by Tracy Achen
Are you looking for some affordable gift ideas that won't send you to the poor house?
Below you will find lots of inspiration to help you give memorable gifts that are budget-friendly. While some of these ideas will take a little effort to assemble or make, they are sure to be appreciated for the personal attention and thought put into them. You can search through various YouTube videos for more instruction on how to make a lot of the items below.
Homemade jams or jellies - This is a great idea if you have fruit trees or an affordable source for fruits.
Homemade baked goods - Who doesn't love homemade cookies, cakes, pies, or cheesecake?
Bagged Chex mixes you can make at home - Check on the back of the box or online for recipes.
Homemade candies -Make up a batch of truffles, peanut brittle, chocolate covered peanuts or pretzels to package up for your good friends.
Homemade fudge - Find a no-fail recipe and mix up a big batch. Cut into small squares and package in a pretty box or tin.
Homemade breads - There are a variety of breads you can make, such as yeast bread, banana, cranberry, nut, zucchini, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Oven mitt present - Take a new oven mitt and place a wooden spoon and a bag of store-bought cookie mix inside, then tie with a bow for a quick gift.
Muffin tin present - For a similar idea, take a new muffin tin and place a box of muffin mix and some muffin cups on top, then tie them together with a pretty ribbon and bow.
Cookie or cake mixes in a jar are appreciated by most everyone and you can look for various recipes at Cooks.com
Recipe booklets - If you're a great cook, consider putting together a short booklet of your favorite recipes and running off copies to give to friends and family.
Gift baskets make great gifts because you can personalize it for the person you are giving it to. To get started, find affordable baskets at your local craft or dollar store. Also be sure to pick up crinkle paper or tissue paper, colored cellophane wrap or bags, and assorted ribbons for tying.
When you get everything together, place some crinkle or tissue paper in the bottom to give some lift and stability to arrange the items around. Place your items in the basket in a pleasing arrangement and fill in with tissue paper if needed. Finally, wrap with your cellophane and tie up with your ribbon (check out this YouTube video on how to assemble a gift basket). Now here are some different themed gift ideas to help you get started:
Shop rat - orange hand cleaner, shop towels, W-D 40, electrical tape, magnetic tray, etc.
Car buff - wash bucket, wash mitt, bug scrubber, chamois, wax
Angler - bug repellent, fishing line, hooks, pliers, net, lures and bait
Outdoorsman - heavy socks, gloves, flashlight, compass, fire starter, rain clicker
Athlete -team jersey, favorite sports or fitness magazine, workout gear, gym membership, and sports equipment
You can check with your local library or craft store for books with gift ideas and instructions.
These are great gift ideas for out-of-town friends and relatives because shipping only costs the price of a stamp. They are also a good idea for older people, as they really don't need any more knick-knacks and can always use a gift card.
To their favorite restaurant
To their favorite store
Oil Change Services
Beauty salon or barber shop
Office supply store - great for teachers
When you're really short of extra money, you can always give the gift of your time. Here are some ideas to consider:
Hopefully this list of gift ideas has given you some inspiration to help make your gift-giving a little more affordable. Below are more ideas on saving money not only during the holidays, but throughout the year as well: