Friday, November 6, 2009

Money Saving Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Everyone appreciates tips on saving money for the holidays. With the economy still uncertain and holiday spending expected to be low again this year, I will be using these money saving ideas for unique holiday gifts.

1. Create your holiday gift list and decide how much you can afford to spend on each person. Stick to your budget and shop for a couple unique holiday gifts each pay day.

2. Gather your friends and relatives together and share money saving ideas like putting everybody’s name into a hat and each drawing a name. Our 4 children and their spouses did this last year and it worked out great. This way everyone gets a great holiday gift and you don’t have to buy for everyone on the list.

3. Agree among friends and relatives that sharing the holiday spirit is more important than spending money on gifts. Host a holiday gathering where everyone brings a festive dish instead and share a holiday meal together.

4. If there are children or grandchildren in the family, agree to focus the gift giving on them to create a special holiday for them. After all, do you really need a new tie or box of candy?

5. If you are shopping, shop early for great gift ideas. Stores will be offering sales earlier than ever this year to get everyone in the holiday gift giving spirit.

6. Start early and make your own handmade gift for those on your list. Get into creative gifts – make a little gift basket with home baked holiday goodies, bake cookies for the mail man or woman. Last year, my youngest daughter and I went through old family photos and made copies, creating a photo album for each my other daughters so everybody had their own copies of treasured memories. We spent a good hour on Christmas Eve laughing and talking about happy memories from their childhoods. Handmade gifts don’t have to be expensive and everyone appreciates the time you took to create their special gift. This year, I took up knitting, so everybody is getting a scarf and hat.

Gift Ideas from Your Kitchen

7. Give the unique gift of time – Offer to babysit for your grandchildren or cook dinner for a friend or neighbor, shovel snow for an older person on your gift list or take a friend to a movie. You could probably find free events too like a Christmas parade to take someone to as a creative gift idea.

8. Great gift ideas keep on giving – give the gift of a magazine subscription. If you know a woodworker, get a woodworking magazine. If your mom is into health, there are lots of great health magazines out there to give as a thoughtful gift. You can get lots of great magazines at discount these days. Many times, you can get a buy one get one free for a friend type deals too.

9. If you didn’t start early this year, do it for next year. The after Christmas sales are a great place to buy inexpensive, unique holiday gifts for next year!

10. Remember unique holiday gifts don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes the cheapest holiday gift can be the most memorable. When I was a child – way back in the 50’s – we each got one gift we really wanted and one new outfit. We spent hours pouring over the Sears catalog choosing a special, unique gift. That one gift was more special to us, I’d wager, than the piles of presents many kids get all at once today.

11. Make your holiday an old-fashioned holiday about love and family togetherness. You may this year is one of your most treasured holiday memories and the most unique gift of all.

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