Thoughtful Holiday Gifts on a Budget

By Purex | Dec. 2, 2013 | Family Life

When you can’t afford to give an expensive gift to everyone on your holiday list, think frugal. There’s nothing wrong with making a gift, re-purposing something in your home, or buying items at secondhand shops. It’s the thought that counts, and you can save money this year when you consider these six thoughtful yet frugal gift ideas.
 
Homemade Goodies
Maybe your mocha chunk brownies or beef stroganoff have elevated you to legendary chef status among your friends. Capitalize on your talent and give your homemade goodies as gifts this holiday. Almost everyone appreciates food, and you have the satisfaction of making and sharing your culinary genius with the ones you love.
 
What if your expertise lies outside the kitchen? Use pieces from your children’s baby blankets to sew quilts for them. Handcraft a rocking chair for the expectant family next door. Design photo memory books for your parents. Make flavored lip gloss and body scrub as a spa gift for the women on your list. Your creative abilities enable you to give affordable and practical gifts to everyone this holiday.
 
Heirlooms
Grandma’s china cupboard or Uncle Ernie’s train set may be gathering dust in your basement or a storage unit somewhere. Why not put them to good use and give them to a cousin, niece or nephew who will appreciate them. Heirlooms like jewelry, glassware and quilts also make great gifts and cost nothing to give.
 
Framed Photos
You know those family photos stored on your cellphone or digital camera? Put them to good use this holiday when you print your favorite one on your home computer or order inexpensive prints from an online service like Snapfish. Find affordable frames at your local secondhand shop or assemble inexpensive kits on sale from the craft store. Your kids will have fun painting or staining the frames, and Grandma and Grandpa will love seeing their grandkids on the mantel or wall every day.
 
Handwritten Letters
Tell your loved ones how much you love and appreciate them this holiday when you write them a handwritten letter. Share with Grandpa your memories of working on the farm and how much you admire his physical and mental strength. Praise Aunt Betty for teaching you how to bake bread and sew. Thank a high school or college teacher for challenging you to pursue your current career path. Tell your kids what you love and appreciate about them. Whether you write on fancy stationary, make your own paper, or use a greeting card, the recipients of your handwritten letters will appreciate your sentiments and cherish them for years to come.
 
Home Repair IOUs
Every homeowner faces numerous home repairs and projects throughout the year. Give your parents, siblings or neighbors coupons for home repairs. Maybe you can repaint the spare room, insert window air conditioning units, mow the lawn every week or replace stair railings. In addition to meeting a need for the IOU recipients, involve your children in helping as your frugal gifts of service teach your kids to meet needs they see.
 
Babysitting Services
Share your childcare expertise with other parents this holiday and throughout the new year. With monthly coupons for babysitting services, you could give parents a break to go on a date or just enjoy the peace and quiet. Plus, when you plan special activities for the kids like baking cookies, finger painting and building backyard forts, both the kids you babysit and your children can anticipate the fun.
 
Giving thoughtful holiday gifts on a budget allows you to exercise your creativity and help others in practical ways. Whether you make gifts or buy them at bargain prices.