Frugal Last Minute Gift Ideas

Posted by idawrites on December 22, 2008 in Food, Frugal, Gifts |

There are a hundred reasons to wait until the last minute to shop for Christmas gifts.   Were you waiting for your Christmas bonus to come (or did you count on one that didn’t come)?  Needed to get that one last paycheck under your belt?  Waiting for the best sales on the day before?

Whatever the reason .. you’re stuck.  It is now 2 1/2 days until Christmas (and 2 days into Hanukkah!!!) and you don’t have gifts.   Here’s a little secret… you don’t even have to go shopping for some of the best gives you could possibly give.

Ida’s best Last Minute Gift Ideas:

  1. Bake something – Everyone says it, but seriously.  Bake some cookies or some bread or a nice coffee cake.  Last year, I was at a loss as to what to bring a friend for her gift.  When I queried her husband, he said “Anything that doesn’t take up space on a shelf and collect dust.”  That’s a sentiment echoed through many of the families I know.  Unless you know someone who NEEDS something for their house, bring food.  People LOVE IT when it’s there… remember it fondly when it’s gone… and look forward to it again next time.
  2. Make candy – This year, I took the super sneaky route.  I bought 8 bags of Dove chocolates when they were on sale BOGO and I had coupons for $1.00 off.  This made the chocolate about 1/3 the cost of a pound of bulk chocolate for candy making, and it’s YUMMY chocolate.  I’m using it the same way as the bulk chocolate  and melting it for holiday candies.
  3. Homemade Gift Certificates – The ultimate in last minute gifts.  Gift certificates.  But when you make your own, they can be completely customized for the recipient.  Massage and candle light dinner for the significant other, lawn mowing for the neighbor or grandparent, one on one time with the children… be creative.  These are the greatest gifts… time with you.
  4. Hand Made Crafts – Are you crafty?  Is there something you make or do that everyone raves over?  Have extras stashed in the closet?  Dust them off and share the love.
  5. Gift Baskets – Head to the farmer’s market and load up on fruits and homemade candies to put together gift baskets.  While this isn’t the most frugal of ideas, it’s less expensive than heading to the mall.
  6. Photos – Do you have old family photos that your family would love to have copies of?  Scan them into your computer and print them up for pennies a piece at Walgreen’s and pick them up in an hour or two.

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