How To: Save Money on Christmas Gifts Part 2

I’ve got a few more tips to help you purchase great gifts for your friends and family without breaking the bank!  You can view Part 1, which focuses on ways to save on gifts you would buy anyways, here if you missed it.  This post focuses on inexpensive gift ideas.


5.  Organize a gift exchange.


What better way to save money than to buy fewer gifts?  Instead of buying a gift for each person you normally would, organize a gift exchange for that group of people.  Each person buys one gift and receives one gift.  My two favorite gift games are yankee swap or secret santa.  Yankee swaps are great for large groups as it becomes more of a fun game than just a gift exchange.  Secret santas are usually better for groups that know eachother well, since they will have to choose a gift specifically for that person. 

There is a great online resource that I have used in the past called Elfster.  You invite each person to participate via email, and once everyone has either accepted or rejected the invitation, you do a virtual name draw.  Everyone is automatically emailed the person they are assigned to buy a gift for.  You can add restrictions before the draw so that immediate family does not end up buying for eachother.  You can also make an online wishlist and ask anonymous questions of your person if you are unsure of their shirt size, favorite color, etc.

6.  Give a gift basket.

Gift baskets can be an inexpensive yet thoughtful gift idea.  Take inspiration from the more expensive professional gift baskets on the web and put together your own version.  Find a basket on discount at a craft supply store or at the thrift store and jazz it up with cellophane shrink wrap

Some of my favorite ideas include:

  • Spa gift basket – Round up some bath salts, soaps, nail polishes, a few candles, a loofah, and maybe even some gourmet chocolate.  Some of these items might even be drugstore freebies if you’ve been playing the drugstore game!
  • Movie night gift basket – Pick up a few small boxes of boxed candy, some sodas, and a few bags of microwaveable popcorn, and place them in a basket along with a $5 Blockbuster gift card to pick out a rental of their choice!
  • Coffee gift basket – Gather a few small packages of gourmet coffee, a cute mug or travel mug, some biscotti, and some breathmints.  In the past, I’ve also included handmade coffee recipe books with delectable coffee recipes such as irish coffee cupcakes and deep chocolate coffee brownies.  The deals that come around every so often for Snapfish/Shutterfly free photo mugs and Gevalia’s free gourmet coffee and mugs work well for this basket.

The sky is the limit when it comes to gift baskets.  Consider the recipient’s interests and try to create something special and thoughtful that he or she will enjoy.

7.  Give the gift of food.


Holiday baked goods are a typical gift, but don’t stick to just the traditional Christmas Cookies and fruit bread!  Try something that will last a little longer so that the recipient can enjoy it well into the new year.  Homemade Chex mixes and gourmet nuts are a great alternative since they are delicious and will last a long time without spoiling.  Also, consider gifts in a jar, like homemade jams, salsas, granolas, and cookie mixes.  Add a personalized label or tag for an extra special touch.

8.  Give a handmade gift.


There are no shortage of handmade gift ideas around the internet.  Take into consideration how many people you are giving to and the interests of those people to determine how much time/money you can invest into each gift.  Some of my favorite ideas are sewing a ruffle scarf, decorating a tray, and making vintage tin candles.  But really, the possibilities are endless!

I hope I have given you some fun gift giving inspiration.  What do you think?  Do you have any other ways to save on Christmas gifts?  Maybe a favorite go-to handmade gift?

This entry was posted in Holidays, Saving Money. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How To: Save Money on Christmas Gifts Part 2

  1. One strategy is to buy on Dec. 17th, when thousands of retailers will throw out free shipping as a carrot in guaranteeing delivery by Christmas Eve.

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