friend who is single and doesn't cook much, I did a set of various "mug cake" mixes for one. There are all sorts of recipes on the web. You could put the dry ingredients portioned together in baggies, with a tag that tells what to add and how long to microwave. Similarly, you could do some of the "mixes in a jar" for things like desserts and soups.

 

I LOVE this idea! We will do this for College Girl! And maybe some of her friends! Love it!

 

Soon Christmas presents for her friends will be done! Awesome. 

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When we got married, someone gave us old rags. Well, they used old rags to cushion a fragile gift. I don't remember the main gift, but I remember the rags and was passed at the level of thought behind the gift.

 

When my mom got married, her mother-in-law to be gave her a "rag bag" full of cleaning rags with the idea that it would be a while before any of her new linens were old and ratty to be turned into rags.

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Lol! I begged my mom for rags at that stage of life. 

 

If you live nearby, maybe "coupons" for services you provide--car wash/detail, homecooked meals, ironing, whatever they don't like or have time to do that you'd be willing to do for them.

 

Individual sizes of things they might enjoy but not necessarily use up all by themselves or have the room to keep on hand. It could be baked goods where they don't want to eat a whole package or some other consumable item they use infrequently. I rarely drink pop/soda, so if I didn't live with people who do, it would be nice to have one or two bottles of my favorite, particularly since I buy the "throwback" or real sugar versions, and I've never seen those in a machine or sold individually. 

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One year for a friend who is single and doesn't cook much, I did a set of various "mug cake" mixes for one. There are all sorts of recipes on the web. You could put the dry ingredients portioned together in baggies, with a tag that tells what to add and how long to microwave. Similarly, you could do some of the "mixes in a jar" for things like desserts and soups.

 

This sounds great for both of my college kids.  However, when I did a quick search I only found ones that require extra ingredients that my kids wouldn't necessarily have on hand...like butter, eggs, milk, etc.

 

Could you point me towards recipes that are all inclusive ingredient wise?

 

Thanks,

 

Myra

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When my mom got married, her mother-in-law to be gave her a "rag bag" full of cleaning rags with the idea that it would be a while before any of her new linens were old and ratty to be turned into rags.  

 

This is a great idea! Thank you for sharing it. I never would have thought about this.

 

I remember being in a new home and you know that first big "uh-oh" you have ... where you don't have rags, but you don't want to use your good stuff so you grab your husband's rattiest tees, without thinking that they're older than his armpit hair and he's going to be mad because one (wo)man's rags is another man's lifeblood and very essence? This gift could have been a relationship saver. 

 

I have some nephews and nieces who are moving out over the next few years. I'm going to add this to my gift idea list. 

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This sounds great for both of my college kids.  However, when I did a quick search I only found ones that require extra ingredients that my kids wouldn't necessarily have on hand...like butter, eggs, milk, etc.

 

Could you point me towards recipes that are all inclusive ingredient wise?

 

Thanks,

 

Myra

 

I'm afraid I don't have any like that to hand. The friend I gave them to was a senior citizen in her own home with a fridge but not a working oven, so my main concern was that they be able to be microwaved.

 

You could include "pantry staples" in the search, perhaps. It might be possible to substitute things like powdered milk or eggs and adjust the liquid accordingly or find ones that use oil instead of butter. Maybe you could include some of the individual servings of shelf-stable milk?

 

Anyone else have ideas?

 

An additional idea I'm giving my not quite young adult daughter is a small Swiss Army knife. I'm also replacing my husband's, since he's lost his. For several years my father gave all the adults, male and female, Swiss Army knives at Christmas and they've been really handy, but we've finally lost all of ours.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You should be able to use powdered milk/egg in the cake mixes so the only additional ingredients needed would be water and maybe oil (and a bottle of oil is easy to  keep on hand).  

 

I buy powdered eggs and milk from Amazon to use when  camping.

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This sounds great for both of my college kids.  However, when I did a quick search I only found ones that require extra ingredients that my kids wouldn't necessarily have on hand...like butter, eggs, milk, etc.

 

Could you point me towards recipes that are all inclusive ingredient wise?

 

Thanks,

 

Myra

 

If you don't mind using box mixes, google "3-2-1" mug cake recipes. You basically mix together one box of angel food cake mix and one box of any other flavor, then use 3 TBL mix + 2 TBL water, microwaved 1 minute. Here is a website that has variations on the basic 3-2-1 mix that include things like instant pudding and chocolate chips; the only added ingredient needed is water.

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