Thrifty Gifting

As I was helping my sons decorate their homes, a thought came across my mind.. and that was HouseWarming.. I remember back when we were young and we all moved into our new places (especially for the first time) it was standard there’d be a housewarming party to attend. When I mentioned it to them, they had no clue about them and then said.. nawwww.. people don’t do that ..(and besides it seems like they’re asking for handouts)… That floored me.. I was like….  Hmmmmm.. am I missing something because I thought that’s what friends do… (warm your house).

They thought I was kidding and I said to them.. “Well I don’t see anything wrong with it”.  House-warmings helped in many ways and I could clearly see now how beneficial they could be.   Housewarming gifts don’t have to be expensive or decorative.  Let’s face it..everyone has their own style and taste and trying to buy something for someone can be very difficult.  When your pal moves into their new dwelling, it’s more about helping them warm their homes with essentials.  The decorative stuff will come.  Besides, you may be upset if you bought a decorative object thinking they’d like it only to find out, when you come to visit – it’s no where in sight.   You shouldn’t be stressed or feel obligated  to bring a gift, but if you did,  be practical  and have fun.  So, to help with ideas, I put together a practical list of standard housewarming gifts that every home would need and the best part… you can find most of them at your local thrift stores, Goodwill, yard sales and (especially) estate sales.

  • Bakeware –  I can’t count how many times I’ve seen Pyrex glass baking dishes – all shapes and sizes.  From the round pie dish to the rectangular baking dish to the bread dish.. There’s a plethera of them out there.  They generally range from $1.00 – $3.00.  For the price of a brand new one – you can buy a whole set and the difference other than price.. is the plastic wrapping.  (truth be told – every single one of my baking dishes came from second hand stores/estate sales – I personally have several.




  • Glasses (and mugs) – Just like the Pyrex bakeware – there are more glasses out there.  Glasses usually run from $0.25-0.75 ea  Most often you’ll find at least 4 of a kind sometimes 2 or sometimes 6… either way it’s all good as long as they’re pretty and hold liquid.  Wine glasses, juice glasses, soda glasses, shot glasses.. you name it -you’ll find it ALWAYS!  Again, these prices are cheaper than the Dollar Store (for real, for real!)



  • Cookbooks – If you’re just branching out on your own – you gotta eat.. and eventually – you gotta cook.  Let’s face it – basic cooking isn’t hard, but being creative can rack your brain.  So it’s always good to have a few good cookbooks to inspire the new homeowner to cook a few things, you might even can grab a book stand while you’re out there to place on the counter.
  • Spices –  Pick up a basket from the thrift store.. they’re about $0.50, hop over to your grocery store and fill it with different spices.  This will be much appreciated when it’s time to cook – trust me.
  • Measuring cups and spoons – These are key essentials to cooking and baking.  You can definitely find the Pyrex measuring glass at any given time.  Again, expensive when you buy them new but second-hand very cheap.. as little as $1.00
  • Pots and pans – Lots of times you’ll find these at estate sales and Goodwill.  Stainless steel is your best bet to get.  Stay away from the non-stick pans unless they look brand new.   I bought these at Goodwill for $6.00 (for both)
  • pans
  • Incense and holders – Who doesn’t like a good smelling home.  Me personally I love the smell of incense burning.  I do love candles, but they can be very expensive (2 good candles can cost as much as $40.00) but you can buy packs of incense for 3 for $5.00 (with 10 sticks in them) plus a nice incense holder for about $5.00.  So imagine how many you can get for the price of just one candle.


  • Bath essentials – Buy a basket – fill it up with bath tissue, shower gels, bath sponges.
  • Home Cleansers – Gotta have a clean home.. You can almost always find those plastic crate baskets anywhere.  Fill it with Windex, Pledge, Comet/Ajaz, Cleaning sponge, bag of rags (Goodwill always have bag-of-rags for $1.00) get them.. you always need rags to clean with.

Tidbit information – when buying the glassware items, simply take them home, soak them in hot water with about 1/4 cup of bleach and some dish detergent for about 10-15 mins to sanitize.  Then wash or drop them them in the dishwasher.  They’re as good as new and completely sanitized!


So, there you have it, my  Essential Thrifty-Gifty list.  I hope this provided some great tidbit information and as always – Happy hunting while you thrift your house into a home!


11 thoughts on “Thrifty Gifting

  1. I think a surprise housewarming would be a loving gesture and then the homeowners wouldn’t feel like they were asking for handouts. A close friend’s son just got his first apartment so I sent him the doubles of Revere Ware that I had. Now, my cabinet is neater and he can cook a hamburger!

  2. If you planned the party as a Super Bowl Party they would have been excited about the entire idea. Men are so different from us.

    • Yes, Nancy.. it has to be.. because we women sure do like celebrating even the smallest of things. (it’s always good getting together 🙂 . Thanks for the compliment.. I’m glad you enjoyed reading and am happy to hear you like to thrift shop too!

  3. Really great ideas. Too funny on your sons thoughts about a house warming. Need to think of another name for it just for the guys. 🙂 I remember the new neighbor welcoming. Group of neighbors get together with gift baskets and knock on the new neighbors door, greetings well received from all. Now…I don’t think so???

    • Hey Linda! Hmmm.. a new name.. similar to what Glenda said.. giggles.. (i’ll have to think a catchy slogan).. And the welcoming thing was always a great thing to do.. I wish folks still did that.. but now it seems people would rather be left alone.. I’ve always loved the neighborhood concept as being like an extended family… Caring and sharing.. (who knows… maybe one day things will go back to that.. ) thanks again for reading.

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