A favorite birthday present for two of my girls when they entered their teens is their own email account. I set it up with restrictions and guidelines to match our family's rules, and then surprise them with the new email account. They were thrilled, and this is free. Other frugal birthday ideas here.
For those of you who like a bidet or diaper sprayer for use with your cloth diapers, a commenter to a cloth diaper discussion on my regular blog shared a link for this excellent DIY tutorial for putting together your own for about half the cost. Honestly, it looks so simple I think even I could do it, and I don't even flip my own circuits.
Cookery- here's a good recipe for feeding a crowd (or not, you can reduce it) frugally and easily- a delicious chicken and potato crockpot recipe, if I do say so myself. It's one of our fallback favorites- at the end of the day if you have extra guests, just fry up or microwave extra potatoes and cut the chicken smaller.
Speaking of Frugal cookery, TVP is a meat substitute that we use sometimes- it doesn't require refrigeration until after you cook it, you can cook it alone or combine with meat to 'stretch' the meat. It costs less than ground beef (but more than beans), it's lightweight, so makes a nice addition to backpacking or camping. We add it to hot breakfast cereal for a proteinboost that keeps us from getting hungry sooner, and it's particularly tasty in burritoes- I fry the tvp in bacon grease or other meat fat to boost the flavor, then cook as directed, combine with refried beans, chiles, tomato sauce, and red onion and herbs and spices to taste, then wrap in tortillas with cheese. Also makes good sloppy joes.
When the children were small and I had to clean up messes like bedwetting or accidents on the carpet, I liked a mixture of ammonia and baking soda (I sprayed the spot with ammonia, sprinkled with baking soda, rubbed that in lightly, and set a towel over it with something heavy on top of that to 'wick' the dampness out, then vacuumed it up later. So it makes sense that a mixture of ammonia, baking soda, and dishsoap could be used to replace 'Shout' or other fabric stain removers.
Times are tough for some people, and they are getting tougher for more. Food storage might be something you want to think about- stock up now, little by little buying extras of whatever is on sale as you can squeeze it in the budget. Here are some posts to help you think through the process.
Lots of great information here from a guest poster who has been living on her storage for a couple of years of rough times. Many of the same ideas for disaster preparation can be used for basic economic preparation as well. See here, here, and here.
Just for fun... yet another frugal idea I've always done and never thought to share- a frugal way to laminate smaller items.
More fun- the simplest toys are often disproportionately delightful - an old spatula, wooden spoon, paint stick, or a stick from the yard, some tape and some ribbons, crepe paper, cut up plastic bags- and hours of joy for a happy little girl.