Married to the Empire

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Gift of Relaxation on the Cheap

We did a generic gift exchange with Steven's family over the weekend. That's where the women all brought a girl gift, and the men all brought a guy gift, then we picked a number and received the present with the same number. The general price range for each gift was $25.

One thing I love about gift giving is the search for ways to give lavish-looking gifts without paying too much. My gift for the family gift exchange was no different. I decided to give a relaxation basket.

I included:
~a lavender-scented candle (Taylor of London) for a bargain $5
~homemade French lavender body scrub (using this recipe)
~homemade French lavender soap (using melt-and-pour glycerin soap I already had)
~a pair of super-cozy, sweater-like socks bought on sale for only $3.49 (down from $12)
~a tin of chamomile tea for $2.50 (originally $5)
~a new-looking hardback book called Tea Time with God found for a mere $2 at a thrift store
~a pretty basket with stars and pearls for only $4, on sale from the original $10

Total cost: $17
Cost if everything was purchased at full price: $52

Now, admittedly, this doesn't count the cost of the ingredients for the bath scrub. I purchased epsom salts, essential oil from the health-food store, and a big bottle of sunflower oil. However, the essential oil will be used for many projects (including the soap I made), and the epsom salts and oil will make several jars of body scrub. So, initial output is a little high (I'm too lazy to do a cost estimate on this since it would involve digging out receipts), but only a small portion of the ingredients are used for a single jar.

The basket was well recieved, and I enjoyed putting it together.


AnneK said...

It looks so beautiful and relaxing!!!

Allison said...

If you have one near you, Trader Joe's has great body scrubs for about $6 for 16oz. I've never seen 16oz for any less than $20! Their body scrub is actually the best I've ever tried. I am especially fond of the lavender salt scrub. Of course, this ruins the fun of making your own...

I just bought a whole bunch of those fluffy cozy sweater socks, too...cotton candy pink with some peppermint soap and peppermint bark, all wrapped up with a red ribbon.

Catherine said...

That is so awesome! This is the problem we had when we did a similar exchange with my family years ago. One person thought that you should spend more to make it so you spent $25 (so, throw in another candle or something!) and other people thought that since the retail of the basket is more like $50 you should only put half of the stuff in. This argument led to the downfall of any gift giving at all. Now we just exchange stories and love. :-P

However, I'd be interested to know if you have anyone that takes issue with this sort of thing in your family.

Ewokgirl said...

Catherine, we've never had issues of that sort come up. But then, I never actually tell the recipients what I spent.