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10 gift ideas for the penny pincher on your list

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Do you have a penny pincher on your holiday gift list? How about someone who likes a bargain? Here's a few can't-miss suggestions from the Centsible Saver. All these gifts will either save your frugal friend or family member a little money or make the task of saving a little easier.

All but one of these gifts range in price from 99 cents to $13.99 so you can save yourself some cash, too. Your penny pincher would be proud.

A fun pair of scissors.

Every coupon clipper needs his or her own pair of designated scissors so why not clip with a fun pair that are easily identifiable. I own these snowman scissors, which I found on clearance at Target after Christmas one year. But you can get them right now at most Lowe's Home Improvement stores for $2.48. A steal.

A subscription to All You magazine

This magazine, which is only available at WalMart and through home subscription, is full of articles on saving money and frugal living. It's also chockfull of coupons. On any given month, there might be 25 coupons. Find a middle school kid in your neighborhood peddling subscriptions. Or go straight to AllYou.com to subscribe. Under $20 for a one-year subscription, which ends up being $1.66 an issue, saving you almost $1 per magazine off the cover price.

Trader Joe's reusable grocery bags

Reusable grocery bags are good for the planet but they're also good for the wallet. Lots of stores, including Trader Joe's, offer their customers incentives for toting their own bags.  Just about every store sells reusable bags these days but Trader Joe's bags are sturdy, a nice size and add a little whimsy to your supermarket trip. 99 cents to $2.99.

A CVS green bag tag

Along with reusable grocery bags, your penny pincher might appreciate a Green Bag Tag from CVS. Each time you shop at CVS, have the cashier scan the tag and you earn a 25-cent credit. After every fourth shop, your penny-pincher will earn a $1 Extra Care Buck. Well worth the 99-cent price tag for one of these. Find them near the cash register. It's truly the gift that keeps on giving.

2012 Edition of the Attractions Dining and Value Guide coupon book

Loaded with coupons for restaurants and local attractions, this book has coupons on everything from A.C. Moore to Z Pizza. Usually $25, N&O subscribers can snag these books for just $12.50 and it will be shipped to your home for FREE. Click here to go to The N&O's Rewards Zone page. You can browse the coupons online and you can order different books for frugal friends and family members in the Triangle, Johnston County, the Triad, Eastern North Carolina, the Carolina Coast, Crystal Coast and Myrtle Beach.

A CouponPro coupon wallet or binder

These hand-made fabric coupon wallets are a great size to tuck inside a purse. It's the perfect solution for carrying restaurant coupons and gift cards. It's also a good size for someone who uses coupons but isn't ready for a coupon binder. Your choice of several fabrics. $7.50 at CouponOrganizerPro.com, which is a Triangle-based company owned and operated by an Apex mom of two.


If the penny pincher on your list is ready to go to the next level with coupons, a CouponPro binder is a gift that will help with organization. The binders, available in 1.5- and 3-inch sizes, come equipped with plenty of plastic pocket pages and dividers.  It's a bit of an investment, with prices starting at $37.95 at CouponOrganizerPro.com. But, I have to tell you, I don't go anywhere without my coupon binder. Use the coupon code CENTSIBLE and you'll save 15 percent off your order. Code is good through Dec. 31.

A pocket magnifier

Coupons and rebate offers come with a lot of fine print so a small magnifier is a practical gift that saves time and aggravation.
My magnifier is similar to this one, a pocket LED slide magnifier made by Great Point Light, which is available at Barnes and Noble online and in stores for $9.95.
Barnes and Noble also sells $2.50 magnifiers that are the size and thickness of a credit card. I recently picked one up to carry in my wallet. Frugal and portable.

Coupon calendars

If you have frugal-minded Chick-fil-A lovers and/or Whole Foods shoppers on your gift list, consider purchasing their 2012 calendars, which are filled with coupons.
The Chick-fil-A calendar, which is $6, contains 12 coupons for completely free items. Free sandwiches, drinks, milkshakes. You might want to pick one up for yourself, too. Available at Chick-fil-A restaurants.
The Whole Planet Foundation calendar, a steal at just $3, has coupons for products sold at Whole Foods. And every penny of your $3 supports micro-lending programs to help women living in poverty. Available at Whole Foods stores. But you might want to call ahead. I had to go to two stores before I found them in stock. They go quickly.

Sunday newspaper subscription

Even in today's digital world, 90 percent of all coupons still come from newspapers. So if you want to help someone on your holiday gift list save money, a Sunday-only newspaper subscription would be a great jump start to cutting the grocery expenses. On any given Sunday, newspapers contain $100 to $300 in coupon savings.
The News & Observer is running a holiday special for new subscribers: $13 weeks of Sunday delivery for $13.99. That works out to $1.08 a week. The deal is available at newsobserver.com/subscribe. Use the code SC13.99 to get the discount.

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Last updated: Sunday, Oct. 6. | How to read this | View full page