Not everyone can afford pricey Christmas gifts for friends and family. Every year it seems like wish lists get longer, the number of expensive gifts rises, and the number of budget-friendly choices drop. This year, try finding ways to treat friends and loved ones to gifts that cost less. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to remember someone during the holidays.
Homemade Coupon Books
Homemade coupon books have been around for years, but find ways to turn that cheap Christmas gift into something the recipient can actually use. Offer a free trip to the mall for your niece and her friends with you paying for gas and taking care of the pick up and drop off. Give your parents coupons entitling them to the first pick of kids’ school photos or a free night’s dinner at your house. If you have older friends or family with limited mobility, offer coupons for a free driveway or sidewalk shoveling.
Making your own flavored popcorn is much less expensive than buying flavored popcorn. Those popcorn tins have more chemicals and artificial flavorings than actual popcorn. Air pop the popcorn or make it on the stovetop. Pour the popcorn into large bowls and top with different spices. Parmesan cheese tastes great on popcorn, as does a little cinnamon and sugar. Print out your own labels on the computer, giving names to each flavor. Pour the popcorn in plastic bags and glue a label on the front for a cheap handmade gift idea.
Babysitting services are expensive and families on a budget cannot always afford a sitter. Treat your family and friends to a free night of babysitting, giving the parents a night out on the town. You can even go in with a few friends and plan a day camp for smaller kids in the neighborhood or family. Plan a few arts and crafts activities or host a scavenger hunt and treat both kids and parents to a fun gift.
Thrift Store Shopping
Instead of buying expensive gifts for everyone you know, hit your local thrift stores for ideas. Thrift stores offer an abundance of cheap gifts for the whole family and people of all ages. Skip the clothing and toy sections and look at the home décor and accessories department. You cannot find great belts and jewelry from the 1970s or vintage home décor at the mall. Just make sure that anything you buy has all its original pieces and is in good condition.