Friday, December 10, 2010

Inexpensive Gifts You Can Buy

I've been talking a lot about homemade gifts recently. I love to make things for people, for Christmas and otherwise. It's just part of who I am.

But I don't make all of the gifts we give. Some years I buy more than I make, other years it's the other way around.

I thought I'd compile a short list of some rather inexpensive gifts that you can purchase this holiday season. Some are meaningful. Others are just plain fun! These are all gifts that we like to give and would appreciate receiving as well.

So if you don't like to make gifts or simply don't have the time, then perhaps you'll be able to use this list for a few ideas!

1. Samaritan's Purse. 
Instead of just making a donation, Samaritan's Purse has a gift catalog where you can pick a specific cause to donate to in a friend or family member's honor. In turn, they send a beautiful card to the person you specified telling them of the gift and what cause it will be going towards. We've done this for several years and our family has loved it! This is especially good for those who really don't need anything and are trying to declutter. For example, a gift of $7 will feed a hungry child for a week! Suggested donations start at around $5, so there's something here for any budget.

2. Refuge For Women.
Refuge for Women is a ministry that offers new beginnings to women in the adult entertainment industry. I first heard about this ministry from my sister-in-law whose church is involved with Refuge for Women. She gave me one of their bracelets for Christmas last year and I love it!  The custom bracelets start at just $10 and each purchase helps to provide a woman with the opportunity to leave the adult entertainment industry. Not only would this make a beautiful gift, but it will also make an eternal impact on a woman's life.

3. Gift cards. 
Some people don't like receiving gift cards. They say they are impersonal and useless. I am not one of those people. I heart gift cards. I enjoy having the opportunity to pick out something fun for myself with a gift card that's been given to me! And gift cards don't have to be high dollar to be a nice gift. A gift card for a lunch out, a Starbucks coffee, an ice cream treat or a movie ticket can easily be accomplished for $5 or $10. My husband put a $10 Panera card in my stocking one year. This was before we had wireless internet at our house so I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get out of the house and blog using their free wireless service while enjoying a sandwich or little treat.

The key with giving gift cards is making sure the gift card suits the recipient. For instance, I'd love a gift card to Mary Jo's, Hobby Lobby or even Goodwill.  Bass Pro Shops, not so much! And if you give a $5 gift card, be sure that the business featured actually offers a number of services for that price or less. If everything is higher priced than the gift card, it could be a frustrating experience for the recipient!

4. Chick-fil-A Calendars.
2011 Chick-fil-A calendars can be purchased for $6 each either in store or online. This may not sound like much of a gift until you realize how many coupons are included! Most months feature a coupon for a free item! This is a fun gift to receive and the value of the coupons included far exceed the $6 price tag.

5. Food.
I'm a big fan of food gifts. Everyone eats! A favorite food can be a nice gift for the person who has everything. My dad loves nuts so he gets at least one can every year from someone in the family. Fruit is nice, especially something seasonal like clementines or a fresh pineapple bought at a good price. Summer sausage or beef stick is another nice gift as would be a block of a good cheese. Arrange food items in a basket or tie with a big bow. Andy's grandmother shares the many years that she gave him a can of black olives when she had trouble coming up with a gift for him. A box or basket of favorite foods is also a useful and welcome gift to a loved one on a  fixed income.

This isn't meant to be an exhaustive list. Feel free to add your own inexpensive and meaningful gift ideas in the comments!

**This post is part of Life As Mom's Frugal Friday carnival!

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