Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Holidays: Good gifts for them.

Welcome to part 2 in the epic debt holiday tip list. So we've explored good gift ideas for you and yours, however much you'd prefer iPhones and Coach purses, you must admit the ideas were fitting.

But now it gets easier. I've found that it's a whole world of difference getting someone something cheap and asking for someone to buy you a cheap gift.

No matter how poor you are, holiday shopping is occasionally required. Whether it's to obtain access to a Yankee swap wherein free food is served, or to please your significant other come holiday morning. The whole world can't stop simply because Discover is having a happy holiday with your paycheck. And happy they are.

By no means is this a complete list to shopping cheaply. Have a couple of additions? Post in the comments! I'll link back to your blog in my next post!

  • Put more thought into gifts: A cheap thoughtful gift is often worth more than an expensive thoughtless one. Now that you're poor you need to consider the person you're shopping for a bit more now. You'll appreciate it come your bank statement and they'll appreciate it come their witness.

  • Book Gift Sets: For the recipient that likes to bake/cook frequent library book sales, discount department stores (Building #19, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, et cetera) and try to pick up a discontinued cookbook. That in itself is a little spotty, so dress it up a little. How? Well, if the subject of the book deals with cooking with chocolate, buy a bag of baking chocolate. If the subject of the book deals with soups and stews, buy a dollar store ladle and skimmer.

    The same is true with most other interests. Do they enjoy dogs? You can probably find a cheap dog training book and a cheap, good looking collar if you look hard enough.

    Pairing the gift with the person's personality, plus multiple small and themed gifts will often result in delighted surprise.

  • Bake cookies: Are you decent behind the stove? No? Is your significant other? Okay, that works too.

    Holiday themed cookie tins, ribbon and cookie essentials are cheap. So a couple of days before the big day, bake up a batch of their favorite cookies. Whether it's oatmeal raisin, peanut butter or chocolate chip everyone has a favorite cookie. Trust me on this one. And the best part of it all? The materials you do need pretty much come straight from your food budget, if you need any at all. For an extra level of flair make them memorable by making them enormous.

    Most kitchens have flour, sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder and a rolling pin. So what's keeping you?

    Do they like brownies more? Essentially the same stuff, get to cooking!

  • Candy Jar: Whether you already have the supplies at home (ideal), or if you need to go out to a craft store, this idea is still easy and cheap. Buy assorted, individually wrapped candies of a variety the recipient will like. Good ideas include peppermints, kissies, caramels and bubble gum.

    Now make a decorative jar, wrap it up and wham.

  • Planting kit: Have someone who has a green thumb? Build them a planting kit, something they'll be able to use come the warmer months. You can buy seed packages at Home Depot for $0.50 a piece, small terra cotta planters for $1.50 a piece, and you can likely find some cheap gardening supplies at your local dollar stores. Try a spade or a small watering can.

    Want to add a little extra, personal flair? Craft stores such as Michael's sell small sets of paints and wooden accessories. Paint the terra cotta planters and make a couple of small planter signs saying such things as "Basil" and "Man Eating Patuna."

  • Themed Gift Basket: So you know the person you're shopping for pretty well? Make a gift basket for them. Reuse an old basket you have sitting around the house or purchase one cheaply at a dollar store. Now fill it with discount bin and dollar store items the person will like.

    Ideas can include soaps, lotions and bath salts or hot cocoa packets, marshmallows and peppermint candies.
These are of course the tip of the iceberg. But with a little thoughtfulness and a couple of bucks in spare change, you can survive the holiday season without coming off as a total cheapskate.


WorksForMom said...

I just love this post and couldn't agree more. I always appreciate the thoughtful gift most (no matter what the cost).

And good ideas I might add!


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