Category: Gift Ideas

Surprise Your Loved Ones with Easy-to-Order Bouquets Delivered FREE Islandwide

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and as society is becoming more gender balanced, would you consider giving flowers to your dad? I did (once), and my dad, who is normally expressionless, was overly delighted. He said it made him feel special and happy because never in his lifetime had anyone sent him flowers. With more than 7 decades of living, for him to receive flowers for “the first time” made the occasion not just extraordinary, but unforgettable. (more…)

Last Minute Frugal or Free Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

There was a time when I cared deeply about what Valentine’s Day gifts I gave and received, and a time when the price mattered. You can say this was a time when advertising agencies, the “media”, and the social community tried to convince me that money, products, and gifts were measurable expressions of love. Having had one relationship which involved the frequent exchanging of great and beautiful gifts but a terrible relationship, I soon realised that luxury gifts do not make a luxury relationship; in contrast, grand gifts are often a way of compensating for a terrible relationship. Here are some ideas on how you can express your love while celebrating an age-old tradition without having to spend all your ang bao money: (more…)

Is a Frugal Christmas Even Possible? Here’s how:

Challenge yourself and your family to spend Christmas in a different way this year.

Last year, the average American family spent $830 (S$1178.60) for Christmas gifts. This year, that figure is expected to increase despite the sluggish economy, and the spending frenzy will soon begin on Black Friday (25 Nov). As mentioned throughout this site, being frugal does not equate to being cheap, nor does it mean focusing only on the price of something. Frugality is about ROI, or Return On Investments, in which investments could be money, time, effort, or other resources. The return, therefore, is determined by whether the purchase results in the outcomes, values, or goals you wish to achieve. And like everything in life, it’s not so black and white. For example, buying bottled water is cheaper and healthier than buying soda or a Starbucks coffee, but I personally would not consider it to be frugal because of the plastic waste it generates (which is not in line with my values) and because water is (mostly) free from the tap. So how would one achieve a frugal Christmas without looking like a cheapskate or compromising too much on one’s own personal values?  (more…)

Thoughtful & Frugal Gifts Ideas for Father’s Day

fathers day
Frugal gift ideas for Father’s Day
(Photo by J Mark Dodds)

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and for those procrastinators who have not gotten a gift yet (myself included), here are some gift ideas that are thoughtful yet frugal. Most dads, as I’ve been told, don’t really want ties and money clips. Instead, they secretly want gadgets. However, gadgets can be very expensive, and too many of them are bad for the planet as they contribute to the excessive amounts of ewaste. A lot of gadgets also end up underused and collecting dust on the shelf (the average drill is used only 12 minutes before it’s discarded) as technology evolves and new gadgets replace the old ones. Because of budget and ewaste considerations, my list includes primarily experiential gifts, along with some tech gadgets, all reasonably priced! (more…)

Frugal yet Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

What marketers want you to buy for Valentine’s Day. (photo by frankieleon)

Nowadays, it’s very easy to express love through buying things – at least this is what marketers and movie-makers want you to do. They make it almost brainless to pick up a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a bouquet of flowers, a mass-produced greeting card, or even a piece of jewelry. These kinds of gifts are seen as “traditional” and “customary”, but are they thoughtful or merely reflexive and primarily driven by expectations and marketing? There are many ways to express love, often in ways that are more meaningful than spending lots of money, such as contributing your time, expressing your sincerity, and exercising your creativity. (more…)

Thoughtful & Frugal Gifts Ideas for Christmas

Where to get cheap gifts without appearing to be cheap.

There are times when buying second-hand is not really an option; office or holiday gift exchanges are one of them. Here are my top picks for frugal gifts, all around $25. I’ve chosen these based on their thoughtfulness, utility, and value. As a gift giver, I don’t want to appear “cheap” but I also don’t want to give something that is useless and creates more “stuff” in this world. Many of these are gifts that I’ve personally given to others, including in-laws and office colleagues. Today is also a good day to do some online shopping as many shops have a massive 12-12 Sale. (more…)

Your Frugal Week Planner for 11 Feb to 17 Feb 2015

cupids night out garden by the bay
It’s good to have money and the things money can buy, but it’s also good to checkup once in a while that you haven’t lost the things money can’t buy.

There’s plenty of cool things to do this Valentine’s Day weekend without breaking the bank. Here are your frugal activities for this week. Additionally, you might want to check out this post by, which has a breakdown of an entire day’s date for under $30 (including dinner and gift ideas).

Why a Luxury Valentine’s Day Could Mean Trouble

sweet home alabama
If you need to display grand gestures of love in order to convince your partner to marry you… then you might have bigger problems ahead.

I admit it: when I was younger, there were times when I would daydream about that perfect Valentine’s Day date or about an over-the-top Valentine’s Day proposal. In this day and age, there’s no shortage of luxury goods or services with which you can pamper your significant other on any holiday or special occasion. Last weekend, a new reality show aired on Channel 5 called “The Proposal” where ostentatious acts are displayed in hopes of initiating engagement. Some of these acts make the opening scene from Sweet Home Alabama look like a modest, halfhearted gesture. (more…)

Your Frugal Week Planner for 10 Dec to 16 Dec 2014

Build, play, learn, and bond with your kids in a free HacKIDemia workshop.

Check out the frugal events lined up for this week. Get a free outfit, watch fireworks by the river, and attend free hack workshops with your kids so they (and you) can learn how to make cool gadgets and crafts for Christmas. (Remember that this is just a partial list and that there are tons of free activities throughout Singapore, especially at parks, museums, libraries, and community centres.) (more…)

10 Cheap and Meaningful Gifts for Christmas

A cool and inexpensive gift may be right under your nose.

Christmas is a time to share joy, kindness, and generosity, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot of money and end the holidays with a debt hangover. It also doesn’t mean you need to buy cheap useless goods just to have them discarded after a few months. Let’s make this Christmas a green Christmas – both environmentally-friendly and wallet-friendly! Here are my top ten meaningful green Christmas gifts: (more…)