Running out of ideas and money to cover everyone on your holiday shopping list? Don’t let the pressure get to you or your wallet. There are plenty of ways to show your loved ones how much you care about them without overspending or racking up credit card debt. Here are a few easy and frugal holiday gift ideas that won’t cost you more than $25 to put together:
Bottle your cooking skills. Literally. Do you have a fantastic recipe for double-fudge brownies that everyone raves about? Do you always find yourself in the kitchen cooking for friends and family? There are plenty of creative ways to package your talent for food into a gift for the holidays. One idea is to measure out the dry ingredients for desserts or soups and layer them beautifully into clear mason jars. All the gift receiver has to do is add eggs, broth or any other liquid required, and voila! If you’re extra ambitious, you may try your hand at jarring or pickling your favorite preserves. A jar of homemade jam will stay good months after the holidays are over – that is, if it lasts that long.
Buy a drink for every occasion. A little bit of money can go a long way if you’re doing your holiday shopping at the grocery store, and there are two aisles perfect for anyone on your list: the wine and beer and the coffee and tea aisle. Everyone has a favorite go-to drink, so why not treat your loved one to their beverage of choice? With the right ribbon and a fancy container, you can easily put together a gift basket of gourmet coffee, loose leaf teas, handcrafted beer, bottles of wine, or a mix or drinks. You can find unique and gently used containers for your homemade gift basket at your neighborhood thrift store.
Showcase your memories. Since it’s the thought that counts during the holidays, nothing says thoughtful, heart-felt memories like photos. A very personal gift can be as simple as printing out your favorite photo of you and your loved one putting it into a frame engraved with both of your names. If you’re looking for something more creative, a small booklet with cutouts and photos pasted inside with a few handwritten messages will help you both relive your memories together.
Give your time. Who says you have to spend any money at all during the holidays? If you have time on your hands but not a lot of cash, giving the gift of your service or spending some quality time with your loved ones can mean the world to them. An afternoon together exploring a new part of town, a homemade dinner cooked just for them, a promise to clean the house for a month, a gift certificate for a spa day at home – the simple act of sharing your time can go a long way to making someone feel special and loved, and you don’t have to spend money to show them you care.