DIY Gifts for the Thrifty

If you’re on a budget this holiday season, consider making gifts for your friends or family. Homemade presents often mean so much more because you’ve taken the time to think about what your loved ones like most.

DIY Level: Easy

A custom-made gift basket, or jar – like the ones featured by One Good Thing by Jillee – are a thoughtful, easy to make and generally wallet-friendly.Simply determine a theme and start buying goods to fill basket/jar/container. Let the person and their interest dictate what you use to fill in the jars or baskets.

Easy-to-make ideas, include:
• Breakfast Lovers
• Grill Master
• Coffee Time
• Snack Attack








DIY Level: Medium

If you prefer to be a bit more hands-on, consider crafting something for your loved one. There are tons of ideas out there and you can gauge money and time spent depending on the craft.

• If you know someone who loves tea, make a decorative tea wreath.











• Improve someone’s desk space by creating a knock-off gold desk organizer.












There are endless options and ideas available all over the web; however, it’s up to you to figure out the perfect homemade gift. Be creative. After all, the best gifts really do come from the heart.

What are some of your ideas? Share the word to help others be thrifty gift-givers!



DIY Winter Survival Kit
for Your Car

Frigid temperatures and snow storms are on their way. Don’t get caught unprepared. Create your own winter survival kit before the unpredictable winter weather arrives.

You never know when you’ll be stuck in a snow storm, slide off the road or get stuck in a snow bank.

Prepare by packing your vehicle with a few essentials.

  • Shovel, windshield scraper and/or a small broom
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio
  • Bottled water and snack foods like energy bars, trail mix and raisins
  • Matches and small candles
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens as well as blankets or a sleeping bag
  • First aid kit
  • Tow chain or rope, road salt, sand, or cat litter for tire traction
  • Booster (jumper) cables and emergency flares and reflectors
  • Fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention
  • Cell phone charger

Survival tips:

  • Make sure you keep your gas tank at least half full, especially in the winter. The last thing you want to worry about is running out of gas if you end up stuck in a 3 hour traffic jam.
  • If your car gets stuck, tie a florescent flag on your antenna or hang it out the window. At night, keep your dome light on. Rescue crews can see a small glow at a distance.
  • Stay in your vehicle. Walking in a storm can be very dangerous. You might become lost or exhausted. Your vehicle is a good shelter.
  • Avoid overexertion. Shoveling snow or pushing your car takes a lot of effort in storm conditions. Don’t risk an injury. Plus, shoveling can also make you hot and sweaty. Wet clothing loses insulation value, making you susceptible to hypothermia.
  • Fresh air, even when it’s cold is a good idea. It’s better to be cold and awake than comfortably warm and sleepy. Snow can plug your vehicle’s exhaust system and cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to enter your car. Only run the engine for 10 minutes an hour and make sure the exhaust pipe is free of snow. Keeping a window open a crack while running the engine is also a good idea.
  • Don’t expect to be comfortable. You want to survive until you’re found.

Source: “Top 5 Emergency Preparedness Presents.” Top 5 Emergency Preparedness Presents. Web. 16 Nov. 2014. <>.

How to Handle Life’s Embarrassing Moments

DIY Locker ‘Emergency’ Kit for Teens

DIY Locker ‘Emergency’ Kit for Teens

Create your own locker emergency kit so you’re better prepared for whatever obstacle life throws your way!

Stay Fresh.

Whether you were in a morning rush, got a little to sweaty in gym class or sat next to a coughing, sneezing kid in homeroom, keeping bad breath, germs and offensive odors away at school is important. Keep these items packed so you never have to worry about being that smelly kid in study hall.

  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Mints
  • Deodorant
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tissues

Look Your Best.

These items will help ensure that you’re dressed and looking your best from homeroom to 8th period.

  • Hairspray or gel
  • Hair ties or bobby pins
  • Emergency makeup
  • Extra shirt or set of clothes
  • Stain stick pen for any spills

Be Prepared.

Here are a few more items to help you manage paper cuts, rain storms and hunger pains.

  • Band-Aids
  • Umbrella
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • $10 (at least) for emergency funds

Use these ideas and your own to create a personal locker kit today. Stash your kit somewhere safe in your locker or book bag. Stay away from adding any type of medication though, since most schools have strict rules against students medicating themselves. For real emergencies, always talk to your teacher or school nurse.