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Frugal-ish Christmas

January 3rd, 2024 at 06:06 pm

Christmas is expensive for everyone… so it always is my goal is to give a useful gift that doesn’t cost a lot of money.

This year, I made 5 different soaps for all the women/girls in my life. I made a Lemon-Poppyseed exfoliating soap, a shave soap, Rose soap, Mango-Papaya soap, and a Milk and Honey Soap. I gave 27 gifts of soap, 5 bars each. The total I had to purchase for each gift came out to $10.82 per gift. I have been making soap for a couple years, so I didn’t need to buy much in the way of equipment. (I did buy a new stick blender for soap use only and chose not to factor that into my per gift cost.) In addition to 27 gifts, I have several extra bars of soap left over. In total, I probably have about 20 “extra” bars of soap. My daughter and I will use them and I can still gift them as necessary.

For the men in my life (men only, younger boys got something off of their list), I made homemade, food safe wood butter. I also included a wooden spoon and microfiber buffing cloth. The total for each gift came to $7.16 and I made enough to give out 30 gifts plus have 3 left over.. The wood butter is made out of walnut oil and food safe beeswax. I needed to purchase 3 gallons of walnut oil, the mason jars, wooden spoons, and microfiber cloths. I already had enough beeswax from a project a couple years ago. (Clearly I bought too much then, however, I did factor in some of the cost of the beeswax when figuring out my per item cost.

I’m very pleased with my per gift price. I’m also very happy that the are useful, consumable gifts. I know we don’t need any more “stuff” in our lives and I imagine a lot of people feel the same way, so I have been trying to give gifts that are very useful and/or can be used up.

I’m already thinking of and looking for ideas for next year’s Christmas gift. Any ideas?

5 Responses to “Frugal-ish Christmas”

  1. terri77 Says:

    What is wood butter?

    I love homemade gifts, especially ones that are consumables.

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    That sounds amazing. How long do you have to make it ahead to give?

  3. Brunette Says:

    Soap needs to cure for 4-6 weeks, so at least that long. But, the longer it cures, the better it tends to be because that gives more time for the the water to evaporate. I like about 4-6 months.

    For the wood butter, it can be made at any time. It just needs a couple of hours to cool.

  4. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    How do you make the soap? Do you use a recipe?

  5. Brunette Says:

    Yes, I use recipes. Because lye is so caustic, you have to have the right amount of fats for all the "science-y" stuff to happen. I have a book I use and I also use recipes from the internet.

    I have made about 12-13 different types of soap. In my opinion, cold process soap making is very confusing to read about, not as confusing to actually do each step. Most times when I make soap now, I use a recipe for ingredients, but I do all the other steps without reading the directions.

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