budgeting · entertaining

Frugal and Green Gift Ideas

Frugal and Green Gift Ideas
Gifts wrapped in maps with re-purposed ribbons: green and frugal.

With wedding season approaching and brides everywhere diligently planning their weddings, I wanted to share with you three simple, tasteful wedding gift ideas. These gifts are frugal, green, and never go out of style. One gift idea you can even make yourself! Any of these would make wonderful housewarming gifts or host/hostess gifts as well.

Frugal and Green Gift Ideas

Frugal and Green Gift Ideas
Cloth or string bags that can be tucked into a handbag or pocket.

1.  Cloth Grocery Bags:  My husband and I received these bags for a gift almost 21 years ago. They’ve held up really well and are easy to stick in a handbag or pocket. If they’re really loaded with groceries, I like to keep my hand on the bottom of the bag as well. I see these in lots of stores. Purchase several, place in a box, and wrap box in a vintage map. Add a ribbon that can be re-used and you’re all set! Want to upgrade this gift? Include a gift certificate to a local farmer’s market or an organic grocery store.

Frugal and Green Gift Ideas
A stack of chambray cloth napkins is always a good gift.

2.  Cloth Napkins:  I made these napkins when we were newly weds and they have worn nicely over the years. The napkins are 15″ x 15″ squares. They are made with chambray fabric, which is my favorite fabric for cloth napkins. Chambray fabric ages well and I think the tattered edges add a little charm.  Cut fabric into 16″ squares, sew together with 1/2″ seam, right sides together.  Leave an opening for turning right-side out, press, and top stitch.  Don’t dry your cloth napkins in the dryer and they’ll last even longer. For a newly wed couple, I like to give four napkins. That way, when the couple has guests over, they’re ready to entertain. Want to upgrade the cloth napkins gift? Include a gift certificate to the happy couple’s favorite restaurant or a specialty market.

Lee Valley Tools compost pailPhoto credit:  Lee Valley Tools

3.  Compost Pail:  This stainless steel compost pail has a simple design and no charcoal filters, which means there is nothing to purchase ongoing.  We leave our compost pail on the kitchen counter, next to the sink, so it’s easy to place produce scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, and used tissues in it, instead of the garbage can.  Our pail never smells but periodically I do run it through the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.  The compost pail was purchased from Lee Valley Tools and is very sturdy.

With these simple, green, and frugal gift ideas, you’ll be prepared this gift giving season to honor an engaged couple, a host/hostess, or yourself!

What’s your favorite green and frugal gift to give?

Go Gingham related links:

Kid’s birthday party gifts that are budget friendly and very sweet
Frugal gift ideas for teachers – lovely and homemade
How to handle the group gift for teachers – bowing out gracefully
Frugal and easy gifts to give – very easy
Frugal and green wedding gifts – simple gifts with an upgrade element, too
Wrapping paper alternatives – old maps!
Mother’s Day gift giving – frugal and fancy gifts to give
Displaying holiday cards – don’t put them away, just leave them out to enjoy

5 thoughts on “Frugal and Green Gift Ideas

    1. Thanks, Maria!
      I just ran our compost pail through the dishwasher and it is still this shiny. We fill ours up every single. It looks very pretty sitting on my counter top, even though the inside is filled with coffee grounds, produce scraps, and egg shells!


  1. I love this idea for napkins. I had bought heavier cloth and cut 17″ x 17″ and just hemmed the edges. I am thinking I like this way better. Thanks for the idea.


    1. These napkins have really gone the distance. I sometimes make cloth napkins with mitered corners but I really like the double layering of the fabric better. The ends of these are so well loved and used. I may have to replace soon!


  2. The last round of cloth napkins I made were from a very lightly used flannel sheet. I cut with pinking sheers to save time. Work like a dream for napkins and the occasional quick clean up wipe.


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