I’ve been torn about how to promote products while staying true to my message of frugality and smart spending. At the same time, the holidays are here (like it or not), and I see a need for gift ideas for practical minded folk.
When people ask what I want for a gift, I usually say I don’t need anything, because I don’t need more “stuff.” I do, however, appreciate getting things that will be truly useful.
My husband and I get each other such practical items for birthday or Christmas presents. We also use wish lists on Amazon for letting others know what we could use.
My criterion for this gift list is that the items are useful, save money in the long run, save time and energy, and have a great reputation for quality at a good value. I also want to share items I personally find well worth the cost for the use I have gotten out of them.
Practical Gifts I Actually Use
Here are my top picks of items I personally own and find useful (several were my own Christmas presents in past years):
We have 2 of these now, and they have replaced our need for cable TV entirely. We use the Roku 2, which has a place to plug earbuds or a headset into the remote. You could also give a gift of Amazon Prime to go with the Roku so the recipient has access to movies and TV shows, along with the other Prime benefits.
Along with being a time saver for busy cooks, I find a crock pot to be perfect for giving new life to an old roast. I have used my Crock pot to take a venison roast from nearly freezer burnt to melt in your mouth tender.
I love using these for candy, cupcakes, muffins, and lately even biscuits. I don’t need to use any oil or waste paper liners. The treats pop right out and cleaning them is a breeze.
I recently switched from parchment paper to a silicone liner when baking cookies. After the initial investment, I save on the cost of buying oil or parchment paper, and my pans will last longer. Again, cleaning the silicon mat id so much easier than cleaning a greasy pan.
A few months ago I learned a hard lesson when I lost everything on my computer’s hard drive. Now I use this great external hard drive and schedule regular backups of my pictures and documents.
I was skeptical when I started learning about the epilator, but now am sold on it. It removes unwanted hair on legs by pulling the hair out from the roots. No more razors or shaving cream to buy and the hair grows back more slowly and is less coarse.
This is a must for pellet stove owners. We tried using our regular vacuum, then a shop vacuum, before finding this little green machine. It makes short work of cleaning up the ashes in our stove.
This is a great way to clean wood, tile or linoleum floors without using chemicals or having to buy any more products. The cleaning pads are washable and it is light and easy to use. I have used mine on all three floor surfaces ad highly recommend it.
I have a coffee filter than has outlasted several coffee pots now. It is easy to dump the grinds and rinse it, and I never have to buy and waste paper filters.
When I was on city water, it was unpalatable without using a filter. This one worked very well, and eliminated the need to buy water, which I consider a big ripoff.
If you love using coconut oil for your skin, you will love the fractionated version even more. The only difference is that is says in liquid form at room temperature. I use it on its own or as a carrier oil for DIY skincare products. It is also great for conditioning hair.
This little grinder has handled whatever I toss in without slowing down or burning out on me. I use it most often for grinding flaxseed, which I use in many recipes, and coffee beans.
This is a great gadget that you use to measure the electric consumption of anything you can plug into an outlet. You simply enter your electric rate and plug it in between the outlet and the electrical device and it will display the amount consumed, in Kilowatts and dollars.
I use this every time I cook meat because I am a bit paranoid about food poisoning. As of now, I have yet to cause anyone to become ill, and I like the reassurance I get from this little device.
We use our thermostat so that we can keep the temperature comfortable at various times of day, while having it automatically change for times we are not here or sleeping. This is a great money saver.
Keeping knives sharp makes kitchen work more efficient and reduces the need to buy new knives.
A good stand mixer can be a bit of an investment, but they really make you more efficient and expand the range of what you can make. A less powerful one may be cheaper, but will not be able to handle tasks such as kneading dough without burning out.
I love my hand vacuum and have never had a problem with it in years. It is easy to use and thorough, saving time, energy and paper towels.
I had this one years ago and loved it, and it is on my Christmas list to get again. Great for making all kinds of snacks and fruit leather, so less fresh fruit goes to waste.
This is a neat product for helping your salad greens, stay green longer. There are also ones for herbs and berries. They keep airflow and humidity at the right levels to help them stay fresh.
one small woman against an acre of heavily treed yard. I am extremely impressed with this leaf blower. I have been using it on a massive amount of leaves and it is is so powerful it can handle them wet, yet light enough that I can start it and use it myself.
Our dog has a separate area when she lives, as she can be aggressive with other animals. There is a wood stove in her room, but it is impossible to keep it running all the time. To keep her warm and comfortable in the cold room, we use this heat pad designed specifically for pets. It warms up when the pet lays on it and holds the heat at just the right temperature. She loves it and it saves on trying to keep the entire room heated all Winter.
One item I don’t have yet, but others have highly recommended is a food saver vacuum system system for vacuum sealing meats. This would be great to reduce waste and ensure freshness for bulk meat purchases. I like stocking up on meat when there is a good sale and having it divided into portions that are ready to cook as I need them.
I hope this list is helpful for you in choosing great gifts for people, with the confidence that these are practical gifts that also work really well. If you see something you want for yourself, share the list with your family and friends as a hint!
Please note: there are affiliate links contained in this post. If you should choose to purchase any products by clicking on a link, I may receive a small percentage of the purchase price.