Saving Money On Gifts

Saving Money On Gifts

Unique Gift Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank 

Giving a gift is a way of saying I love you and you’re special. It can be a distinctive thank you for just being you.  Whatever the reason, the act of giving is something we all enjoy even though times are tough and maybe your budget is stretched to the limit.  What can you do to make gift giving more affordable and still give with pride?  Let’s take a look at some of the ways.

Personalized homemade gifts are some of the best.  These depend somewhat on your particular talent but others can be made with just a little creativity and imagination.  Ideas could range from something you’ve sewn or knitted such as scarves or sweaters.  Handcrafted jewelry or wood art would be a special gift of your talent.

Frame a picture of your family or the recipient.  Frames aren’t that hard to make or buy an inexpensive frame and personalize it with your own handiwork by adding shells, brass corners or names.  A personalized gift with someone’s name is always appreciated.

Calendars can be made from photos taken throughout the year.  These are easy and fairly inexpensive to make online.  You make it more personal by adding special dates and names such as birthdays and anniversaries.  This is a gift that gives all year. 

Books can be real treasures for a lifetime.  Hard cover books are best but soft covers can be made special with an autograph of the author or a personal hand written note from you.  Include a bookmark with the person’s name. 

Food dishes you’ve cooked yourself are wonderful gifts.  Prepare whatever is your specialty such as jellies, breads, candies or cookies.  Make is personal with a label that says “From the Kitchen of…”  Decorate it with a colorful bow or ribbon and include the recipe. 

Plants you grow yourself can be an inexpensive yet thoughtful gift.  A small colorful plant is probably best and can be placed in a pretty container with a ribbon.  Include a note on how to care for the plant. If you don’t have a green thumb, silk flowers would be appropriate and can look almost real.

A magazine subscription keeps giving every month.  They’ll think of you each time they receive a copy and be reminded of your thoughtfulness.  Many schools sell magazine subscriptions as a fund raiser giving you an opportunity to do two good deeds.

Gifts for or from the computer are perfect these days.  Use your computer to create personalized address labels or greeting cards.  It’s easy to put names on them.  Computer software games can also be given or tutorials on various hobbies and projects. Personalized gifts given with thoughtfulness and care are for all ages and worth far more than a hurried purchase just to fulfill your obligation regardless of the cost. 

Unusual Gifts to Make and Buy 

Giving a gift is a very generous and thoughtful thing to do.  It tangibly shows the giftee that you care enough to make or purchase something with only that person in mind.  This is more difficult to do for some people than others, especially if you must be cost conscious. 

You can become tired of giving the same old expected gifts and getting the same old predictable response.  It may be time to get resourceful and begin thinking outside the gift box.  With a little creativity and maybe a little work you can come up with gifts that go beyond the ho-hum and into the realm of extraordinary.

An IOU gift certificate is practically free.  Compose a gift certificate or card that says you owe that person some sort of service.  It can be whatever you’re good at such as a home cooked meal or prepared picnic basket. 

Offer an evening of baby-sitting or one hour of house cleaning.  If you’re an artist it could be one of your sketches or a free sitting for a painting.  Even if you’re not trained, offer to give a neck or foot massage.  You may get a request for the same gift next year.

An inexpensive wall hanging corkboard can be transformed into a distinctive display board with easy artwork.  Cover the corkboard with a piece of bright fabric.  Glue appropriate decorations on it depending on the interest of the recipient such as flowers or seashells.  Add a small dry erase board and you not only have a display board but a message board.  You’re no longer just giving a drab corkboard.

Build a lattice wood photo display.  Cut the lattice, one or more pieces, to fill a suitable place on the wall then cut photos to fit in the diamond shaped holes.  Cover the pictures with clear plastic and decorate to suit the photo theme.  You can leave the lattice as is or frame it with molding.

Buying land on Venus, Mars or the moon goes into the bizarre but it’s being done.  You get a deed to your land with a map and location.  Stars are also being named for both adults and children.  A certificate is provided with the star coordinates.  Several extraterrestrial real estate companies can be found on line and in big city newspapers.

Photos of that special person offer countless ideas for unique gifting.  Place the photo on a mouse pad, a coffee cup, plate or T-shirt.  Photos can be put on almost anything so use your imagination. This can be especially appropriate for the person who works at home.

At Christmas time, give a dreaded fruitcake but with a humorous twist.  Include with the cake a barf bag, a roll of stomach tablets and a first aid kit.  This is a gift best given in person to share the laughs.  Actually, most fruitcakes aren’t bad and a first aid kit is something most of us plan to buy but don’t.

These are gifts that incline toward the bizarre but would be enjoyed and most of them probably needed. If you hand craft a gift, make sure you’re careful to make it look nice and worth giving.  Nothing says love better than a gift selected personally for someone.  And, if it borders on the unusual, rest assured it will be treasured and remembered.