Christmas Gifts On A Budget

Make, buy or barter your way to a thrifty holiday season.

Homemade coupons

Give the gift of your time with some creative coupons that your friend or relative can “cash in” later. For kids to give to parents or grandparents:
One car wash, One hour of weeding in the garden, One afternoon organizing old photographs
For parents to give to kids:
One afternoon at the beach, One trip to the museum, One hour of board games
For adults to give to each other:
One backrub, One homemade dinner of your choice, One game of tennis
Cheap, Cool T-shirts
New printing technology and innovative T-shirt retailers combine to provide inexpensive, individualized tees for every niche imaginable.

Use kids’ artwork

Grandparents, uncles and aunts can’t get enough of charming gifts from children’s artwork. FamilyFun magazine has a wonderful selection of ideas. Creating a personalized notepad featuring a child’s drawing on every page is an easy and inexpensive gift that brings pleasure to the recipient throughout the year.

Scour thrift stores for books and small toys

Get gently used books for pennies on the dollar at thrift stores, garage sales and public libraries. Nothing beats watching the look of delight on a child’s face as they open a box teeming with new stories for her to read.

Likewise, stuff a container with knick knacks and small toys gathered throughout the year and wrap it in a festive paper. Don’t be surprised if the cheap plastic playthings gets more attention than the new Xbox.

Buy ornaments in January for next year’s gifts

Christmas ornaments are the perfect gifts for your PTA buddies or kids’ teachers. Wait until after the holidays and find them at least half off their original price. Don’t forget where you stashed them when next Christmas comes around!

Make sane sale purchases
Try to resist buying an item to give in the future just because it’s on sale. You may never find the perfect mate for that Spongebob tie.

Inexpensive art

The Internet offers great suppliers of affordable wall art for the new homeowner or college student.