Holiday Gift Guide for A Strict Budget

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

If you are struggling with your finances, then you already know how stressful the holidays can be, so I'm not going to remind you.  But, I AM going to give you some suggestions on super budget friendly options for gifts for your family and friends.  There are plenty of options so seriously consider one of these instead of going into debt just to buy stuff for someone else. 

Make Something

This is very vague but can work in so many ways, especially if you're a crafty person and you have lots of supplies on hand already.   Handmade gifts are always extra special, regardless of cost, because you put your time, energy, and intention into it.  The first thing to do is find stuff you either don't want anymore or that you have excess of.  Do you have lots of empty jars, vases you never use, pieces of decor you don't really care for?  Good.  

Now think of how to decorate and design something new out of it.  If you have an empty jar, you can paint it and make it a gratitude jar, where you put in a piece of paper with something good written on it every time you experience something good. Then at the end of the year you read over all the great things that happened to you no matter how big or how small. 

For vases, you can paint them, or make a new flower arrangement in them.  Some people make faux arrangements, and some use dried flowers and grasses and place them inside after filling the vase with colorful sand.  

Offer A Service
Whether it's something you do for a living or just something you're good at, if the gift recipient knows that about you, it makes this gift even more valuable.  If you give massages, offer them a free massage by you.  If you have experience with hair and nails, offer them a handmade certificate or coupon to get a free makeover by you.  If you're good at organizing and cleaning offer a free home cleaning or a wardrobe organizing session.  There are so many things you can offer, just be creative and think of which of their needs you could offer to meet for free. Then get cute and creative with the method of delivery for the coupon or voucher. 

Spending Time
This one can do double duty and not just save money but also meet a regular need you have.  Offer to take someone to dinner on you.  You need to eat anyways so you'll be eating dinner and giving a gift.  You can also get tickets or a pass to an event that you want to go to anyways.  While you're still spending money it's on something that will create a memory rather than an object. 

If you like cooking and baking, this is a great idea for you.  A tin of fresh baked cookies is ALWAYS appreciated and usually doesn't break the bank.  Often times, baking from scratch saves money since you already have the ingredients on hand.  This is a great gift idea for any time of year, and it's also great when the recipient loves a certain kind of food.  

Stuff You Already Have
So say you have a ton of books (you should really get them from the library for free though!), why not gift ones that you've already read that are in near perfect shape? This is also great for anything you have that's unused, like a scarf with a tag on it, some random craft kit, a kitchen appliance you've never unboxed and used, and even jewelry.  If you've never worn it or used it, and it's basically brand new, package it up all pretty and give it away! 

When it comes to saving money on gifts, you have to be creative and think outside the box.  Think of what each of your recipients is into, then jot down some ideas and then see what you already have in your possession to make it happen. 

What creative ideas to you have for gift giving? 


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  1. I love baking cookies as gifts.

  2. All great ideas, Ellen! I did make some foodie items this year for some folks....what better than something I spent hours and hours creating in the kitchen?


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