HOW TO CHOOSE CHRISTMAS GIFTS ON A TIGHT BUDGET
Are you wondering how you are going to be able to buy presents during the holidays with your budget being so tight? Here are some suggestions on how to join in the spirit of giving without overspending.
1 — Shop at your local $1.00 store. You can find some practical, and even nice, gifts there. Look them over carefully before purchasing, but most dollar store items are good quality.
2 — Frame a poem or words of wisdom in a nice frame. If you’re feeling creative you can write the poem yourself and decorate the frame with paint, beads, scraps of paper, or other small items.
3 — Gift baskets are a great idea. You can find many of the items you need at a dollar store, and they can be customized for every interest. For an elderly relative or a college student you could make a gift basket of essentials, like soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and laundry or dish soap. For a chocolate lover you can load up on candy, for a movie lover get popcorn, soda, chips, and candy. If you have the money you can add a movie or movie rental coupon, but you don’t have to. There are plenty of ideas out there, just do a search on the person’s interests.
4 — Give gift cards, you can purchase these for as little as $5.00. iTunes, Amazon, Starbucks or other coffee stores, grocery stores, and gas stations are all popular places to get gift cards these days.
5 — Baked goods are always popular, especially if you have several people to shop for. Make an extra large batch of cookies, candies, muffins, scones, or rolls and divide them up between your recipients.
6 — Offer your services. Do you know a couple with a young child who could use an evening to themselves? Give them a coupon for one night of your babysitting services, free of charge of course. If you’re good at cooking and know someone who can’t even seem to boil water, offer to make them a nice meal. If you have children, perhaps Santa should leave them a coupon allowing them to stay up late, get out of chores for the day, or pick what to have for dinner.
7 — Make something! Can you knit? Crochet? Sew? Are you skilled at woodburning or building birdhouses? Use your talents to make a gift for someone. It will almost always be less expensive than a store bought item, and it’s much more meaningful.
8 — Consider a gift card. These can be purchased in any denomination. Generic cards like Amazon gift cards allow the recipient to purchase almost anything they want. For a more personal touch, consider a gift card to a less well-known restaurant you’ve discovered. Or you can choose something really unique and creative like aZidisha person-to-person microlending gift card. A $25 Zidisha gift card doesn’t cost much but the recipient can use that amount to help change the life of a loan beneficiary in Africa or Asia, and actually dialogue with the loan recipient on its impact.