Inexpensive Christmas Gifts for Tight Budgets

Inexpensive Christmas gifts are essential if you’re on a rigid budget. You can stretch your dollars further if you can think creatively. You don’t have to be a complete Scrooge just because money’s tight but you do need to be smart with the money you do have and spend it wisely!

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Christmas comes and goes each year, but things that influence how you spend your money can change over time. If you’ve lost a job, you may not have the finances you had in previous years to spend on your loved ones. Instead of getting depressed though, you need to rise to the occasion and start looking for bargains!

This economy has really taken a toll on most people’s lifestyles! Everything costs more but most of us are making less! That is, according to the Federal Reserve, the biggest cheapscapes of them all!

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Shoppers in America say they are planning to spend an average of $929 for gifts in 2016, up from $882 last year according to the annual survey on holiday spending from the American Research Group, Inc. If survey's are correct, planned gift spending for 2016 is $47 above spending in 2015. It's the first time gift spending will spend over $900 since 2006. Be smart about your money and see if some of these ideas might help you curb spending so much!

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Ideas for Inexpensive Christmas Gifts

  • There’s a lot of extra cash that gets dumped into food during the holidays. The list of goodies goes on and on, depending on the traditions you have. If you like sending baked goodies to family and friends who aren’t nearby, you can make them a lot cheaper and ship them yourself! Some specialized items however, are better to just buy. You will need to discern which items you can afford or not.

    You also might think about trying out a new recipe for your holiday dinners but if you haven’t tried it out before, its better to stick to recipes that are tried and true. Use recipes that you already know your family loves. You’re spending your time and money on the ingredients that go into any recipe, so prepare family favorites instead.

  • Shop all year long to find the widest selections of inexpensive Christmas gifts! You can save a bundle and stick to your budgeting protocols by shopping early. If you’re looking for specifics, use the best bargains guide. It’s a fantastic way to keep up with sales that happen all year long!

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  • Instead of purchasing big ticket items for your friends and family, (that you know you can't afford), why not buy small items and stuff them in a Christmas stocking? It’s like giving someone a treasure hunt in a big red sock! Your smaller gifts will be more appreciated if you use different wrapping paper for each item. Buy low cost stockings (you can decorate and personalize at home) at local dollar stores to save even more money.

  • As much as we all need to support out local economy, unfortunately many items are available online for cheaper. When you can find free shipping, it makes finding inexpensive Christmas gifts for even less. Name brand merchants need your business and are more willing to drop prices more than local stores However, some local stores offer bargains all year long so you’ve just got to be familiar with the stores you have in your own town.

  • Buy used instead of new! Slightly used or ‘like new’ items are a real bargain and make great inexpensive Christmas gifts. Most can be found in their original packaging, although you may need to dress them up a little bit. Smaller children don’t know the difference really, so used items are a great way to make a hit with the kids without taking too much of a hit to your wallet! You can find a multitude of less expensive new products on No More Rack and, and all over the web!

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  • Send Christmas cards instead of gifts. There are some fantastic Christmas cards on the market today. Shop early for the best selections. Hallmark and other card stores are a great place to start looking for them. They can have just as much meaning if you plan it out right. You can send cards snail mail (which is important to sustain local Post Offices) or send virtual cards via email.

    What you write inside your cards is what counts most anyway. You make the card more valuable by including a personal note. Typed out, generic notes are sometimes boring though, especially if you get them year after year. Ho hum! Hand written sentiments will personalize your thoughts and are appreciated even more!

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  • Make contributions to charities in someone else’s name. There are so many great ones but a few that come to mind at this time of year are the Make a Wish Foundation, Toys for Tots, The Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, and Operation Smile. Of course, there are many local charities that always need help too! If you know a certain charity is near and dear to someone you love, why not help support the cause? This is a great way to give back and spread a little love to charities around the globe that are in constant need of money. (Another way to give back is to simply donate time to local soup kitchens.)

  • As people age, material things mean less and less but time is invaluable. If you haven’t seen your grandparents for a while for example, send them a card and give them a homemade gift certificate for 6 hours of your time. Suggest things to do with them like strolling in a nearby park, having a picnic lunch, helping them prepare a meal, or just hanging out and watching an old movie they treasure. Time is a valuable commodity. Use it to your advantage to save money this Christmas.

  • If you have relatives that live nearby, why not invite them to a nice family dinner instead of giving individual gifts. Everyone appreciates being served and a night off from cooking! Breaking bread with loved ones is one of the best inexpensive gifts you can give.

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  • Instead of spending lots of extra personal time looking for the perfect gift, why not just give cash. Cash is a great way to allow your friends and family to get things they want, instead of things you think they want. It also keeps you out of the stores so you’re not picking up items for you. Women especially, have a hard time turning down a deal. If it’s on sale, most people are more likely to make the purchase anyway!

    To figure out exactly how much you can spend on gifts, divide how much you have to spend by the amount of people you need to give presents to, then you’ll know how much you can afford to give to each person on your list.

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  • Create memories for years to come by giving Christmas ornaments! There are some really great ornaments you can pick up for around $10 this time of year. One of my best friends gave me a hairdresser’s ornament years ago with its own little hairdryer, scissors, and comb on it. It said: 'Worlds Best Hairdresser'. Each year when I’m decorating my tree, I think about my girlfriend Toni and it brings a great big smile to my face! Ornaments can be used year after year and can create some heartfelt memories!

  • Don’t have any money to spend, even on inexpensive Christmas gifts? Look around your house and find items you can sell on auction sites like Yes, it does take some extra time and you’ll have to pay for the listing whether the item sells or not. For that reason, first look to see if those items are selling. Its always best to start auctions at $.99 or slightly higher. Listings that start with a low price cost less money to list and create buzz, which means that your listings will be more likely to get more bids. Your pictures are key to any auction item; the better your images, the more likely you’ll be to get more money for your listing.

  • Regifting is perfectly acceptable according to Daily As long as you rewrap the present, make sure it's a good 'fit', and don't give the gift back to the person who gave it to you! That's totally AWKWARD!

  • Perhaps you know how to make jewelry, sew, or knit. Use your talents to help create inexpensive Christmas gifts!

  • Gift cards are great inexpensive Christmas gifts, if you know that they’ll be used! If you don’t like the impersonal idea of giving cash, you can buy gift cards for below cost if you know where to get them! A couple of suggested sites are,,, and

    Get cards that are dated August 2010 or later. Also, insist on free shipping. Otherwise, you’ll be spending the money you just saved.

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  • If you know some ladies who are always entertaining or you love to throw a good party yourself, check out these hip new petite baking tools. They’re like George Foreman Grills for baked goods on a small scale. TheBabyCakesShop won't disappoint! Yummy! If you can afford to spend $20-$30, these are great inexpensive Christmas gifts to give!

    Before you purchase any inexpensive Christmas gifts, figure out your budget and vow to stick to it. Times are tough. Make the most of your holiday by thinking of different ways to showcase how much you really care!

    Related Pages on This Site

    Best Bargains - Year Round Buying Guide

    Bargain Hunting – Finding Local Low Cost Deals

    Manage Your Finances by Organizing

    Using Debit Cards – The Advantages and Disadvantages

    Increasing Income to Create More Money in the New Year

    Seeking Work in Tough Economic Times


    Guess How Much Americans Plan to Spend on Christmas and Halloween This Year?

    2016 Christmas Gift Spending Plans Top $900

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