Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Frugal Wedding and Mother's Day Gift Ideas: A Bunch of Household Staples, and a 'personalized cookbook' Tastebook (ships free through April 21st!)

My brother and sister-in-law recently got married. As one of our wedding gifts to them, they received from us a box overflowing with couponed finds ("new household" items) that newlyweds might find useful:

Brand-name toiletries acquired via couponing at CVS, like:
Body washes

They also received a bunch of household goods and dry goods that I had procured via couponing:
Advanced Shout stain spray
Cleaning products (duster, dust spray, Windex, etc.)
Febreeze Air Effects plugin w/refill

And some Pantry/Baking supplies:
Cookie/cake/brownie mixes and frosting
Other baking supplies - baking powder, cornstarch, sugar etc.
No-stick spray

And so on...

I actually wrapped most of the items in the box, so it was always interesting wondering what would be unwrapped next. They were so surprised and still frequently remark what has recently been used.

To cap this all off, I 'splurged' (by which I mean paid full price and used a free shipping code) at TasteBook.com. I made a personalized cookbook consisting of recipes from both sides of the family (I had emailed contributors and asked them for their very best recipes). Adding your own recipes is simple; you simply fill in fields on a page (Title, Ingredients, Directions, etc.) and save it to your book template. You can even add your own pictures of your own recipes to give it an even more personal touch.

To fill in some gaps (for some reason the contributions had a dessert-bent :-p), I got some more main course, appetizer, and side dish recipes from TasteBook's affiliate sites. You can search on tastebook.com for tens of thousands of recipes from allrecipes.com, Better Homes and Gardens, Better Recipes, Epicurious, Food and Wine, Food Network, Heart Healthy Online, MyRecipes, Recipezaar, Simply Recipes, TasteBook Editors, and 101 Cookbooks. Whew! One you ID recipes you'd like to include, it's just a matter of selecting them to be in your personalized cookbook.

The cookbooks start at $34.95, with the option of purchasing additional pages. The newlyweds were very pleased to have access to all the family recipes in one location - and I had bought them a coupon redeemable for additional pages so that they could add recipes of their own in the future.

So...maybe (I estimate generously) $20 total invested in the box of couponed goodies, plus $35, means under $60 for a memorable and very practical wedding gift. If you have no time or inclination to skim off your coupon stockpile for the box of goodies, the TasteBook idea by itself is still low-effort and stylish for under $40!

Now until April 21, 2009, use the TasteBook promotional discount coupon code MOMSDAY at checkout to get free shipping on your personalized cookbook.

Also consider this gift idea for a Mother's Day gift. How many of us know moms who have a stack of 20-year-old faded recipe cards with legendary recipes that deserve to be memorialized in something a little swankier? ;)
Frugal Wedding and Mother's Day Gift Ideas: A Bunch of Household Staples, and a 'personalized cookbook' Tastebook (ships free through April 21st!)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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