Christmas is nearing, but the bank balance is running low. These days, that seems to be the situation for many people, but budget gift-giving doesn’t have to appear cheap. Instead, give unique Christmas or birthday presents to family members or friends that show time and effort, which is more valuable than any amount of money spent. These gift ideas are not only unique and creative but cost under $15.00.
Inexpensive Personalized Gifts
With online photo services, creating affordable personalized gifts are simple. Calendars can be created on Shutterfly or Snapfish, and coupon codes are often available on the site. Many online retailers will give discounts for numerous calendars purchased, even if they are designed differently for each recipient. Personalize the calendar with photos, and add birthdays of the family members. This idea is a huge hit with any family member, from parents to grandparents to children.
Other personalized gifts are easy to create and very inexpensive. Mugs, ties, playing cards, coasters, and ornaments are all under $15.00 and a snap to create. For those with a few more dollars to spend, tote bags and even individualized books featuring Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob are easy to create and fun to give.
Budget Handmade Gifts
Making a handmade gift does not always require a skill. If someone can knit or crochet, then scarves and hats are wonderful homemade gifts. Those with woodworking skills can create little games or Christmas statues to give.
For those who are less handy, but want to give a handmade gift, consider a personalized journal. These can be purchased at a department store or even a dollar store. In the journal, write memory at the top of each page. Leave room for the recipient to fill in their favorite memories, as well. The journal can stay personal, or they can be passed around at the next holiday gathering.
Coupon books are a big hit for those on a budget. Include offers for running errands, babysitting, chores, or a trip to the movies. For children, include a free pass to skip a chore, or have extra computer or television time for the day.
Packaging Affordable Presents
Creating a gift package is cheap and often inexpensive. A few packs of movie-style popcorn, movie-theatre candy and a couple of inexpensive DVD’s wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon is a nice gift that can cost under $15.00. Department stores like Wal-Mart or Target usually have a basket with affordable movies or movie sets that can save money.
Consider a gift certificate to a local movie store or a subscription to Netflix, which allows the receiver to choose their own movie selections and return them when they are ready. A one-month gift subscription may not cost too much.
Consider packaging nice cheeses with a pack of unique crackers. This can be done in any size to fit any budget. Lotions, soaps and bubble baths can be wrapped in cellophane as well. For the teenager, consider a nice inexpensive starter make-up kit that can be purchased from Ulta or Sephora and a coupon for a free make-up lesson.
Giving Unique Presents on a Budget
Gift-giving does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. Personalized gifts are affordable and easy to create. For those with a skill, create unique a gift unlike any other. Handmade gifts can easily be created as well with a bit of time and effort. For a less personalized but still creative approach, creating a gift package is simple and fun. Don’t let Christmas or birthdays put a damper on finances. With these gift ideas, anyone will be the hit of the season.
How to Save Money on Christmas Gifts
With the economy in its current state, you’re better to be safe than sorry by saving money during this holiday. That being said, here are a few ways to keep your wallet full as you spend time with your loved ones.
Gift Wrap Doesn’t Need to be Expensive
First off, visit your local dollar store — you’ll find lots of low-cost yet attractive paper, scissors, tape, ribbon and bags. However, do sift through your weekend newspaper flyers. You could find these items available in bulk at a low price, too.
Secret Santa for Better Bonding
If you have a large family, opt for a secret Santa evening. Better yet, have each person bring one gift under $10 and place it in a box. Each family member can choose an item from the box as their present. And if you’re up for it, have a trade-off: Let individuals trade gifts that would be more suited for their needs or interests. You’ll get a good laugh and catch up with your aunts and uncles.
Use Your Computer
Make use of your home technology and create a personal calendar for your loved one. Using a program like Microsoft Publisher, add digital photos onto a template or scan photos of a friend or family member when he or she was a child. You’ll provide a full year of entertainment at a low-cost.
Overall, giving gifts at Christmas time doesn’t have to be costly. Save money by purchasing materials or small gifts at discounted prices and be creative — make gift tags or calendars in your own home. Remember, it’s the thought that counts during the holidays. The best gift of all is telling your mom, dad, sibling or relative that you’re thinking about them.