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My Budget Friendly Gift Idea…

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If you’re still in need of a couple more budget friendly Christmas gift ideas,ย  check out the deal I was able to score at Sam’s Club. I went to Sam’s on Sunday and came across this really nice Starbucks gift package which includes a reusable porcelain travel mug, shortbread cookies, biscotti, hot chocolate, coffee + more! And guess what I paid? Only $9.97!

I personally think this is an awesome price. I have been keeping my eyes peeled for these type of reusable coffee mugs and most of the high quality ones are more than $10. The I Am Not a Paper Cup 10-Ounce Porcelain Travel Cup with Lid (pretty much identical to the Starbucks one I snagged above) is priced at $14.85 on Amazon – down from $20. So I paid almost $5 less and not only snagged a great travel mug, but also lots of goodies!

To dress up this gift further, why not take it out of the originally packaging and use a gift basket or gift bag you already have on hand. You can also add additional items to the gift package… maybe a few items that you’ve gotten free with coupons. I snagged quite a few free packages of Milano cookies previously at Walgreens, so I added those to my gift package. I also had a really cute gift basket on hand from last year (I knew it would come in handy this year!) and am using it to display all the goodies below! So for less than $10 out of pocket, I would say that’s an awesome price for a really nice gift! What do you think?!

Join The Discussion

Comments 92

  1. Collin

    LOL! I am totally laughing at myself right now. After posting this, I looked at the two pictures and am realizing that the original packaging looks better than my packaging job. Once again, I try to be crafty and it just ain’t happening! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Mel

      Naw, I prefer the basket box thingy… lol (didn’t know what to call it) Because the giftee would be able to reuse it to store stuff with.

      • DP

        It looks like a good box to take on a picnic.

    • lisa

      you just need to add some color:)

    • Tricesymone

      No, the basket you used was a great touch. Something extra that can be used for years to come. I love it!!

    • fran

      Yeah, but with your packaging, they get that nice basket to keep! I’m sure that will come in handy for the receiver of that gift!
      By the way, you didn’t by any chance get that gift for yourself, did you? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Amy Besselman

      Add a festive Christmas or Holiday Bow to your basket and it’s perfect!

    • Valerie

      Use Red and Green filler in the basket and add a bow. I noticed you had hot chocolate. Add a bag of marshmallows to help fill the basket. The receiver is going to enjoy this!

      • bellaragazza81

        the minty star peeps are a really great treat in cocoa

      • Laura C

        Yours is a really great idea for remedying the basket. Not meaning to be overly critical, but gift baskets are very hard to look nice and the problem here is that the scale of the basket is way too big for the items within, and then the brown filling matching the brown basket exaggerates the problem. Baskets look best when they are overflowing, so a big inexpensive filler like a couple bags of marshmallows in the back, then put one of the cookies on each side instead of lumping them together on the left, the mug moved forward and surrounded by the smaller coffee items would really go a long way in the presentation. Ribbon and a bow front and center would be nice or if you want to protect the contents, Michaels has clear cellophane basket bags which can be tied with a ribbon that are much easier to handle than a roll of cellophane or shrink wrap (blow into the bag before you tie it off to ‘inflate’ the bag so it stands out nicely).

    • sam


      • Melissa

        I wrote the UPCs & Price on the back. I put a HUGE arrow underneath the last line and wrote Continued on BACK. Hope that works!!

        • sam

          thank you ,i will do that.

      • Zack

        There should be a phone number on the rebate form you can call to ask about that.

    • Heather

      Your repackaging looks more personal!

    • AnnMarie

      and you say you’re not crafty! That looks great! Just a add a bow and viola!

    • Dawn

      I was going to say something similar to comment 1.6.2 – fluff it out a bit and it will look wonderful!

  2. Mel

    Very nice! Love the Milano cookies with the gift!

  3. Tricesymone

    Wow, that was not only a great deal but your idea was great. The way you packaged is awesome. It’s amazing how the basket and the Milanos ( nice touch) transformed it. Thanks now I have an idea for a few gifts.

  4. CoffeeB

    I totally agree Collin. I’ve taken all the really good deals I’ve gotten (deodorant, shaving supplies, shampoo, get my drift) and put them in adorable baskets I picked up at Michaels for 1/2 price. They’re going to my married sons and DIL’s. All your basic toiletries that cost me practically nothing, but I know they’ll love getting.
    Your idea ROCKS!!!

  5. Kim W.

    Do you have any suggetions of good places to buy gift baskets on a budget? I love the idea of repackaging a store-bought gift basket and adding to it, but don’t want to spend a fortune on baskets, stuffing, etc.

    • Cassandra

      The Dollar Tree has baskets and all the stuffing ๐Ÿ™‚ They aren’t as big as the one pictured. Also, you could try AC Moore or Michaels with one of the coupons they always have out. GL

    • Cheree

      Michaels…use the 40% off coupon you can get one in your email, then when you go to the store and get one basket, they will give you another 40% off coupon for the next week! You can only use 1 coupon per person per visit, so if you end up with more than one coupon that you can use in one trip….either take someone with you and have them get one basket and you the other, or get one and come back in a little bit to get another basket!

    • Kim W.

      Thanks everybody for the great suggestions. I see a trip to Michael’s in the near future (make that five trips)!

    • Rhonda L

      I fount some really nice baskets at the thrift stores last year and they were very affordable. My Mother and sister loved the baskets I made them!

    • Candice

      I scour garage sales and Goodwill for these items throughout the year. Often I can find “barely used” baskets for $1 or less. I also purchase cute reusable shopping totes for $1 and use them as eco-friendly gift bags.

    • Valerie

      The Dollar Stores, Christmas Tree Shoppes, or even Michaels with your coupons has some really nice baskets. Don’t forget other ideas that you can use: for a women, makeup bag that you might have received as a freebie from Clinque or other lines, a nice recyclable tote bag, a nice festive bag. For men, a decorative shoe box – just wrap use holiday paper and wrap it opened, a stocking filled with the gift.

    • Anonymous

      Good will. You can spray paint them and dress them up!

    • mymonkeycrafts

      Thrift stores are a great place to get baskets, especially on 50% off weekends – and don’t be scared of the ugly ones a little silver spray paint goes along way – I stock up all year long and then use them for everything, and I mean everything! My house if full of baskets full of stuff, my stockpiles are organised in baskets and I just gave a friends a “Congratulations on your new hair colour” gift basket.

      Even the ugliest baskets that they have look fantastic when you attach a couple glittery poinsettias from Dollartree and some festive ribbon, also a great way to fix (cover) any imperfections that you sometimes get with thrift store baskets!

    • bellaragazza81

      i am a HUGE fan of TJ Maxx or Homegoods

  6. Cassandra

    I loveee it! Great job ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. CoffeeB

    Kim…Michaels have really cute Christmasy baskets at very reasonable prices if you pair it w/a coupon or wait until they’re 1/2 off. I believe this week they’re still listed as 1/2 off.

    • Ashlee

      Michaels also has the travel porcelin mugs…really cute styles…for only $5!! I was able to get them using 2 40% coupons as well. Talk about cheap! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Stephanie

    Collin, pretty much anything you do is awesome.

    • Sarah

      I second that! Love the re-do basket you made over the other one.

      • Jennifer S

        Yes I totally agree!! Yours has more thought put into it.


    I think it’s a fabulous idea and a wonderful price! I have a question that maybe some of your readers can answer but it’s a tad off topic (sorry). My church puts up a Christmas tree and decorates it with ornaments in the shape of christmas balls. On each ornament is a need for one person in a local men’s shelter or battered and abused shelter, etc. I grabbed 2 ornaments, one is for a woman and it’s a bathrobe. No problem bc there are some really good deals out there and I plan on adding some nice bath products to this gift. The other one I grabbed is for a men’s shaving kit/bottle of shampoo. Shampoo is covered and free to boot lol It’s the shaving kit I’m wondering about. I was thinking of just making my own shaving kit with freebies I have on hand. I need to put the items in a portable travel toiletry bag. I don’t want to spend $20 or more on a travel bag but I have a REALLY nice one here that was free when I was pregnant. It came with Similac from my midwife’s office. I would love to reuse it and save money. Only one problem…..on the inside of the bag it says, in bold white “StrongMoms” and then a tag line about moms!!! Would it be weird to reuse this when it’s for a man? Or are there some creative ways I can cover this up??

    • Amy

      I’ve seen some nice travel toiletry bags at Kohl’s that would be less than $10 with the 15% off sale coming up and a $5 coupon for signing up with your email addy. I think it would be odd to use it for a man, BUT if that’s what you have then you might be able to work with it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t know how you could cover it up because anything you use might hold moisture and you don’t want that with a bag for shower items.

    • Corina

      There are shaving gift kits out there. Walmart has a proglide one for $8.98. You can use a $4 off coupon (P&G 11/28/10). Making this kit 4.98.

    • amyt

      Your homemade shaving kit will be better than anything you could purchase in the store.
      IMHO I don’t think you should re-use the bag, unless you can truly cover up the “mom” stuff. You probably have another bag you could re-purpose as a shaving kit. A canvas tote or even one of the lunch totes we got for $5 this fall. I have a blue Land’s End tote that would work great. Maybe you have something like that! If not I am sure you could work a good deal on a suitable clear bag at CVS or Walgreens. Good luck!

    • Valerie

      Why don’t you purchase a cheap recyclable bag in the small size; like the Whole Foods or something like that. Add the freebies in shaving cream, razors, soap, lotion, etc and viola! A very nice gift indeed!

    • DP

      What about a large Merry Christmas sticker?

    • Anonymous

      Is is printed right on the bag or is it on a lining? If it’s on the lining, can you remove the entire lining? If it’s printed on the bag, I wonder if some nail polish remover or a brillo pad or something would take it off without damaging the bag.

    • Anonymous

      If you aren’t able to find a decent priced shaving kit bag, I’d do what Valerie stated in the post #5. She mentioned that a decorated shoe box is great idea for guys to use as a gift holder. If you wrap the box with holiday paper, put some filler in the bottom and then place in the shaving items you have. What a wonderful gift.


      Thanks for all of the ideas!! You guys are awesome! I found one on amazon almost identical to the one I have except no ugly StrongMoms logo (lol) and no hook for hanging. I can add a hook myself and it will be perfect. And since I already have the shaving items on hand it’s still a money saving gift! Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. bjumom

    Great idea! I was in Sam’s this week but was in a hurry and did not see these. Maybe I need to make another trip ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Betsy

    That’s awesome! I wish I had a Sam’s membership to grab one ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jessica U

      i saw these in TJ Maxx today so i bet they are in lots of stores

  12. sweetiem

    I like it in the basket better. It gives it a more personally put together look instead of the ‘I ran out at the last minute and grabbed a premade gift’ kind of look.

  13. Dani

    There is room for more chocolate. This applies to almost every scenario that I can think of. ๐Ÿ™‚ Someone would be very excited to get that gift!

  14. Jen

    I think the basket looks like you put time in to the gift, which you did! Maybe add some color. A glittery ornament or some red or green filling?

    • Tricesymone

      ooh the ornament idea is great!

    • mymonkeycrafts

      I second on the greatness of the ornament idea! **fidgets in seat whilst thinking of all the glittery girly ornaments that hubbie would not let her put on the “man tree” last year**

  15. Saver Joe

    You should have “wasted” cheap coffee samples opened and poured under the “grass” to make the gift smell cofee-ee is that a word? Cookies are always a nice addition, prehaps next time replace the Tag, and use Christmas cello of your own , how about a home made tag that looks like a large tea bag ?

    • Connie K.

      This is a great idea. There are lots of cheap or free single serve instant coffee samples out there — Starbucks Via and Tasters Choice. Adding some of those into the basket would be an excellent addition. I think the basket is nicer than the pre-packaged look. The pre-packaged gifts look okay but they pretty much scream “I didn’t even have to think!” whereas the basket makes it look like you gave thought to the idea. Much more personal IMO.

      I get crazy around holidays and if I’m able to score a gift for cheap I feel like I need to add something else to it to make up for the fact that it was cheap. Doesn’t matter the value of what I got, I feel like I have to spend a certain $$ on a gift. Instead of saving money, I just feel like I have one more gift I have to buy. Just saying that seems insane and consumerist but I can’t help myself. Is anyone else the same way?

      • Jill

        I’m the same. We’ve spent a lot of time this year hand making gifts that are so cool, but since I paid very little for them I feel guilty. Duh. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • bellaragazza81

        coffee mate makes single size flavored creamers too

  16. Colleen

    Put some sprigs of Holly or something in there that you cut off of your holiday decorations… It will be perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Patty

    How about a bow? LOL

  18. Whitney

    I love your gift basket, Collin! I am the gift basket girl in our family. I make gift baskets for every occasion and my aunt told me that everyone always looks forward to my gifts the most! If they only knew how little I spend, thanks to all the good deals I get all year long!

  19. imm93

    Got these last week for office gifts….and I am planning on adding a Starbucks Gift Card ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Monica

    I have been going to my Hallmark store and using the $5 coupons each day for little filler gifts. Also Hobby Lobby has some nice gift items, journals, ornaments, mugs, and if you sign up on their website you can get a 40% off coupon almost every week. Near the registers they have cute little notepads and journals for $1.99 so under $1.50 after 40% off and tax.

    Oh, and when I fill gift baskets I use my shredder and shred up odds and ends pieces of leftover gift wrap. I do love your basket as is though Collin.

  21. Nichole

    Free Milanos?! How did I miss that one? Darn it.

  22. Sara

    I would personally nestle them in there laying down, add some fake poincettas or hollys or something like that and then close it and tie a pretty bow around the outside and then add a cute tag.
    I love doing boxes like that. It’s another usable item instead of a gift bag that will get thrown away.

  23. Connie

    So loving this, never thought to change the packaging. Once again Collin you are awesome!!!!

  24. Heather

    There is a one day shopping pass to SAMs club in the dec/Jan babytalk magazine on page 49!

  25. cyndi

    I love the idea, I also make some baskets and for one like this some flavored coffee spoons would be awesome and cheap to add. I buy gold or silver spoons at hobby lobby or micheals ( use coupon) melt chocolate and add a flavor, vanilla or some other if you have some on hand. dip the spoons and put on wax paper to dry. You can buy little bags once again at hobby lobby or michaels cheap with a coupon and tie with a ribbon. They are great for coffee or hot chocolate!

  26. Valerie

    Run to Wags and get the free choc Nestle’s and add them into the gift too. Or attach them with ribbon onto the basket!

  27. Lynn

    I love getting gift baskets as gifts! Was thinking of giving some as gifts this year…but never seem to have the time during the Christmas rush to come up with creative ideas. Thanks for the idea!

  28. Hopegirl66

    I think that is a great idea, I have some candles that I bought from QVC and I’m going to do a few baskets for my sisters and sister-in-laws. $$ is tight so I need to get creative.

  29. Kimberly

    I found a cheap way to make that really cute filling that I HATE to buy b/c it can get soo expensive! Someone once told me to just use my paper shreader! Find some cute colored paper or cardstock (even the kind with glitter for a bit of color!) and shread it right into your box or bag! Couldn’t be any simpler than that!! It looks great Collin! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Kara

    I just made gift baskets last night for some of the volunteers at my one mom’s group. There are 2 men and 2 women in my son’s room. I think I spent $12 total for all 4. I put a Nivea body wash, loofa, coffee or tea, a mug, and Hershey Kisses in each one and bought Christmas baskets at the Dollar Tree. They are very cute red and green ones. Everyone was very impressed and got compliments on the baskets. I am planning on making baskets for my older son’s preschool teachers as well with slightly different things.

  31. Cat

    What do I think!? I think I’m goin to Sam’s!!!

  32. Tracy

    Very cute! I love making gift baskets. It seems to be my trade mark. Maybe add a little color and it would be perfect!

  33. Shannan

    Now I know how to dress up the Starbucks gift cards for my 5 year old’s teacher….

  34. Jaclyn

    What everyone else said about adding a little color. Also just turn the mug around so the Starbucks logo shows. Thanks for the idea! Anyone know if Costco has these?

    • Jessica U

      i know TJ Maxx does so Im sure they are alot of places

  35. Joy

    I love this basket, and make my own gift baskets all year.

  36. bellaragazza81

    here’s another great idea. i scored a few of the m&m popcorn bowls on clearence, and filled it with movie night goodies(that just happen to be freebies) its a great family gift. also you can throw in a dvd or gift card to a redbox or blockbuster. i will have to find a pic of the ones i did last year. they have always been a hit. also target had individual plastic containers in the $1 section.

  37. misstracy

    Nice Basket. Try use tulle to wrap the basket or shrink wrap. if you can’t make a nice fluffy bow use one of those bow that you use on a gift. take the part off that you stick to the box and tie it around the basket. If you need more ideal check out my website.

  38. Jenn B.

    I think its a cute idea and I hope all my gift baskets come out that well! =P

  39. Rachel

    AWESOME gift, i would love it. but i have to say that maybe the basket was a bit much for such a hip shopper. ๐Ÿ™‚ howzabout a thrift store basket, or dollar store? that would be my vote. ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Jen in FL

    Thanks for posting these great ideas! I absolutely LOVE making gift baskets!!! I buy shrink wrap at Michael’s with the 40% off coupon to keep on hand. I usually make tons of gift baskets around the holidays, and some gifts don’t even require a basket- shrink wrap and bows work great alone!

  41. JulieAnn

    FYI- I was able to find those porcelain coffee mugs @ Hallmark for $9.95 (so only $4.95 w/ my $5 off Qs) They had some really cute styles too.

    • Nettie

      Michaels has them for $5… different designs and colors, and they just released a 50% a regular priced item for Thursday through Sunday of this week ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Chrissy

    That is so cute! Great idea.

  43. Lisa

    I bought this Starbucks gift set for my son’s teacher a few weeks ago and will be adding the $10 gift card that I won at Huggies Enjoy the Ride!

  44. Joy

    I love your idea! I need additional help with figuring out how to put my freebies in a creative container. Ideas???

  45. Kristara

    I was not sure if anyone was aware Starbucks has a 12 days of Christmas sale,..everyday they have a new offer, at my Starbucks they had holiday mugs for 3.99 and tumblers for 6.99. I think they are a great deal! Unfortunately these deals are almost gone there are only 4 more days left.

  46. Piper Baker

    I just got engaged and am wanting to do something special. I see alot about gift baskets and I LOVE that idea…however I’ve never done one. I’m pretty new to couponing so I don’t have a huge stockpile. I’m wanting to do a cooking theme for him but am not sure what to put in that wouldn’t look cheesy. LOL! If any of you experienced crafters have some good ideas or can lead me in the right direction, I’d really apreciate it. I would love to do the Starbucks one but he doesn’t drink coffee ;D

    • MommySpendsLess

      Remember that your “basket” doesn’t have to be a basket at all…a colander, wok, mixing bowl, etc could all hold the other items. Collin made a cute “basket” for her husband using an empty 6-pack box (I can’t remember when she posted that…Father’s Day maybe?)

      Try to keep in mind his level of expertise when deciding what to include, if he already has all the basic kitchen equipment, fill the basket with consumables and specialty tools that he doesn’t likely already have (cake leveler instead of a rolling pin for example).

      As others have said, gift baskets look best when they’re nearly overflowing – thankfully a cooking theme should be easy to do on a budget thanks to coupons and BOGO sales at grocery stores. Don’t forget about store coupons. Micheal’s has 40% off coupons pretty much every week and they have a lot of baking/cake accessories. Bed Bath and Beyond always has 20% off coupons and they completely ignore the expiration date. Borders often has 33% off coupons and a cook book would make a great addition! I would also narrow down your theme to a specific kind of cuisine he’s interested in. It will look more personal, more cohesive and be easier to decide what to include.

      For example:
      Barbecuing – funny apron, barbecue tool set (tongs, etc.), a meat thermometer, a variety of rubs, marinades and barbecue sauces, etc.
      Chinese – a wok or rice cooker, chop sticks, Shaoxing Rice Wine, soy sauce, Chinese Five Spice Powder, toasted sesame oil, etc.
      Italian – a colander, tongs or a pasta fork, an herb garden kit or dried herbs, a variety of dried pastas (or pasta flours if he’s more the make it yourself fresh sort), olive oil, a bottle of wine…. If he likes wine and is already outfitted with the colander and tongs you could add wine accessories (aerator, stoppers, pourer, etc.)
      Baking – Flour, sugar (maybe put them in mason jars so it looks pretty), cinnamon, nutmeg, extracts (vanilla, almond, etc.), chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sprinkles, cookie cutters, cake leveler, cake or cupcake stand, mixing bowl, measuring spoons/cups, silicone bakeware, etc.

      If you come back and share the theme you’ve chosen, I’m sure some of the cooks out there could give you a lot of creative ideas!

  47. Jen

    If you got Via samples in the mail and still have them, those would be great to throw in there, too!

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