Practical Holiday Gifts to Add to Your Wish List

When I was a bit younger, the item at the top of my Christmas list each was cash. For many years, it was the only thing on my list (although few actually fulfilled my request). Alas, as I grew up, I decided to try going a different route with my wish list: offer no ideas and just get what I got. That worked fine enough, I suppose, but after reading this article from Two Cents, it may be time to change strategies once again.

In the post, Alicia Adamczyk highlights a few practical gifts that can serve to save you money throughout the year. For example, asking for an Amazon Prime subscription will entitle you to free 2-day shipping throughout the year and could also allow you to save on music and video streaming, replacing the likes of Spotify and Netflix. Speaking of subscriptions, I think my wife and I would make good use of a service like Blue Apron that would allow us to mix up our menus without eating out, although those aren’t exactly cheap themselves. Similarly, cooking at home means utilizing pots and pans that can really add up if you’re purchasing them yourself.

Another idea Alicia doesn’t mention but that occurred to me as I sit here with a blanket over my lap is a space heater that can help you save on utilities. I might also recommend flannel sheets for this time of year along with some warm outerwear, of course. For the summer and for places like Southern California, tower fans (and portable fans if it’s really hot) are a great idea as are durable, filter-equipped water bottles with you can utilize to stay hydrated instead of buying bottled water.

Then there are always gift cards. Alicia notes the increasingly popular MoviePass option on her list, although a regular cinema gift card can also provide a nice night out for relatively cheap (PSA: The Last Jedi is worth your time). Meanwhile, others handier than me might appreciate a gift card to Home Depot or Lowe’s so that they can get what they require for their DIY projects and fixes. You might also want to ask for gift cards to retailers where your money will go further. In other words, perhaps a HomeGoods gift card would serve your better than a Crate & Barrell one.

With Christmas less than two weeks away, it may be too late to send out your practical gift wish list for this year, but it’s certainly something to consider for next year and after. Furthermore, as the gift recipient, you might also want to be strategic in how you can utilize the various gift cards you receive in order to get a greater benefit. This could mean not rushing to redeem that restaurant gift card until its a special occasion or using your Target funds for household necessities instead of electronics and Blu-rays. But, whatever you do, I hope you have a happy holiday and a frugal new year.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

How I Save 5.25%+ on All of My Amazon Orders

How many times have you been sitting at home and thought, "Oh, I need to buy X" or "I wonder if X product exists" or some variation of those scenarios? If you're like me, you've not only had such impulsive thoughts but also followed them up by going to Amazon....

Travel Tuesday: Wally's — Is the Mega Gas Station Better than Buc-ee's?

A few months back, I shared my experience visiting a Buc-ee's for the first time when on a road trip to Florida. Well, this past weekend, my wife and I headed up to Chicago for C2E2. Along the way, we noticed a large gas station called Wally's, which seemed to...

Southwest Has Eliminated Expiration Dates for Flight Credits

I'll admit that, historically, I've not been a huge fan of flying Southwest. This distaste stems pretty much exclusively from their boarding system and the fact that you don't have an assigned seat ahead of time. As someone who's grown accustomed to reserving a seat at the movies for years,...