Read About This Reader’s “Detailed”, Frugal Birthday Gift!

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Detailing Car with kids inside

Hip2Save reader, Kathy, did something special yet frugal for her husband’s birthday by using a little elbow grease, a few hours of her time, and Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Purpose Spray!

“I wanted to do something special and thoughtful for my husband’s birthday. Usually, I err on the “cheap” side or don’t do anything at all, but this year, I decided that I would do my best to detail his car. I didn’t have any of the correct equipment and have never even had a detail, but I was going to try!

I asked him to take my car to work one day and fill it up with gas. He wasn’t excited about doing it, but he sure was surprised when he came home to find the vehicle we’ve fondly nicknamed “Beast” to be super clean!

The Grove Collaborative cleaner on car steering wheel

I used the multipurpose spray I got free from the Grove Collaborative sign-up deal. It was amazing as you can tell from the before and after pictures of his steering wheel buttons. I thought the rubber was cracked and broken and the words faded off. But it was just dirt — GROSS! This cleaner was AMAZING, and I’ll probably actually purchase some.

The project was a winner for several reasons:

  1. My husband was totally surprised and excited about his gift.
  2. The kids helped, so it was a family project.
  3. It hardly cost me anything but 5 hours of my time.
  4. I got to find out what an awesome product the Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Purpose spray is!

Thanks for posting such great deals and helping our family save for more than 8 years!”

Such a thoughtful and frugal gift!


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Comments 32

  1. Samfs2016

    Wow nice Idea.Being a mom of 5 I always feel bad how our car looks and I cannot do anything because of kids and cold weather.We all must need to clean our car as a Family project 🙂

  2. J.H.509

    What a wonderful family birthday gift. For my family it’s more appreciated when the gift is home made and from the heart. I applaud your hard work and creative idea.

  3. Shirl

    Great idea and great job!

  4. Laurie Villotta

    I am obsessed with keeping my car clean. I just joined a carwash club so I can get as many washes as I want. With cold winter months for 6 mos out of the year I am getting a great deal. This includes vacums. Each time I wash my car I bring old towels and wash down all the insides of my doors and make sure everything is nice and dry. It baffles my brain why so many people treat their cars like trash cans. My car 2007 with 140,00 miles and at this rate I hope to drive it until 300,000.

    • K

      Lots of people don’t have time to do that type of maintenance on their cars—whenever my car is clean, I pick up my kids from somewhere and the cycle starts over again—not even with trash but bags, gloves, boots, extracurricular activity accessories etc.

    • coulter

      Totally get what u are saying. But with all due respect, living in the north east after a snowstorm the amt of sand and dirt on my car floors could fill a small beach. I do not have a chance to vacuum as much as i should and i am reminded of that each time i get in it. Literal trash is another thing tho, thats just silly. I dont leave food wrappers or junk in my car but it looks amazing after a nice vacuum and armor-all wipe down.

    • Stephanie

      Man I wish keeping a car clean would ensure it lasts 300,000 miles! I might consider cleaning mine for that! 😉

    • ecroston

      I totally get ya! I have a 2007 Mazda 6 that just had her 150,000 mile birthday =) I live in the very Northern Northeast so she takes a beating from potholes, road salt, and harsh weather in general. A good wash ( do not skip the undercarriage wash) can do a lot for a car! And typically, if you treat the outside and inside of your car well, you also follow maintenance schedules – timely oil changes (please skip Prompto or any of those ‘quick’ oil change places), tire rotations, etc. Hubs is a mechanic so Zoomie does get a lot of love inside, outside, and under the hood. Treating your car with respect and not skipping on maintenance or cleaning can make it last longer =)

  5. Angela

    This would make my day.

  6. coulter

    Sweet !! Similar to when ur hubby and kids bring breakfast in bed to us on bdays or mothers day etc… He gets to understand how much we appreciate just a sweet family gesture. I bet he was so happy. Great idea !!

  7. simeon

    HIP2SAVE !! There is such a delay on the app as opposed to the actual website. Are you ever going to fix it ?!?! Im trying to be patient !! 😉😊😉😊

    • Jen s.

      Reinstall the app…. pretty sure it was fixed months ago.

      • meg

        I have reinstalled the app several times and it has not helped

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Oh bummer! Sorry for any issues! If this continues, be sure to send us an email with the details you are seeing and the type of device you are using. Also, you can always browse in the web browser of your mobile device. Hope that helps!

  8. Nicole

    I’ve used their all purpose cleaner for years and love it, I never thought of using it in the car!

  9. jlg

    My boyfriend does garage door repairs, which almost always includes lots of nasty black grease & all kinds of other dirt. I’ve detailed his truck a time or 2 (looked exactly like your husband’s did, maybe worse) and was heartbroken to find it filthy again in no time. Grrrr! Hope your husband does better than my boyfriend did keeping it clean.

  10. babymair

    Kathy , that’s so sweet of you !! The fact you made it a family project is great. I will be buying this product, and doing this to my husband’s truck.I know my boys will love to help me do this for there dad on his bday. God bless you,and your family.

  11. Ella

    Nice idea! Time is quite valuable, so I think this is a wonderful gift. If you were to pay someone else to do it, I can assure you it would be pretty pricey to do such a level of detail. I’m sure your hubby loved it!

  12. Angela V.

    Way to go! Looks great and what a thoughtful gift too! Even better that the kids pitched in! 🙂

  13. samantha

    Why are there shameless plugs for products throughout this random readers frugal idea post ?? This seems more like a sponsored post..

    • Lynn

      I don’t think she meant anything by mentioning the name of the product…she probably knew someone would ask what she used cuz the car looks great! and where she got it so she said it before the questions started. Only “link” I see is the offer if you want to check out the one H2S mentions in case someone wants to do the offer. Just the way I see it…if it’s not for you, just pass by.

      • Julie

        Remember that you are not paying Colin and her team to read this. This is their job and they make money off ads and through plugs like this. If you like the product and its a great price to you great buy it. If not move on and be done.

    • Cherilmt

      I appreciate getting the heads up if a product works or not, my budget is lean and its nice to know before I buy it!

  14. Tonya

    How thoughtful!! What a great gift.

  15. shop4mybabies

    my husband has NEVER in 25 years bought me gifts, i’ve grown accustomed to being fine with it but it always bothers the kids, so a few years ago I started asking him to clean my car for a gift. it’s something i absolutely do not want to do myself and it’s expensive to have it done, so I know at least twice a year I can get a good detail for free.

  16. Pat

    The inside of my husband’s truck is so bad, I can’t stand to ride in it. I cleaned it for him twice, but I’m afraid I won’t do it again, just too much work for my age, lol!

  17. Deb

    My DIL did this for my son. He LOVED it and is very careful to keep it looking nice after all her hard work.

  18. Susan

    What a labor of love! Such a sweet post. Thanks for sharing. I know I do this to myself, but these comments have my emotions going on a roller coaster ride.

  19. Jen

    All these comments about plugging a certain product, and I came away with… I’m not the only one that nicknamed our truck the “BEAST”! It was a 1997 Ford F-150 and had 309,000 miles when we sold it last year! Keep it clean, “inside” (meaning changing the oil, also) and out, and they will last! Great job!! My husband is still waiting on his “wax” gift from our son. That’s another frugal gift from a teenager! They have so much more energy than we do!

    • ecroston

      Totally agree Jen! Keeping the outside, inside, and under the hood (and undercarriage) clean will make your car/truck last longer. It’s labor of love – sorta like keeping a plant alive – if you rarely water it, never repot it, or dust it, it’s definitely not going to last as long!

  20. HBee

    Great job! I’m impressed!

  21. D

    I’ve found it helpful to keep a compact car vacuum cleaner, that hooks up to the cigarette lighter, in my trunk. Then when I’m waiting for something and have a few minutes I can easily vacuum the car out. Also the kids think it’s great to use too.

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