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Cheap Gift Ideas At Christmas

Updated on March 20, 2016
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Lynsey loves giving thoughtful gifts year round, and enjoys passing inspiration onto others.

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about Christmas. Whether you are reading this in January, September or even December, you will find something here which helps you to have a more affordable Christmas, while ensuring your loved ones are spoiled during the festive period.

There are many affordable ways to ensure an impressive stash of presents is underneath your tree, and in this hub I will talk you through a few tricks to get more for your money this Christmas!


How much do you usually spend per person?

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Shop Smart

Please don't be rushed into panic buying a present because you want to have SOMETHING. Try to begin shopping as early as you can so that you can source the correct gift at the correct price. Remember, just because something has a discount or special offer sign, doesn't mean that it is a great deal. You can find out more here about getting the best deal.

I usually shop around, get an idea of what I want to buy someone, then check online and at various stores before making my purchase. This may seem like a lot of effort, but it can potentially save lots of cash, which can directly go into another gift or stay in your bank account!

Remember to use £1/ $1 stores for stocking fillers and small items. I have often got some really great books and ornaments from £1 shops, you really wouldn't believe the choice!

Re-Gift

Simply put, this is where you pass on your unwanted birthday and christmas presents from previous years, re-wrap them and give them to someone else.

This can be somewhat risky, as Christmas is a time where everyone is together, so the original buyer may end up seeing a very similar bath set that they gave you for your birthday being passed on to someone else.

However, if it is done with care, re-gifting is a great way to save cash and recycle some unloved gifts of your own. As a general rule, you should ensure that you make a note of who gave you which present to avoid accidentally re-gifting it to them. It would also be good to ensure that they aren't in attendance when you forward it on.


Would you like to receive a handmade gift?

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Make A Gift

This is only really for those who are confident with crafting and DIY.

Making gifts isn't for everyone, and while it may be cost- effective, you may have to invest a lot of time into your makes. It is for this reason that many people appreciate a handmade gift, and it is a chance to give a unique, thoughtful gift for an affordable price.

If you find that you are particularly good at making, you could even sell your creations online via etsy and other such stores, to supplement your income! The handmade market really is booming at the moment!

Easy makes include knitted goods such as scarves, hats and mittens- if you can knit/ crochet, or even candles, toiletries or a cake! This is truly an opportunity to make something one of a kind that the recipient can enjoy.

I have found that my DIY comicbook creations are particularly popular- remember you can decoupage almost anything and it will look great!.

Secret Santa

I have been guilty in the past of going over the top and buying everyone a present at Christmas, just incase they popped by. Even if I wasn't particularly fond of the person, I would get them Something, even if it was a little bottle of wine or token gift. But all of these things add up...

There really is no need for all of the adults to get a present, as Christmas is really just for kids. If you are expecting a few adults around during Christmas, why don't you do a secret santa, where everyone buys one present- set to a particular limit. You can either pick names out before hand so everyone knows who the are buying for, or it could be something completely random and the luck of the draw!

You can make this more fun by adding a theme, or making someone dress up as santa to give the gifts out, but it really gives a little hint of Christmas for everyone, without going overboard.

Quickly photoshopped  sheet of vouchers I created. I then used a perforator tool to have tear off stubs. It was gratefully received!
Quickly photoshopped sheet of vouchers I created. I then used a perforator tool to have tear off stubs. It was gratefully received!

Vouchers

Now, I'm not talking about gift vouchers for a store, but more vouchers or I.O.U notes for a particular event or service that the person can claim in the future. You could personalise these vouchers to be for any particular person, with the help of a painting app, could make them look quite cute. You could include chores, or romantic favours for a partner, or even simply spending time with the person doing their favourite hobby/ activity. Other ideas include:

  • Running a bath (and waiting on them while in the bath, bringing drinks etc) I included a "beer bath" on my vouchers for my partner, which means he gets to sit and relax, and I'll bring the nice cold beers whenever required!
  • Making their favourite meal.
  • Baking a cake.
  • Giving a facial/ manicure/ beauty treatment.
  • Doing chores- laundry, hoovering, polishing.
  • Giving a massage.
  • Babysitting duties for an evening- particularly good for people with young children.
  • Movie night (of their choice)
  • DIY/ Handy-person service for an hour.

The possibilities are endless, and you really can take the time to show how well you know someone by picking out their favourite things to do.

Hampers

You can easily make a food hamper at Christmas which will come in useful for over the dreaded January period- everyone seems to have no cash left over after Christmas.

By Simply adding a few items to your trolley each month- tinned contents and preserves at the start of the year, cakes and bakes closer to the time, you can easily make up a food hamper at little cost over your normal shopping.

You can also take advantage of BOGOF offers and other multi-buys while buying your normal items anyway. Plus, there is always leftover biscuit tins and confectionery at Christmas, so rustling up a food hamper for someone you normally see afterwards is a great way to pass that on- good for your waistline, too!

You could use the opportunity to clear out your pantry- it sounds cheeky, but something you don't need will come in handy- tinned soups, dried pastas etc will always be useful.

If you are a good cook, you could make up your own fruit preserves, or cooking sauces. You could bake your own cakes or scones and package them nicely, giving another hand-made touch and saving cash at the same time!

For packaging, you can simply cover a large cardboard box with some Christmas paper- items you will no doubt have lying around at the time. You could line the box with straw or shredded paper and overall give a really nice professional finish, all at a fraction of the cost of a high street store hamper.

You could also make sweet hampers for the kids, or even a beer hamper for the grown ups! There are so many options!

Can you remember every present you have received for the last 5 years?

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Spend Time...

Rather than worrying about the cost of Christmas, remember to think of the nature of the holiday season. It isn't all about presents, but more about connecting with people you don't necessarily see on a regular basis.

Simply spending time with loved ones at christmas will be more appreciated than any gift. Tell me, do you remember every gift every person has given you at Christmas? I bet you do remember everyone who was around your table for Christmas dinner a particular year, though?

Remember not to stress yourself. Those around you will enjoy your company more than your gifts.

Enjoy the holidays!

© 2014 Lynsey Harte

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