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These budget-friendly gift ideas won’t cost a fortune but will still spread the holiday cheer.
When you are looking at your list of gifts to buy, consider shopping used. Scan through your local online listings via VarageSale, Facebook Marketplace, or whatever digital selling platform you use. You can get great deals on toys, games, even clothes – saving money, and I like to think of helping someone else’s side-hustle at the same time.
We did this this year, and snagged a new Xbox game for our son and saved ourselves hundreds of dollars.
“But it won’t come in new packaging!!!”
Yah, a bit of creativity and you can repackage and wrap it up – no problem!
Scan your bookshelf – is there a great read on there that someone on your list might enjoy? Do you have a beautiful purse collecting dust on a closet shelf that you know your sister-in-law would love? You can even shop your own side-hustle ‘to sell’ pile. What games or toys or clothes were you planning on selling that you might be able to regift? It saves money, and honestly, it reduces the consumerism of the season too.
Do a little baking
Yes, it isn’t free to bake up ten batches of nana’s coveted gingersnap cookie recipe. But the cost of ingredients is way less than the price of gifts for the 20 people you can give the cookies to.
Grab some small holiday tins from the dollar store and spend an afternoon in the kitchen. You’ll have gifts for the neighbours and your office done in no time!
Give the gift of time
We used to exchange gifts with some of our friends – and holy is that ever stressful! Gift-giving is not my love language, and I don’t like spending my money on things people don’t want or need, so the stress it causes me is plentiful.
A few years ago we came up with a new plan – instead of exchanging gifts, we agreed to make dinner together, have some drinks and play some games, and enjoy each other’s company. Saves money on gifts that will collect dust in a closet somewhere, is way less stressful for me, AND we get a fun night with friends. It’s a win across the board.
We also like to host a holiday dinner on parade night. The Christmas parade is free to attend, and we like to invite friends over in the afternoon. We make a massive pot of spaghetti, serve Christmas baking for dessert and pour Baileys into our coffee when we head over to the parade. Magical memories, no gifts required, budget-friendly!
One of my favourite gifts recently is a journal that my sweet friend made for me. It’s a 99cent notebook that she used her crafty skills to create a beautiful cover and thoughtful details inside. She could have spent $30 on a fancy journal, but it wouldn’t even come close to being as perfect as the one she made by hand.
Do you sew? Or knit? Search up some simple gifts that tap into your skills.
If you aren’t crafty, think about what you are good at. Are you known for your awesome seven-layer dip? Make a batch and gift it with the recipe printed nicely. Or make a mixed tape…errr….spotify playlist? Take a cutting of a plant and repot it. Frame a picture of you together. Write a heartfelt letter about how much they mean to you.
A little bit of creativity can save BIG money in the gift department!
Use your reward points
I’ve never successfully saved enough Airmiles to take a trip. But I sure have shopped the catalogue to get ‘free’ gifts. Trade-in your points for gift cards or find the perfect item to check off your list. Swagbucks is another awesome place to earn free gift cards – get started now with a $5 bonus and get a head start on next Christmas!
The holidays can be expensive. With these budget-friendly gift ideas, you can still spread the love and be mindful of your bank account. A bit of creativity and time will check everyone off your list. For more tips for embracing Christmas on a budget, check out 6 Questions to ask yourself for the jolliest Christmas ever.