Every year I contemplate whether I should share a holiday gift guide or not. There’s always a huge public push toward minimalism and I see so many people posting how proud they are to not have participated in things like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. And I don’t see anything wrong with that…if that’s your thing. But I like saving money. I like it a lot. So I make the holiday sales work for me (I managed to get Clark’s wishlisted slipper selection for $65 off~ check them out here and be sure to click the 50% button!). Obviously, the tricky part is to not go looking for things you don’t need because even if something is 75% off, if you don’t need it then it’s wasted money. And that’s where they get ya.
Being out in the country in a rural community we don’t have malls or big box stores where we can shop in person. That also means we have a limited selection of items we need. Unless you like western wear (from the feed store), Walmart fashion, or specific boutique styles in limited sizes there are no clothing stores within an hour and a half drive. Household goods like bedding, lamps, towels, pots and pans, and everything else you could possibly need to run a house is even more limited (Walmart). I’m not knocking those stores…just pointing out that we don’t have multiple sources with which to compare prices or quality. Right or wrong, we end up shopping online for many things and support our local shops when what they offer fits our needs. And the thrift stores get a lot of my business too.
Here are some of my favorite gift ideas. Some may be familiar if you’ve followed me on the various social platforms (or even from past lists) but that’s because I really do use and enjoy them!
I include this subscription every year because it’s so valuable. An annual Yoga Download membership (12 months) is regularly $120. This link is a Groupon Deal that provides the same 12-month membership for $33. And, as of right now, you can save an additional 20% using the Coupon Code: FBNACT. That makes this deal particularly sweet…a full year of streaming (and downloadable!) classes for $26.40.
Here are some of the types of classes offered on the site: Align and Flow, Anusara, Ashtanga, Baptiste Power, Beginner, Barre, Bhakti, Forrest, Fusion, Hatha, Iyengar, Jivamukti, Kid’s, Kundalini, Mediation, Pilates, Power, Prana Flow Vinyasa, Pranayama, Pre and Post Natal, Restorative, Vinyasa, Yin, Yoga with Weights, Yoga en Espanol.
I’m one of those people who loves the practical gift. Maybe it’s because I’m
cheap frugal and would rather someone else buy the things I need or perhaps it’s just this stage of my life (I try to focus on only adding the things I need rather than impulsive wants). For years I’ve had a useless POS vacuum that did everything except suck. It literally had one job and couldn’t do it. However, it took up lots of space (it was a canister vacuum…a purchase I made because I read that canister vacuums were more powerful) and it was a pain in the keester to maneuver.
Vacuuming isn’t necessarily at the top of my list of fun things to do but my old vacuum made it loathe-worthy. Because it did a lousy job I often tripled the time spent on this task because I would literally sweep my rugs first in an attempt to loosen the pet hair. Once I vacuumed I’d grab the shop vac and go over everything again. If you didn’t know, that’s a pretty inefficient way to clean the house. After about a 30-second hesitation I pulled the trigger on the Bissel Clearview Pet Deluxe Vacuum when Amazon had Prime Day in October. Let me tell you, it’s a life changer. Especially considering it’s like $99 right now. With 8 (mostly) indoor pets I can honestly say it works.
3- Wool Clothing
I’m slowly converting the textiles in our house to natural fibers. Some things, like towels and bedding, are easy enough to find in 100% cotton or linen. But, during our very cold winters and very hot summers, finding clothing that can adapt to these extremes can be difficult. In the past two years, I’ve been experimenting with Merino wool. I even found some second-hand. I like the feel of it and I love that it doesn’t retain odors as synthetic clothing does. Wool breathes. It’s kinda magical in that it regulates temperatures…keeping you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter (how does it know?!?).
In reality, there are many studies on the effects of wool (and other) fiber on human skin. Skin is our largest organ and it’s exposed 24 hours a day to the fabric that touches it (unless you’re a nudist, no judgment here). If we’re so concerned about plastics in our oceans and food shouldn’t we likewise be concerned about plastics (synthetics) in our clothing?
Here are my favorite wool clothing companies:
Woolx: By using my link you’ll get $20 off your first purchase of $50+. Their Black Friday Deal is still active and code BF20 will get you 20% off your cart. I love their quality. It’s also a small family business.
Branwyn: This company comes up as the most recommended for wool bras than any other. I recently purchased one during a holiday sale and as soon as it arrived I put it on and promptly ordered a second one. No, it isn’t going to give you that high and tight cleavage you might desire for your red-carpet affair. Nor will it keep things secure during your 10-mile run. But it will keep you comfortable, dry, and feeling good about your breast and skin health. This link will give you $10 off your first order of $25+. They’re currently running a Cyber Week deal with everything 25% off. With these two offers combined your next bra would be $23-$29! Also, if you are making a larger purchase (more than one bra) try code EARLY25 for an additional 25% off your entire order. That’s an incredible deal especially when you remember it’s made mostly of Merino Wool. (Side note: I’m a 36D/DD and wear a large Branwyn Busty Bra. It fits like a sports bra and offers a lot of coverage on the back. I’m not going running in this but I do hike and do yoga and daily life stuff in it. It’s super comfortable. I often have tactile issues with synthetic material and this feels so wonderful against my skin).
Meriwool: For a more budget-friendly option I do like Meriwool and their clothing is currently 20% off at Amazon. I have two long-sleeved Midweight tops, one pair of long-john bottoms, and several pairs of socks from Meriwool. I wear the tops almost exclusively in the winter and they have held up beautifully. No pilling and no issues. The bottoms were on the thin side and I have managed to get a hole in the crotch after a year of wear. The socks are extremely warm and extremely thick. Although they were great on a really cold day hiking I find them too thick for wearing. I’d have to size up probably a full size to wear them with either of my hiking boots. They are nice for lounging around the house though.
Socks Daze: For a wonderful selection of wool-based socks at more affordable prices check out this company. I have a six-pack of these ankle socks and love them. The best part is most are currently 20% off…so a six-pack of wool socks is like $20!
Let me guess, you’ve never heard of recovery shoes, right? Well, neither had I until recently. You see, I’ve come down with some foot pain, perhaps the dreaded plantar fasciitis, from neglecting my feet and I needed some relief. That’s how I came across OOFOS. From their website: “Made with proprietary OOfoam™ technology, OOFOS absorb 37% more impact than traditional foam footwear materials for the perfect blend of cushion and stability. Then there’s our patented footbed that cradles and supports arches. When paired with OOfoam™, it reduces energy exertion in the ankles by up to 47%* compared to competitors’ footwear. So walking is easier. Recovery is faster. And yOO actually feel better.” OOFOS is currently 20% with code CHEER20. My link will get you 15% off if you miss out on the Cyber Deal.
5- Wire Monkey Bread Lame (for the baker)
If you want to add some safety features and up your scoring game then these lames from Wire Monkey are for you. They also make perfect stocking stuffers. For the longest time (up until a couple of months ago) I just used an Astra razor blade to do all of my scoring. Yes, I have baked hundreds of loaves of bread without forking over any, well, bread on a lame. But now that I have one I admit I love it. And to make things better, Wire Monkey is a tiny family-run company with great ethics like fair wages and no toxic products. Right now you can use my link to get 15% off. You can also try the code WM30 for 30% off but I don’t know how long the code will be active.
5- ByteTags (for the pet owner)
I’ve probably bored you to tears with my recent posts about ByteTags so I’ll keep it short (if you have no idea what I’m talking about watch the short video above). These are great tags that allow the “finder” to scan the tag with a cell phone. This will bring up all the pertinent information needed; phone numbers, behavioral issues, vet information, etc without the need to find a chip reader. It also allows the finder to send you the GPS coordinates of your pet’s location. Thinking outside the box, these could be attached to halters and collars of any animal that might be lost during a hurricane or wildfire (not just dogs and cats). Super lightweight, these are suitable for even small cats. The current special is $10 each. Use my link (or the code Mutiny15) to get an additional 15% off!
The last lighter you’ll have to buy. I was so sick and tired of purchasing disposable lighters that seems to last one short season (if I was lucky). They always have those BBQ lighters at the checkout stands where most impulse shopping occurs. I’m betting they cost more than they should and they fill up landfills. We tried a refillable one but inevitably we would only be able to find one component…the lighter or the fluid…and never at the same time. I bought this RONXS lighter in April 2021 for about $15. It’s got a USB port and charges quickly. As long as I’ve had it I’ve only needed to charge it a handful of times. It’s currently on sale through this Amazon link for $9.99. A sweet deal and another useful stocking stuffer.
Maybe it’s my age but things that help manage aches and pains make for great presents. The latest and greatest gadgets are massage guns which have gotten way better (and more affordable) over the past few years. This particular one comes highly rated and is currently under $40. I had an opportunity to try my sister’s during her last visit and it was fantastic…way more better than how I thought it would feel.
8- The Flair Neo (for the espresso/coffee lover)
I love espresso. I drink homemade lattes almost exclusively and they are all made with my Flair Neo. I hopped on the bandwagon when this model showed up on Kickstarter but I’m pretty sure I paid more than the current sale price of $100. That’s right…you can own your very own espresso maker for $100. Yes, it’s a manual model and yes, it’s very basic. You might even call it an entry-level espresso maker. But I love it. Love it. I also love that it’s manual. That means I can make an espresso even if the power goes out. There are no electrical components to maintain or that break. No complicated tubes or water lines or seals that can malfunction and cause me to not be able to have my latte. It’s a minimalist’s dream!
There are upgrades available if you want to progress with your espresso-making skills. But after 3 years I’m still a very happy camper (hey, this is even perfect to pack on a camping trip!).
This is another product my sister introduced me to during her visit this past fall. At first, I thought her little paring knife was chintzy and so, I refused to use it. But one day I did and…WOW! These knives are sharp! They’re also lightweight and make cutting things fast and efficient. I do believe I would like the entire Victorinox knife collection to replace the dull hunks of metal I currently use to mutilate food. You can’t go wrong with this set which is currently 30% off (and less than $20).
There’s a time and place for noise-canceling headphones…like on a crowded 6+ hour red-eye flight. But, for the most part, being able to hear the surrounding sounds not only keeps you safer but also helps you not look like an idiot when someone tries to get your attention. And I don’t know about you but earbuds hurt my ears. And they get disgustingly dirty.
I listen to podcasts all the time and these make it super comfortable. At first, I wasn’t sure why anyone wouldn’t want noise-canceling headphones…I mean, isn’t it the point to drown out everything else? But now that I’ve been using my Shokz headphones I absolutely love them. I can enjoy my podcasts while still being able to hear what’s going on around me. And they don’t hurt my ears! Currently on sale for Cyber Week for less than $55 (that’s $25 off)!!
As always, we sincerely appreciate it when you use our links to make purchases through Amazon. or our other affiliate links. As Amazon Affiliates, and other business affiliates, we may earn a small commission from your purchase at no cost to you. This money goes toward our rescue animals’ upkeep as well as to help assist the rescues of other animals.