Birthdays, Christmas and Holidays can be really tough when you are short on money. You want to treat that special person but sometimes you just don’t have the spare cash to buy them that expensive toy they want or that weekend away they have been hinting about for the last 6 months. I have struggled with this in the past too. I love buying presents for people and always come up with the phrase “oh one more present won’t hurt”. I have put together the ultimate gift guide for the frugal buyer to help save money along the way.
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Handmade gifts are a great money saver and they add a personal touch to any gift. There are so many options that you could choose to hand make. Soap, candles, scarfs, keychains, blankets, coasters. I found a great post by Huffington Post that gives you 45 Awesome DIY gift ideas that anyone can do.
The gifts that I love to handmake are candles. You can pick up a huge bag of candle wax for about £10. You then need some essence to make the candle smell nice and some wicks.
You need some sort of mould to put the wax in, I go to charity shops and pick up some cute teacups then put the melted wax in that with a wick. My favourite flavours are orange and lemon or lavender. These gifts don’t need wrapping because they are beautiful by themselves. You could wrap them in clear cellophane and add a bow if you have some lying around as a beautiful touch.
If you aren’t very good at handmade gifts, like me then flowers are the best and easiest way to give someone a beautiful gift. Flowers can be delivered straight to the person house and you can even add gifts with them too. My go-to shop is prestige flowers. They do some fantastic offers on flowers, they are also on Quidco so you can earn some money back from making a purchase. I received this beautiful wild and wonderful bouquet from them which included a teddy bear and vase.
This is a great offer for people who are tight on cash as they come with a free personalised card and a free box of chocolates making it really good value for money at £22.99. You can also order by 9 pm for next day delivery, making it really good if you’re like me and forget about a birthday until the day before! They do flowers for every occasion and can be filtered into occasion or price. It is easy to add on extra gifts if you are feeling generous.
I love making hampers, they are so much fun to find things to put in them and match up together. I made my Mom a hamper for Christmas for prosecco. I put a bottle of prosecco, a glass, some flavoured liqueur and some of those edible bubbles.
You could even make it into a theme for a movie night or spa night or family night. The possibilities are endless and you can make it as expensive or as cheap as you would like. Pinterest has some great printables to add to your hampers or give you some really good ideas for it.
Focus On An Experience
This means that you don’t have to spend any money to treat someone on the birthday. My 8 amazing activities that you could do as a family will give you some great free ideas to do. If you want to spend a little money on them, take them for a day out and take lots of pictures. People remember a feeling more then they remember what present you bought them. This way they will look back on these photos and remember what a good day they had on their special day.
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Food gifts are a good budget-friendly gift as you will have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen. Make cookies and pop them in a pretty tin. Buy them a cake in a mug cup and give them the ingredients to make it.
My favourite things to make is popcorn snacks. You just need a big chocolate bar, popcorn and a chocolate or sweet of your choice. You melt the chocolate down and let it cool slightly, add the popcorn and mix together. Pop on a baking tray and add the chocolate or sweets to the top, let it cool and then cut into squares. Then wrap in a homemade gift box. You could even add their favourite movie as a present and you have the perfect gift under £20. I love using the BBC food website for some great recipes.
Photo gifts are a lovely way to give someone a present. People take so many pictures and upload them. When I want to choose a gift I find some pictures that they have uploaded and I make a calendar or canvas for them.
I use Bonusprint for all of my photo gifts. They have so many offers on, and if you subscribe to their newsletter you get £5 off your purchase. They do canvas’s, calendars, wall art, personalised cards and lots more. They even have an app so you can create it straight from your phone.
If the person has a device that can accept Ebooks, this is a great gift to give, especially if the person loves books. It is very easy to do as well with little effort. You just need to go to the Kindle store or iBooks (for apple), pick the book you want to give them. Press give as a gift, type in their email address (you can type in yours and give the gift personally) and then proceed to the payment.
This is great if they have a bath of course. You could make the bath bombs if you are crafty but you can pick up some reasonably priced bath kits for a good price. Lush do great gift sets ranging from £10 up. They smell amazing too. I recently received a bath kit from Not On The Highstreet as well, it is a bit more pricey there but fantastic products.
Magazine subscriptions are great because you can pay a one-off fee but the recipient will receive a magazine every month of the year. This will create a lasting memory of your gift and they will be excited every month to receive it. You could also do food subscriptions like spices or marshmallows.
I use Cloud Nine Marshmallows as they do amazing products but they also do a subscription service. It is around £28 for a year. Well worth the price as they are award-winning marshmallows!
People love board games, at all ages. If they are having a party they can play with it straight away, or you could base their birthday party around the board game you bought if you are hosting. Cards Against Humanities is a great card game, only to be used with adults though, which will have you all in stitches. Other games you could get them is Cluedo, Kerplunk, Pie Face and many more. They are not that expensive either.
Some kitchen equipment can get expensive but you could buy simple things like a coffee press or an ice cream maker. A pasta roller is a great gift as well. They might even cook you a meal with their new device as a thank you. You could make the item part of a hamper if you would like. For example with the coffee press, you could get some different flavour coffee and a mug. There are so many different gadgets you can now get for the kitchen. Over the months before, see what meals they like to cook or like to eat. You can then gauge what item would be best for them.
At the end of the day though, holidays and special occasions are about spending time with loved ones. I know it is easy to focus on the gifts and read all the ultimate gift guide for the frugal buyer you can find and then get overwhelmed by the amount you need to spend. But honestly family and friends will understand if you aren’t able to buy them the latest gadgets or spend half your salary on one gift, they will love you none the less.