Gift-Giving Simplified and Easy on the Wallet

As the holidays approach, are you concerned about keeping spending on gift giving in line with your other financial responsibilities? As this is a time when many people may be facing the same concern, it’s a good time to rethink your holiday gift purchasing habits. Here are ten ideas for gift giving that celebrates the season and is also easy on the wallet.

1.  Food – Consumable items are very popular at the holidays. The recipients may enjoy the product themselves or share it with others when entertaining. Consider special breads, beverages, regional favorites and gourmet coffees and teas.

IndoorPlantPic2.  Go green. Find locally grown plants, flowers and dried wreaths. Another option might be to purchase colorful washable napkins, placemats, dishcloths, reusable bags and lunch bags with individual containers for sandwiches and snacks.

3.  Set limits. This could be a dollar amount per gift, completing your shopping in only one or two trips, shopping for gifts locally, purchasing one gift per family, limiting your purchasing to sources in your own community.

4. Made by you. Share by making your own food specialty, handcrafting an item, providing a framed photo or holiday ornament.

5. Hobby-related gift or gift certificates – Consider the recipient’s hobbies and interests. Are there gardeners, chefs, woodworkers, knitters, readers and gamers on your list? Gift accordingly by providing them with the tools or materials to do what they enjoy.

6. Agree on a gift challenge. Discuss this idea well in advance of the holidays with those whom you regularly exchange gifts, but make it fun. You might suggest handmade items only, gifts under $5, one gift for a whole family, consignment or thrift store finds only or pick a theme such as useful or consumable items only.

7. Purchase the same type of gift for everyone—it could be a nice pen, a journal, stationery and stamps, board games, puzzles, books or flashlights and batteries.

8. Recipe Book – You could make up a recipe book with family favorites or provide a blank recipe book for the great cooks in your life.

9. Coupons for your services – Offer your time and abilities. You can create coupons related to your skills. Perhaps it is cooking a favorite meal, snow shoveling, home repair or an oil change, mending, guitar lessons and so on.

10. Create a special memory. Look in newspapers or online for special events this holiday that are free or low cost. Instead of purchasing gifts, make a date with your family and friends to enjoy an event together and get together for desserts and coffee.

Enjoy your holidays!