Frugal Christmas Gifts

It’s difficult not to get caught up in the Christmas buying craze when we are constantly bombarded with advertisements for the latest gadgets, toys and other high-priced items. If you have children living at home, it’s even harder. Add to that the office parties, club meetings, school parties, etc., and it becomes a challenge to stay within your budget. Here are a few suggestions to help achieve that goal.

  1. Involve the whole family in the goal of spending less. Talk to your children ahead of time about the need to conserve.
  2. Explore volunteer opportunities in your community in which your family can become involved. When your children see how little others have, they will be less likely to beg for expensive toys.
  3. If you have a large family, consider a name exchange so that each person only has to buy one gift. Good used items might even work.
  4. Have a book exchange. Most people only read their books once, and would be happy to pass them on.
  5. Give the gift of time. Your grandparents probably don’t need any more things, but they would love to have you take them shopping, clean out their closet, wash their car or just spend the day with them.
  6. Make baked goods.
  7. Make a meal for a single parent, busy family, aging grandparent, college student.
  8. If you can sew, you could make something simple like an apron.
  9. Have a calendar made with family photos.
  10. For clubs, skip the gifts, and give a donation to charity.
  11. Give a gift of a family board game or puzzle.
  12. Make ornaments together to give away.
  13. Children love anything involving drawing or painting. Instead of buying an expensive kit, make your own with paper, pens, crayons, paints and markers.
  14. Create a bead kit with an assortment of beads and stringing material.
  15. Put together a box of dress-up clothes and accessories from the second hand store.
  16. Collect small magic tricks and add a cape and wand.
  17. Put together a collection of travel toiletries for the traveler in your family.
  18. Give a mug with a selection of tea or coffee.
  19. Buy several inexpensive stocking hats for the person who’s always losing them.
  20. Buy a pair of warm colorful socks.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. For ways to save money on gifts that you buy, here are some great tips: http://moneywatch.bnet.com/career-advice/blog/other-8-hours/10-easy-tips-to-save-money-this-christmas/1814