Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Gifts On a Budget.

Black Friday is Next Friday.  It is times like this (we are in a ressesion, unemployment rate is so high) That I am thankful I have always been a frugal person.  Even if one day I was  I would still find myself very careful or how and on what I spend my money.  This christmas my children will not know there is a diffrence between this Christmas and Christmases in the past.

My method is:
Each child gets a set of new clothes or an outfit.
A Christmas ornament. (the year before I buy the next years ornament at 80% off.)
2 small items.  (toys)
1 handmade item
and a BIG item (like a bike, or a video game, example)  I never spend more than $200 on each child and for the most part I can easily stay under $150.  If you shop all year long it makes things so easy...Clothes are hard because they grow so fast.

My husband and I decided long ago....we would just come up with an amount....and we would go purchase our own gifts.  I know it isn't romantic...But now I enjoy my gifts so much more....and after awhile of being married....The thought that counts looses it's sparkle....I would rather have what I want...and the obvious hints were not working.  Diamonds are a no, no in my house.  A diamond is a waste of money and resources.  It is just a rock...that doesn't dazzle me.  I would rather have crafting supplies...

As for everyone else in my life....We agreed long ago not to exchange gifts...Only to purchase gifts for the children.  Not for the adults.  Grandma's and Grandpa's receive gifts.


For kids Infant to 6 years old
Hello get a book.  Kohls has a book with matching stuffed animal for $5 each.  This is an awsome inexpensive gift that also benefits a charity.  Only $10 and you get a book and a matching stuffed animal.  This year  they are featuring Dr. Seuss books. So you don't have to trade quality for an inexpensive gift.  If you are on a tighter budget....Get a book OR a stuffed animal.....only $5

BOOKS ARE GREAT GIFTS Doesn't matter your age.
If you are looking for a book for a teen....I want to suggest the following.  Ann of Green Gables was my fav. book series when I was under 12 and it is FREE to download for a kindle or computer....

HandMake a Gift a scarf, booties, gloves or a hat.  It will only cost you your time and some yarn.  If you shop at JoAnns, Hobby Lobby or can sign up for weekly coupons and purchase yarn at a Discount.  If you can't crochet or knit....purchase handmade items from etsy or a craft fair.  I was able to find lots and lots of handmade crochet and knitted items from $5-$20.  Great for anyone!  Stay tuned or follow my blog and I am going to post some great handmade gift ideas..

Activity Bags (gift for 3years to 21 years)
Purchase an inexpensive small tote bag and fill it with goodies such as coloring books, crayons, stickers, playing or picture cards.  Small hotwheels cars for a boy,  Jewelry for girls. Small easy bagged crafts.  You can do this for less than $10

For Teens, and Young adults.  fill your bag with magazines that engage the childs interset.
Example:  My teen soon loves video games, and Science.  In his Plain black drawstring bag I would Pack the following: Popular Science Magazine, Video Game Magazine, Mixed Pretzel Snacks, Composition notebook, or spiral notebook for him to doodle and some sharped or Mechanical pencils.

for me.....A unique craft,  Instructions, and all of the materials to make the craft.  Packed all together in a nice bag.  Young pre-Teen girls would love this as well....

If you visit Oriental Trading Company and search for personalized bags you can find several different bags for less that $15 and add a name....Once you add $5 in stickers, crayons, and other small things you find at a $1 store you would have given a gift for about $20of

Also on the OTC site you can find prepackaged crafts.  This is an awesome gift for those small ones who are visiting from out of town or will be traveling during the holidays.  Be sensitive to flying and what can and cannot go through airport security.  : (

Stay Tuned to My blog and I will teach you how to make an EASY SEW BAG...

Gifts in a Jar.
I know it sounds old fashion.  But it is an awesome gift for the adults in your family.  It makes preparing dinner and deserts so much less of a hassle and that is a gift in and of itself.  Google it!

Basket Gifts.
Instead of purchasing a gift for each member of a family try this...

Spaghetti Dinner Get a Basket (or Colander) and fill it with everything they would need to have a family spaghetti night (or see my recipe for icarly spaghetti tacos) minus the meatballs and bread.  Through in a classic family movie.  and you will give a family a gift that really keeps on giving...

Movie Night Basket Get a basket or popcorn bucket and fill with some of the following items, Popcorn, chips, candy,  Drinks a movie or gift card.  See my 2 litter bottle crafts for a neat idea.

 I can be downsized to a 20 oz bottle by using my water bottle craft.

PreMixed Teas and CoCo.  Stay tuned I will be posting some ideas later.

Share your talent.  I can crochet.  but I really wish I could follow a pattern.  I was taught by my grandmother who never followed patterns and now I am the same way....I just sit down and crochet away.  I would love to sit down with someone who can show me how to knit and show me how to follow a pattern.  If you have a talent like Knitting, crochet or sewing.  Make a gift certificate and give your valuable time an knowledge away as a gift.  I have a quote...."Give a mom a sweater and you will keep her warm, Teach a mom to knit and keep her and HER family, and friends warm for a lifetime"  I just made that up.

Even if you can't craft everyone has a talent....A Green Thumb?  Offer to help plant bulbs or spring flowers.

A great cook?  Offer to prepare dinner for a family and drop it off...How about a cake....for a birthday or speical occasions....

Are you great at photography?....Offer to take a family photo or a photo of the children.  Nothing fancy....But it will mean alot.....

HOW ABOUT A NIGHT of Babysitting........ Drool..... Drool....

How about a family History or Family recipe book.  these are things that take time....but will allow you to sign up month to month.  For just $20.  Take one month and research some family history and put it in a book or scrapbook.  A price can not be put on such a gift.

I can pick several things I would rather have than a traditional gift....And what a great way to share a great bond with a friend or family member.

If you have any Great ideas for Gifts on a Budget Please send your ideas my way in a comments
I will be updating this post as information comes in.  Stay Tuned and follow my blog.  All of my upcomeing posts are about making gifts on a budget.

HERE IS MY LIST FROM ETSY.  These are some Awesome gift ideas for under $20 for any vampire fan.

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