VERY cheap (but still valuable) Christmas presents???

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

When money is tight, I buy baskets and fill them up with small things that we know the gift receiver would like. The can be little things from the dollar store, but as long as they are thought out, you know they will love them. I like to have a theme for most people. A personal care basket for those who are into looking nice,  movie and popcorn theme for the movie goers. A book and tea theme for my avid reader friends. I personally love receiving gifts like this.

Post # 3
271 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Antique Rose Emporium

My favorite kind of gifts are more like “experiences” that allow us to spend quality time together, rather than material things.

For my birthday, my FI took me to Painting With a Twist and we shared my favorite wine while painting our two dogs. One of the dogs ended up passing unexpectedly a few months later and I’m so glad I have that painting of her. It was a great time and it cost about $40.

Can you knit, sew, paint, craft etc? I love receiving handmade gifts.


Post # 4
2555 posts
Sugar bee

Who doesn’t like a nice box of chocolates or some pretty scented soap?

Post # 6
1045 posts
Bumble bee

We live far away from family, so sometimes when we’re not sure what to get individuals we’ll put in for a larger gift card amount for the whole family to Red Robin, or Olive Garden. 

Post # 7
406 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I will second the gift basket idea. Before SO went to police academy, I made an “Academy Survival Kit.” I found an old shoebox and stocked it with things like shoe polish, extra pens, burnt CDs with audiobooks for those evenings in the dorm with nothing to do, a paperback of The Hunger Games, and some other funny random things. I also had a personalized note/checklist explaining the gift. He absolutely loved it and appreciated how much thought I put into it, and it wasn’t expensive to make. I found most of the items at Wal-Mart for dirt cheap.

My Mom makes gift baskets of baked goods for each family unit (spouses plus children) now because there’s so many little kids that it breaks the bank to buy something for each of them. We make the family recipes for apple cakes and cookies, add some yummy chocolates and hot cocoa, and finish it off with pretty plastic wrap and ribbon. All it costs is the ingredients for baking and some kind of basket or gift box.

At the end of the day, I put more stock into the thought behind the gift than how much money is spent. I’m used to buying on tight budgets after college, grad school, and my first year in business for myself, so this year will be no different. Hope this helps!

Post # 8
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I don’t think it’s an overkill, as long as your not giving them the same thing every year. I have a tradition with my sister to give her movies, so she’s the only one who gets the same thing from me every year, but I make sure that the gifts that go with the movie are different each year.

Post # 9
2394 posts
Buzzing bee

When I was dating DH, I was broke, and I needed a cheap but cute Valentines gift idea. Someone suggested a great idea and it’s been awhile, so I don’t remember all the details but it went something like this:

Get a big mason type jar from Target or the dollar store, and fill it up with his favorite candy or cookies. I used various chocolates like Hershey’s Kisses and peanut butter cups.

Then print a cute label for the jar that says “Reasons Why I Love You” and stick it on the front of the jar. I used scrapbook supplies and stick-on letters and hearts.

Then you make cute litte fortune cookie type paper messages to slip into the jar, mixed in with all the candy.

As I recall I came up with 20 or 30 reasons… things like, “You always hold my hand when we walk places,” “You give great hugs,” “You’re so smart,” … etc. etc. 

It took some time to put it all together but he loved it and I could tell he was touched by the effort I put into it.

Also… there is a website called the Dating Divas and they have tons of ideas for this sort of thing and for inexpensive but creative date nights. I am on their email list and they are always sending freebie printables that you can give to your SO or hubby, for example slip a doughnut into his lunch bag with a printable love note that says, “Donut you know how much I love you?”

I’ll post the link if I can find it.

Good luck!

Post # 10
610 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I am in the same boat as you are OP! This year, I just don’t have the money for expensive gifts. I’ve been trying to put away small things throughout the year, like unique local items as I think PPs mentioned but I could use the advice too! 

Not to get off track, (I hope you don’t mind OP) but to those giving advice, do you have any advice for giving these smaller gifts at a large family gift exchange without it being uncomfortable? My family exchanges gifts all at once, and while my parents are reasonable gift givers, my brother and SIL go WAY over board, do I need to make a disclaimer like, “Oh, and I’m sorry money is so tight this year.”…?

Post # 14
6 posts

We did boxes od homemade stuff last year.  Homemade bacon, wine and canned fruit.  I didn’t price it out, we did it more as anti-consumerism than low cost.  Everyone seemed to like it, I think we may do it again.  We “personalized” some of them with cigars, etc.


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