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Budget gifts for all occasions

Updated on July 25, 2013

A gift may be closer than you think

Gifts are a sign of caring. Really, that is all they are. Giving gifts used to be a small token to show your love or friendship, but now we have been conditioned to think that if we don't give a pricey present we will be seen as either cheap or poor, either way, it's not something we probably care to be seen as. (I could go into a whole discussion as to why we shouldn't care about that anyway, but that's for another time).

It's a fact that if you have a small budget and you don't want to be in debt for months (or even a year or more), you'll need to work with what you have. But you'd be surprised by what you have right around your own home!


Regifting has a bad rap

You may or may not have regifted in the past. It is perfectly OK to do. You receive gifts from time to time that just don't fit your personal preference. It doesn't mean the item isn't tasteful, it just maybe the wrong color, size, style etc. It could be you have too many of the item so someone else could benefit from a quality gift you don't need that is taking up room in your closet.

But, there are some rules of etiquette that should be followed.

  1. Don't give anything you have used, even slightly. It MUST be new.
  2. Don't give anything that is in-appropriate to the intended party.
  3. Common sense says if it's hideous looking, it not regiftable to anyone!
  4. Make sure the person who gave you the gift either knows you will be regifting their gift or make sure they aren't going to be present when the gift is given.
  5. Make sure all original tags and cards are removed before you re-wrap the gift.
  6. Make sure the gift is right for the person you are giving it to, and you're not just clearing the item to get rid of it.

Use a card that gives back


Use your credit card points

No one should have a credit card unless it gives them something in return. So many credit card companies offer this perk now and it's a profitable way to receive something for your loyalty to them. A great example of this is the Capital One Venture card. It gives you 2 points for every dollar spent. As soon as you have charged $1250.00 (x2 points) you will have a 2500 point credit. With that you can redeem the points for a $25.00 gift card. They have a plethora of gift cards for restaurants, clothing stores, home care as well as online stores like iTunes, AMC theatres and more.

Since most people use credit cards, it's a good way to get a benefit for it. That way you can either give the gift card as the present or go to that store and buy something for them!

A picture in time

If your gift is for a friend or family member a great gift is an old picture you have of them. Pull out those old photos and pick a good one. It's even better if you both are in it. Then go to any discount store and find an attractive frame for just a couple dollars or less. It's the kind of gift that is kept much longer then a bottle of perfume and it shows you put some time and thought into your gift.


A live gift

Plants are a thoughtful and beautiful gift. Nurseries such as Lowes and Home Depot have a wide selection of plants that only cost a few dollars. Replant it in a nice pot and you have a wonderful gift for around ten to twelve dollars!

If you are the more creative type, designing plants for all occasions with water crystals is a fun idea.

If you aren't in a hurry......

Discount companies can be a good source for gifts, but of course you'll need a few weeks for processing the order. A couple of great online ideas for gifts on a budget is The Lakeside which offers a wide variety of gift ideas for a very reasonable price, and also No More (which speaks for itself).

Best present is you!


At your service!

For some, particularly older family members and friends, a gift to help can be invaluable. It wouldn't cost you anything but your time, but to them......a treasure.

A simple card (Birthday, Christmas, Get Well, etc), with a home-made card inside stating : Good for one day of...........? It could be cleaning, fixing things around the house, help in shopping, or just visiting.


Food is love

Try a dinner served with TLC. How about preparing your favorite lasagna or spaghetti dinner. Is there a meal you are famous for? That's even better! When the guest arrives give them a glass of wine or cocktail and let them know you've made this dinner especially for them.


Do you have a favorite cookie or candy recipe? You probably could buy a box of candy for about the same as making it, but nothing tastes better than homemade!

When it's Christmas time, and you'd like to give a little something to the neighbors, mailman, gardener etc. Cookies are a great gift. Bake 5 or 6 batches of different types of cookies. Freeze each batch, (that way you can do it slowly so you don't have the expense of buying everything at once). Then when you are ready to put them all together, arrange them on a festive plate (or buy inexpensive canisters). It's a great way to show you care.


Books and magazines

There are discount magazine subscriptions for as little as ten dollars. Check out DiscountMags or Publishers Clearing House for some great deals. If you know what magazine your intended receiver likes this is a gift that can last a full year!

There are great prices for books on Amazon. Also look at your favorite book store. They always have discounted books on display for just a few dollars!

Why pay full price?


To wrap it up

We all know that wrapping material can be as much or more then the present itself! I used to spend six dollars or more on wrapping paper, tissue and bows, not to mention at least that for the gift card. Now, I always go to the Dollar store or a similar type store for these items. You will save big and they have all kinds of gift bags as well. Now instead of spending at least twelve dollars on the wrap up, I pay five!

Now, go on, tell the truth

Have you ever regifted?

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