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A great gift will honor the interests and character of the person who is receiving the gift. Here is a long list of frugal, yet meaningful gift ideas and resources ...
The clock seems to be ticking faster as the holidays are here. Perhaps the hardest part of the season (at least for me) is finding gifts that express my love and appreciation as well as recognizing a special quality or interest of the person that is receiving the gift. (Translate: a gift that will be appreciated and won't go straight to the return counter.)
It becomes even harder to find gifts in a reasonable price range. One big danger at this time of the year is to overspend. We might overspend because we can't think of a good gift and we hope that the sheer cost of the present will compensate. Or we might splurge on a gift that is out of our affordable price range, simply because we are out of ideas.
Here are some ideas and resources that may help on your search for an inexpensive, yet meaningful gift.
The Fat Dollar lists ideas and resources for Inexpensive Gift Ideas
Some of the ideas from The Fat Dollar: Make a CD or MP3 recording of a love letter, special memory, the grandkids singing, etc. Links for free recording programs, like Audacity, are included.
Also included are several gift basket ideas, using an iron-on transfer to make a unique gift, hosting a party and letting the guest take their glass home, and more.
About.Com has a mega-list of Home-Made Gifts.
This is a must-bookmark article that has well over 100 links to articles and instructions for homemade gifts. Yes, there is the traditional soap-on-a-rope, but there are also links to making a message in a bottle, gifts in a jar, gifts for the pet, candy kiss rosebuds, and many many more.
About.com also has an article 100 Home-Made Gift Ideas which also includes a helpful image of the item on the list. This can save you the time of clicking on a description of the gift idea only to find that it would simply look ... well, homemade and a little hideous.
Better Budgeting has 63 Gifts Under 10 Dollars
Budget 101 has an fabulous list of Gift Ideas by Category - this does include bridal shower gifts and other holiday gifts, but there are some great ideas for gifts by occupation (mechanics, mailmen, etc.). They even have a great list of gag gifts. Click on the gag gift ideas just to take a laugh break and leave behind a bit of the gift choosing stress.
Morsbags.com has instructions for making a reusable shopping bag from an old bedsheet or curtain. (Well of course you could use new fabric, too.)
For gifts from the kitchen, try freezing several casseroles for a busy friend or a bachelor, making jars of jam, a plate of cookies, a loaf of pumpkin bread, muffins or cookies-in-a-jar, coffee or cocoa assortments, a jar of granola, or homemade candy. Try allrecipes.com for good recipe ideas.
Scrapbook-Crazy has an extensive list with photos of ideas for mini-scrapbooks in their Mini Album Gallery
Zen Habits lists 30 Frugal Gifts Ideas to Show You Appreciate Someone. One idea I saw here that I liked was a spice gift basket for the baker or cook in your life.
MyDollarPlan has 37 Homemade Frugal Gift Ideas Under $20. One that made me smile was book covers for embarrassing books, like a romance novel with a steamy front cover.
Cut Out + Keep has beautifully illustrated, detailed instructions on making a Tsumami Kanzashi Flower for decorating. You can even try making one as a hair accessory.
Favecrafts has good instructions on How to Make Hair Accessories: 16 Free Patterns
GetRichSlowly has a good list of 34 Great Homemade Gifts You Can Make . Ohh.... the first one is homemade truffles ... put me on that list. He has another good one ... a secret hollow book for storing treasures. This is an excellent list of unique, yet very well targeted gift ideas.
Happy Holidays! Remember that this is the season of joy, peace and love. Overspending or going on a frantic shopping trip should not be part of the holiday traditions. Savor the music, the get-togethers, the parties, the decorations ... and of course, the cookies.
Article by Patti Tokar, Simple Life Corp
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