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Less expensive gift ideas - Crafty Gifts
Less expensive gift ideas
With the rapid decline of the economy, money is increasingly tight everywhere. This is greatly affecting holiday budgets as people look to cut costs and limit gift-giving lists.

So I'm offering a list of low cost ideas for gifts this year.


Books are always a wonderful choice, and can be obtained rather inexpensively at your local used book store. Pack a few in a small backpack and include a small book light for added fun.

The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is free to join and will send one book per month to any child between birth and five years old.

Remember mixtapes? Kids love music as much as everyone else, so why not make them a CD of their favorite songs? You can decorate the cover to reflect the recipient, and if you happen to have a CD labeler you can jazz up the CD itself. If you'd like, this gift could come with a personal CD player. (Look at places like Big Lots and don't forget batteries.)

Board games are great for children of all ages and the original versions are usually on sale this time of year. If you go this route be sure to include homemade gift certificates good for your time.

Dolls are lots of fun and easy to make if you can sew. Disassemble an old shirt or two that you'll never wear again for the materials and use the buttons for eyes. The mouth can be drawn on with a permanent marker and yarn can be hot glued on for hair. There are lots of free patterns available online to get you started.

Along, these same lines, a teddy bear can be made from an old sweater. Be creative and you'll make something that will probably be passed down for generations.


A spa basket can be a good gift for anyone who likes to pamper themselves. Scented candles are sold at Dollar Stores, including The Dollar Tree. Add a gel mask, body poof, bath salts, and body lotion. (All of these items can be found at dollar stores.) For a further treat print up a booklet of beauty recipes to make using common ingredients found around the house.

A small galvanized pail filled with seed packets and garden tools is great for the avid gardener.

A gym bag with a workout DVD (Check the $5.00 bin at WalMart), a new towel, and a water bottle would be great for the person who likes to stay fit. You could even include a couple of low-weight dumbells, or a mat if yoga is more their style.

Know someone who loves to cook? Ask everyone you know for their favorite recipe and compile a cookbook. Add things like wooden spoons and an apron and to make it a more rounded gift.

Again, books are a great gift for an avid reader. Purchase a gift card at your local used book store (more bang for the buck) and slip it inside a book you know they haven't read yet but have wanted to.


An evening spent together can be hard to do in today's busy world, so why not give just that? Fill a basket with some microwave popcorn, theater-style snacks, and a gift certificate for a local DVD rental store.

Board games provide hours of entertainment for the whole family. Scrabble is fun and educational, and you can include a standard dictionary to make it more so.

How about a cookie jar with all of the pre-measured dry ingredients for the family's favorite cookie? Just remember to drop a recipe card in their, too.


Give them a basket filled with scented massage oil, a soft feather, scented candles, and a couple of sleep masks. Include a CD of soft music (look for CDs at the Dollar Tree). If they have children, include a gift certificate good for you taking care of them for an evening or overnight.

Are they the outdoors type? Give them a gift certificate for a local bicycle rental or a stable. Include a bottle of wine or sparkling grape juice and two glasses. This is especially cute if given in a picnic or handled basket. You could even throw in a small blanket if you like.

That is all I can think of right now. Please, feel free to add to this list in the comments and to link to this entry other places. Happy Holidays!


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5 comments or Leave a comment
stargirl04 From: stargirl04 Date: November 18th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the cookbook idea! I might do that for my friends.

One thing I've been doing the last couple years is making truffles and giving boxes of those as gifts. People really enjoy them, and it's a great host/hostess gift for Christmas parties! Just keep in mind that things like chocolate chips and unsalted butter can really add up quickly.

Here's the recipe for my most popular truffle:
Candy Cane Truffles

12 oz. Semi-sweet choc.
7 TBSP Unsalted Butter
¾ cup whipping cream
Peppermint extract (optional)
Candy canes or Starlight Mints
Milk or Dark chocolate

Boil cream, add semi-sweet chocolate slowly, repeat with butter. Add peppermint extract, to taste. Pour into shallow dish, cover with crushed pieces of candy canes or mints. Chill until the consistency is slightly harder than fudge.

After chilled, roll into small balls and dip into melted milk or dark chocolate. Sprinkle the tops with crushed candy cane/ mints. Chill until the chocolate is completely hardened.
bkwmkiwi From: bkwmkiwi Date: November 20th, 2009 07:49 am (UTC) (Link)
This looks like a really good recipe, thanks :D I might try it!
bkwmkiwi From: bkwmkiwi Date: November 22nd, 2009 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Whoa! I made it, and it looks good...ish. Apart from the massive layer of oil that is sitting on top of it. Has this happened to you before? (And if yes, what on earth causes it?)
lilbrigid From: lilbrigid Date: November 18th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
What great ideas! Thank you so much for sharing.
fyresign From: fyresign Date: November 22nd, 2008 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I also think that crocheting or knitting something is a money saver as well. My friends, family and my kids teachers all love gifts that are "homemade" I just use scrap yarn leftover from previous projects. Mixing and matching textures/colors is a really cool way to make it come together :) OR even using a theme... like monochromatic: Using different yarns but all the same color :)
5 comments or Leave a comment