The holidays are coming up fast as they always seem to do. Buying gifts for family, friends, loved ones, and coworkers is always a substantial hit to the wallet – but it doesn’t have to be. The following are some inexpensive gift ideas that won’t have the receiver asking, “Wait, is this from a gas station?” Plus, a few ideas for saving money to start.
Plan ahead and buy your gifts over the several weeks or even months prior to December. If you spread out the costs, they’ll be much easier to handle. When people tell you about things they’re interested in throughout the year, or you see something in the spring or summer that would make a perfect gift: don’t wait. Especially if it’s on sale!
Handcrafted items use more time than money, which is often appreciated more, as well. Plus, these gifts are unique and filled with love and attention.
If you’re strapped for cash, consider selling unwanted or unused jewellery, old watches, coins, antiques, or other items containing precious stones and valuable metals like real gold, silver, or platinum at a reliable establishment like Pinto Cash for Gold who prides themselves on customer service and fetching fair and current market prices. You’re not using those things anymore, so why not benefit from them in another way?
Consider a night or afternoon out as your gift, and take the time to visit and make those memories the special part of your present. Go for coffee or tea, grab a pitcher at your favourite pub, bundle up and take a hike at a conservation area and bring a thermos of hot chocolate, attend a class together at a local community center or college (sometimes you can even find ones for free run by volunteers).
Clothes, make-up and skincare, pampering products, and electronics are all way too expensive. But cute gifts for the home are often more affordable and not something people always buy for themselves. Check out various thrift stores that sometimes have incredible finds or peruse a place like Winners or HomeSense regularly to catch rare deals. Look for items like:
• vases or unique planters and pick up an inexpensive house plant from the corner store
• cutting boards found in grocery stores are cheap and look great, plus they frequently need replacing for safety purposes, so they’re always needed
• funny mugs and a French press coffeemaker
• clever doormats for outdoors or indoors
• candle holders and colourful tea lights
• a full set of silicone baking tools from the dollar store
• wool, patterns, and new needles for your favourite knitter
• a variety of speciality k-cups for someone who already owns a single-use coffeemaker
Try some of these ideas on the DIY side:
• make your own soap and handmade labels (this one takes a bit of planning because of the time needed for the soap to set)
• find patterns for funny cross-stitches to make together or design your own with an inside joke
• fashion a winter wreath from faux or real plants
• fill a mason jar with your friend’s favourite candy
• buy inexpensive vodka and flavour it to make it unique (and taste better!)
• dye basic tote bags (or any other basic cloth item) in their favourite shade
• make special jams or pickled veggies (anything that takes time like this will be loved!)
• homemade notebooks and pens for your writer pal
Scour the internet for patterns and designs you can download for free. Bake your mom’s favourite dessert square or your dad’s favourite cookies. Search Etsy for pre-made crafts that are adorable and unique. It will certainly take a bit of time to find a seller that doesn’t overprice, but when you’ve found them, it’s worth it!
Remember that the thought and time you put into the gift is more important than what you paid!