Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Budget Buys


Times are tough, and buying Christmas gifts can be a hit to your budget that can be hard to take. You don’t want to look like Scrooge, but hey, you still want to eat too. Don’t get down on yourself and the holiday season just yet though. Here are a few ideas that might help you come up with some cheap gifts that will let you get through the holiday season with your budget still intact.

Dollar Store Delights – Forget the DVDs, cell phones and diamond pendant earrings as stocking stuffers this year. You might be surprised, but you can load up on some pretty good buys at your local dollar store. Many of the items you find there can make for perfect stocking stuffers or tasty treats on which to nibble on Christmas Day. For ten bucks plus tax, you can get out of there with ten cheap but fun items with which to fill stockings or give as office gifts at work.

Gift Cards – Gift cards can be great budget buys for family members. This might not sound like the best cheap Christmas gift, but give me a chance to explain. Many couples and families go out to eat at restaurants make home repairs, and buy clothing. With gift cards, you are pre-empting the costs that would come anyway and turning them into Christmas gifts. Plus, many stores are offering free gift cards when you spend a certain amount on another gift card -- you might buy a $100 gift card and receive a $25 gift card for free -- meaning you have two gifts for the price of one.

Goodwill Gifts – Now don’t scoff at this idea as one that is beneath you – especially if you’ve never been to a Goodwill store before. Goodwill has a variety of gift options ranging from clothing and kitchenware to toys and games. While you might have to do a bit of sifting, you can come across lightly used and sometimes unused items, some of which are brand name products.

Gifts.com – Gifts.com can be a fast and easy way to come up with cheap Christmas gift ideas. Their easy to use website allows you to sort by price, recipient, occasion, even personality. It can be a great to find a variety of budget gifts for adults and children alike. You might want to check out the alarm clock for the “Morning Impaired,” one of my personal favorites.

Agree to Nothing – Sometimes you just reach a point when it’s time to call it quits with the whole gift-giving thing. If you’ve reached the point where you are just tired of buying gifts you know people really don’t want or need and you don’t like or getting the same type of gifts in return, why bother? Talk to your friends and family. See if they feel the same way. If so, you might agree to skip gift giving this holiday season and just enjoy the good company of family and friends during a party or dinner instead. Doing so can save you time, money, and the effort involved in purchasing gifts that might go unused or unappreciated anyway.

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