Whether it's a special occasion or "just because," gifts are a pleasure to give and receive. What's more, you don't have to spend big bucks to give a present that the recipient will love. With these tips and a little thought and effort, you can give great gifts that are also budget-friendly.
- Give homemade baked goods or handcrafted or sewn items you've made yourself. Look for ideas online.
- Give of yourself. "Coupons" for services such as babysitting, cooking or yard care are unexpected, thoughtful and always welcome (just make sure the recipient actually redeems them!).
- Shop for next year's gift-wrap and holiday cards after the December holidays are over.
- When shopping for gifts of any kind, be sure to do so only if items are on sale or discounted.
- There's no shame in regifting an item you don't care for or won't use as long as you honestly believe the new recipient will like or use it.
- Everyday discount stores are great places to find both fun and practical gifts for both kids and adults, at rock-bottom prices.
- Gift wrap and ribbon can get expensive. Save and reuse gift bags and bows if they're in good condition. Look online for all kinds of inexpensive alternatives to store-bought wrapping paper and bows. If you're really into presentation and love fancy ribbon, buy it at a craft store instead of a card shop.
- Sometimes it's less expensive and more convenient to go in on a pricier gift with a group of friends or relatives. The more people you can find to chip in, the less each of you pays, while the recipient still gets an impressive gift.
- Go online! Not only will you find a limitless range of gift ideas, but you can save a bundle on auction or discount websites and often get free shipping. Just in case you do have to pay for shipping, shop far enough in advance of the gift-giving occasion that you receive the gift on time without paying extra for expedited shipping.