Because momma always say: “It’s the thought that counts.”

Americans are projected to spend billions of dollars this holiday season. But since most of our paltry salaries were lost on FanDuel, we had to come up with quick, cheap and easy DIY gifts to lighten the load of the often debilitating post-holiday debt. Besides, it’s high time we dusted off our e-burnt imagination and created something.

Bacon Salt

Precious Time Required: ~30 min
Dimes Dropped: Under $10
How To: This delicious entrée additive couldn’t be easier. Simply bake a pound or two of bacon in the oven for 20 minutes on an aluminum sheet and pat its grease dry when cooled. Toss it all in a blender/processor with 2 tsp ground black pepper and 1.5 tbsp sea salt. Store it in the fridge for when pizza, salads or that warmed-up shot of bourbon could use a kick of heaven.

E-Z Hot Sauce

Precious Time Required: ~10 min
Dimes Dropped: Under $5
How To: Cut the stem ends off of any hot pepper varieties and shove in any glass container with a lid. Add peppercorns, crushed garlic gloves or whatever other spices to add in different flavors. Boil white (or rice, or apple, or whatever) vinegar to cover peppers. Best flavors generally occur after 3 weeks of shelf aging. No refrigeration required.

Book Safe

Precious Time Required: ~2 hrs
Dimes Dropped: Under $5
How To: Find an old hardcover copy of “The Missionary Position” by Mother Teresa — or something equally hilarious — at a local thrift store. Paint on Elmer’s glue over the sides with a heavy item on top to hold pressure. Once dried, use a razor blade or X-Acto knife to cut it down, a few pages at a time. Glue in a felt liner for added sophistication.

Custom Coasters

Precious Time Required: ~1 hr
Dimes Dropped: Under $20
How To: Most Etsy-preneurs are doing nothing more than exploiting what‘s already available at any neighborhood craft store. Blank coasters come at about a buck a pop, depending on material, and can be customized in any fashion. Acrylic paints on wood coasters generally work best. Then finish with a good quality glaze to lock in the ingenuity.

The Broquet

Precious Time Required: ~1 hr
Dimes Dropped: $5 – $50
How To: Skill level, zero. Stick some sticks into things that you know a bro of yours loves, and then stick those sticks into a good-looking base that he’ll probably also love. The price threshold on this personalized gift can go anywhere from cash-strapped to “verified baller” levels, especially if you’re adding good quality buds, like we did. Get creative — we know it’s in you.


Shopping By The Numbers:

The National Retail Federation expects sales for Nov and Dec 2015 (excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales) to increase by 3.7 % to $630.5 billion

Retailers are expected to hire between 700,000 and 750,000 seasonal workers for the holidays, on par with last year’s 714,000 new hires

Each year 1.76 billion candy canes are made, with roughly 90% of them sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Since 2006, there have been 7 deaths directly related to Black Friday shopping

Sources: National Retail Federation (, and

Holiday Fun Fact:

Written as a Thanksgiving song in 1857, “Jingle Bells” was originally copyrighted under the name “One Horse Open Sleigh.”