Whenever I read lists of gift ideas in magazines, I walk away feeling discouraged. Almost anything the glossy pages suggest for under $30 is more like a stocking stuffer and seems like it would end up in the donate pile by year’s end (and, since Christmas is only a week before year’s end, you know it’s gotta be junk). Besides, if I had $100+ to spend on each of my family members, I don’t feel like I’d need to read lists of gift ideas. If I had $100 to spend per family member, I’d be abounding in ideas. Hey, I could even give gift cards and not seem cheap!
But, in the real world, with our real budget, $100 per person gifts don’t work. With 20 “immediately extended” family members to buy gifts for – plus the 4 of us who live in this house – that type of Christmas spending doesn’t line up with our budget. Instead, we budget $20 per family member (with a little extra for our mom’s stockings) and challenge ourselves to find the very best gifts we can for each of our beloved family members. As weird as it may sound, I love the challenge. Our low budget actually makes Christmas shopping more fun for me. Don’t get me wrong – a high budget sounds fun too – but I’m working with what I actually have to give.
Whether it’s finding good deals, crafting something special, or packaging the gift in a unique way, I love the challenge of figuring out how to give meaningful, useful, and valuable gifts… even when I only have $20 to spend.
Since I know this short-on-cash, high-on-gifts-to-give dilemma is a common one, I thought it’d be fun to run a series here at StayatBeachMom.com over the next couple months — Give Great Gifts on a Bare-Bones Budget.
I’ve already started working on some of the posts and I’m super excited about the series. These lists are what I wish I’d found years ago when I first googled “how to give a frugal gift people actually like.”
I’ve been informally researching for these lists for years and have asked friends and family for input. I think this series will be a great resource for anyone who is hoping to give meaningful and useful gifts without breaking the bank.
Each week, I’ll post ideas for a specific “type” of person on your gift list, including some of those people who are hardest to shop for. Most of the ideas will be under $20 per person with a few “splurges” occasionally thrown in.
So far, my list includes:
- Gifts for a high school or college aged guy
- Gifts for a crafty lady
- Gifts for chefs and foodies
- Gifts for children’s charities
- Gifts for kids
- Gifts for moms
- Gifts for couples
- Gifts for dads
- Gifts for neighbors/teachers/co-workers (all those little gifts that can really add up)
- Gifts for grandparents
Please let me know if there are any categories of gifts you’d like me to write about and I’ll do my best! And, make sure to subscribe so you can join us for all the fun.
I’m looking forward to sharing ideas for how to give great gifts to the people you love, even on a bare-bones budget!