Budget Friendly Gifts

  It’s almost time.  Time to get out the Christmas stockings and hang them over the fireplace, drag the Christmas tree out of storage and decorate it with care, and start making out the List, the Christmas Gift List.

But what do you do on a very limited budget?  As someone who began couponing a couple years ago, and who loves a good bargain, I’ve come up with a few ideas.

  1. Gift Basket.  Every year I collect personal hygiene and household products that I purchase with coupons and sales at our local CVS Pharmacy.  There is no limit to the kind of baskets you can put together.  You can fill a laundry basket with laundry detergent, fabric softener, and bleach.  Buy a small basket from the dollar store and fill it with oral hygiene items, like toothpaste, mouthwash, toothbrush, and dental floss.    A small gift bag can hold a bottle of moisturizing body wash and a net sponge.  For someone who loves to do her own nails, the dollar store basket can hold a nail polish, clippers, and nail file.  For a man, a razor and shaving cream.  All of these items can be purchased very reasonably by combining sale prices and coupons.  And if you shop throughout the year, there’s no big expense all at once at Christmas.
  2. Notebooks.  This is my absolute favorite gift both to give and receive.  I love the $1 notebooks from Dollar Tree that I can carry in my purse.  As a gift, these are wonderful.  Every woman can use these for journals, grocery lists, or notes.  Add an ink pen, wrap it with tissue, and put in a gift bag.
  3. A Framed Picture.  Purchase an inexpensive picture frame and place a photograph in it of someone, or something, the recipient cares about.  It might be their pet, child, spouse, or maybe even an old photograph of a wedding.  Or instead of a picture, you could write a poem specifically for the person, or a copy of one from their favorite poet.
  4. Something Handmade.  Do you knit or crochet?  Watch for some good sales on yarn and make a scarf, hat, or gloves.  Most can be made with just one skein.  Do you paint or draw?  Frame one of your artistic masterpieces.
  5. Shop at Thrift Stores.  Gently used books, knick knacks, clothing, and handbags can be purchased very cheap, and a lot of them in like new condition.  To get the best items, you have to visit often as they go fast.  
  6. Food Items.  Did you make some great jelly or preserves this summer?  Tie a ribbon around a jar of it and you have an awesome gift.  Bake some homemade rolls to go with it and they will be so grateful for your thoughtfulness and hard work making them.  Check Pinterest for cookies in a jar recipes and ideas.  Place ingredients for cookies in a quart jar, tie a ribbon and directions on it, and you’ve got the perfect gift for someone who likes to bake, and eat!  Make fudge and put in a colorful container.  Bake cookies and place in a box with a dish towel.  Make your own gift boxes by covering an old shoebox with pretty wrapping paper.
  7. Stationery.  Envelopes, notecards, and writing tablets can be purchased at the dollar store.  Put them in a dollar gift bag or a wrapped box.  If you can throw in a few stamps, they will love you forever.
  8. Kitchen Items.  There are all kinds of gadgets for the kitchen you can pick up at Dollar Tree.  Kitchen timers, can openers, cork screws, cooking utensils, and pot holders.  
  9. A Relaxing Evening.  For the book worm, a paperback and some chocolate.  For the movie buff, a DVD of one of their favorite movies and some popcorn.  For the music lover, a CD and some hot chocolate.  Remember to check at the Thrift store for the books, movies, and music.
  10. Gloves.  Warm hands in the dead of winter always make me grateful.  I love the kind you can get for a buck or two that are one size fits all in bright, happy colors.

These are just a few of my favorite gifts.  Use your creativity and knowledge of the recipient to personalize it and make it special.  You truly don’t have to spend a lot of money on a gift to let that person know they were thought of and that you care.

What are some of your favorite budget friendly gifts?

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These are the ramblings of a woman determined to prove there is life after 50 for women who are unmarried, divorced, or widowed, and choose to live alone. This is my journey through life. It is filled with memories, dreams, hopes, disappointments, failures, and faith. Walk with me as I explore each day with questions and observations, remembrances and thoughts, all in a jot.