Christmas is getting closer every day, and perhaps there are a few people on your list that you still need to shop for. What if you find yourself running low on money? What’s a financially savvy minded person to do when it comes to buying Christmas gifts?
A)Put it on the credit card.
B)Find that fruitcake you got back in 2002.
C)Buy a cheap gift.
Well hopefully you picked C. Luckily, there are lots of cheap Christmas gifts that don’t suck and that people actually enjoy receiving. Here are my top 5.
1) Dollar Store Basket of Goodies-Yes, I admit that I love to shop at dollar stores. They are easier to get into and out of than Wal Mart, plus at the one in our town, everything costs $1. I love simple! Some of the stuff is crap, but if you look, there are numerous treasures awaiting.
I needed a gift for my neighbors, who are very hard to shop for. Enter the Dollar Tree. This past week I found two Christmas themed wine glasses (real glass, not plastic). I wrapped them in a red towel, got a red basket and plastic wrapping, and added an $11 bottle of wine. The result looks like I ordered it from a catalog, and the cost to me was $16. I know they will love it because it’s creative and useful for their tastes. You could do the same thing with coffee, hot chocolate, tea, etc.
2)Board Games-In this day and age, I know we are all about technology, but board games are fun. You could satisfy the intellectual with Scrabble, the mystery buff with Clue, the yoga enthusiast with Twister, or the money minded with Monopoly or Life. We play board games on Christmas day,and I always wonder why we don’t do it more often.
3)White Chocolate Covered Anything– I don’t love to bake, and most of my attempts that try to include pretty and cooking do not turn out so well, but you can’t screw up candy coating. I love white chocolate, but you could do milk chocolate as well. It comes in packages in the baking aisle. You heat it up in the microwave and dip in your favorite thing. You can coat pretzels, Oreos, Ritz crackers with peanut butter, raisins, berries, whatever your heart desires. I’ve never tried it, but I bet even ants might taste good coated in white chocolate. Put it in a Christmas tin from the dollar store and you’re set.
4)Popcorn and Movies– You can actually get Redbox, Hulu Plus, or Netflix gift certificates. Add a box or bag of microwave or old fashioned popcorn to complete the gift. Even if the person already has Netflix, who wouldn’t like a free month or two? If someone doesn’t use these services, maybe your gift will impress them so much they will cancel their cable and save hundreds of dollars a year. Don’t you feel good about yourself already?
5)Grocery Store Gifts– Your local grocery store is also a treasure trove of Christmas goodness. If you go to the dollar store first and pick up a basket and wrappings, you can fill it up with things like fruits, veggies, chocolate, cheese, crackers, coffee, baking ingredients, bread, really anything. Everyone has to eat. We’ve done fruit baskets at Christmas several times and always get the comment that it was a nice change from candy or cookies.
Of course, you can always just buy a gift card, and you never have to buy gifts, especially if you are in debt. If you do want more of a personal touch and like people to have a gift to open that requires more than an envelope, these are my recommendations for 5 of the cheapest, but coolest gifts I’ve given or received over the years.
What is your best recommendation for a cheap, but wanted gift? Any of these five you wouldn’t like to receive?