With Christmas just a few weeks away I thought it might be a good idea to round up some gift ideas that might help you or someone you care about get ahead in the new year.
Not all of these items will apply to everyone, but
Here are the top 10 gifts that will save you money in the future.
1 – InstantPot
I know I’ve said it before, but I seriously love my InstantPot.
Part of my strategy for saving money on groceries is to plan easy meals that help me avoid the temptation of eating out or ordering in. I also like to make meals large enough that we have leftovers. The InstantPot helps me do both.
I do tend to use the slow-cook functionality more often than the pressure-cook one, but it’s nice to know if I forget to set something to cook in the morning, I can still make it in the evening.
Another huge plus is the ease of clean-up and efficiency of space. Because the InstantPot has 7 different functions, it can not only replace a lot of other kitchen gadgets, but it can also cook pretty much everything in just the one pot.
For example, my old spaghetti required a pan for browning the meat, 2 pots – one for sauce and one for pasta, and a giant bowl to mix it all up in. With the InstantPot I can do it all in the main pot! It saves me time, money, space and effort. I seriously love this thing.
2 – Nest Thermostat
Full disclosure, we do not own a Nest. But that’s only because we’re renters. If we ever find a house we want to buy, I will definitely be insisting on a Nest thermostat.
Apart from the obvious gadget appeal (for me anyway), I love the idea of having a smart thermostat that can adjust automatically to save me money on the electricity bill.
Mr. Go From Broke likes to keep it cold, which is fine for our winter bills, but summers in the desert can get expensive. I don’t need it super chilly, but I rarely think to adjust it when he leaves. The Nest would definitely help us save some money on our summer energy bills by automating the process.
3 – A Multi-cup Coffe Maker
Another full disclosure…I don’t drink coffee. But Mr. GFB does and our parents devour the stuff when they’re visiting, so some form of coffee maker is required.
I tried to go the Keurig route thinking I could use it for tea or hot chocolate as well, but the k-cups became cost-prohibitive when we had multiple people drinking multiple cups at a time. Not to mention, no one was patient enough to brew multiple k-cups. So we ended up getting a simple little 12 cup coffee maker that has more than paid for itself.
If your coffee habit is more an indulgence than an addiction, a Keurig might work for you, but otherwise, do the math and see if a multi-cup coffee maker would make more sense.
4 – SodaStream
We’re not huge soda drinkers at home, but certain members of my family have a multiple-cans-a-day habit. I gifted them a SodaStream several years back to help them avoid spending a small fortune buying multiple 12-packs of Coke every week
In addition to the cash savings, there was also the initial novelty effect of creating your own flavors. I’m not sure that lasted more than a couple weeks, but it was an added perk all the same.
If you’re a big soda drinker or know someone who is, this might make an excellent money saving gift.
5 – Rechargeable
About the time Little GFB started getting electronic toys we discovered the value of rechargeable batteries. It’s amazing how quickly batteries run down when there’s no off button.
Fortunately, we’re not subjected to those types of toys much anymore, but we’re still using our rechargeable batteries 7 years later. We’re not using as many now, so we always have at least one pair available, while the others are in various game controllers or other computer input devices.
6 – Meal Planning Tool
Nothing has helped me slash our grocery budget quite like meal planning.
I started with Plan To Eat and loved how easy it was to plan things with the calendar view. While I really like the app, I found the non-digital approach worked better for us.
This magnetic menu sticks to your fridge and lets the whole family see what’s planned.
It also helps to consolidate the grocery list in one place. We had shopping list pads on the counter and on the fridge, and I had a digital list on my phone. Having it all together in one place makes things much easier.
7 – Coupon Books/School Spirit Cards
My step-dad swears by coupon books. Not only do they save him money on places he already frequents, but as someone who likes to try new things, he’s able to discover all sorts of new places to explore, and at a discount!
We also tend to buy whatever discount coupon books or school spirit cards our neighbors are selling. We don’t explore and try a lot of new things because of Little GFB’s food allergies and our general homebody-ness, and we aren’t eating out as often as we once did, but we still saved a ton of money by using these.
For example, the Chick-fil-A deal on last year’s spirit card was for a free sandwich with the purchase of a combo meal. So for an up-front $20, we’d save close to $4 every time we ate at Check-fil-A (which was almost weekly). Doing the math, we probably saved over $100 just at Chick-fil-A by using a school spirit card last year.
8 – Gift Cards
Gift cards have been given a bad reputation as impersonal gifts, but I love getting them so I’m not shy about gifting them.
We have a special dine-in movie theater we can go to that is safe for Little GFB (food allergies), but it’s super expensive. We’re talking around $60 per movie between tickets and food.
So last Christmas we asked for gift cards, knowing this was going to be a movie intense year. And boy did the family deliver. We got several gift cards that saved us a ton.
I’d much rather give (and get) something I know will be used, and knowing it will save some money only makes it better.
And don’t forget you can get discounted gift cards, so even if you’re giving them for someone else to save money, you can save a bit too.
9 – Finance Books
I’m personally a little hesitant to gift a book on personal finance as not everyone is as obsessed with the subject as I am (ok, almost no one is).
But there are a few that are easier reads and can really help anyone who needs to re-evaluate their relationship with money.
10 – An Amazon Prime
Ok, I know a lot of people actually cut this one out as an unnecessary expense or as a way to limit their temptation to buy stuff on Amazon, but free-shipping aside, Prime has a ton of other benefits that can make it a
The one I appreciate the most has been Prime video. While Mr. GFB primarily watches Netflix, I find myself flipping over to Prime shows whenever I’m in charge of the remote.
We also were able to cancel our music streaming service and just use the free with Prime service. It doesn’t have the largest library, but it’s been enough for us.
Prime members also get access to free ebooks and other discounted ones each month. You really do get a lot of bang for your buck with this one, assuming you use the extra services.
Can You Think of Any Others?
Well, that’s my top 10 list of money-saving gifts. I’m sure there are loads more I left out. Leave a comment below if you can think of any others.