gifts on a strict budget
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  1. #1
    Registered User gmarie's Avatar
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    Default gifts on a strict budget

    My DH and I have finally set a strict budget for gifts. We are spending $25/ parent for birthday's and Christmas, and $20 for nieces & nephews. There are 12, all on his side!

    His moms birthday next week, and we have no idea what to get for her under $25 that still looks like a thoughtful gift.

    Any ideas?

    We also have a baptism (we are the god parents) this month and his brother is about to have his second child.

    For his mom... My DH is a chef so maybe a gift basket of handmade food items, some of our tomatoes/ pickles we have canned from the garden? I have never given handmade gifts before so this is all new to me...

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    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    I think the handmade food basket is a great idea. Mostly because it's something that can be consumed, and not put up on a shelf or in a closet for the next 10 years. Plus, if your DH is a chef...it's gotta be good! lol. I decided that this X-Mas, all gifts we give are going to be homemade.

    I grew up in a large family. My mom has 11 brothers and sisters, and my dad has 5. Each of them has 2-3 children, you do the math lol. That played a major part (maybe the WHOLE part lol) in the reason I never saw gifts from my aunts and uncles, and my cousins never saw gifts from my parents. There's just too many of us, and what's the point really? Graduations and marriages are the only times I can think of that we've ever received gifts from the extended family. In your case, 12 nieces and nephews means 24 gifts EVERY YEAR, for birthdays and X-Mas. So with a $20 budget per gift....that's nearly $500 not even touching on in-laws, sisters and brothers. If I were you, I'd reconsider the buying of birthday and X-mas gifts for your entire extended family each year. If you are all together on the holidays, a white elephant gift exchange would probably make everyone happier...and several hundred dollars richer lol. Just my two cents

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    Registered User tervsforme's Avatar
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    I think a basket with home made items in it sounds lovely! It is something from the heart, in my opinion. I make a lot of my gifts as well. Do you sew? I make baskets and then fill them with a few things that I think the person would like, as well as some goofy things, like funny socks or a silly book, etc.

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    Registered User KimZ's Avatar
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    The Basket is a GREAT idea - to it you could also add maybe a few recipe cards to use those items? Maybe throw in some pasta's or dried beans? and since it is her birthday maybe a nice photo card of your family?

    Also is there a reason you buy for ALL those people? could you not just buy for the kids or Christmas etc maybe draw names? If they have 12 even though it's one gift a piece that is a HUGE amount of money on gifts!
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    Registered User Momto5RN's Avatar
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    excedpt for birthdays wheer we give cash to alt of teh neices and nephews ( usually 10-20$ depending on age and once they grad college we stop that and just give a card wuith a lottery card which is what the adukts exchaneg for b-days etc )

    we normally spend alot less than that on gifts especially for christmas as i shop year round watch deals use internet coupons etc .
    i think that $ amount is very do-able.

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    Registered User Neeley's Avatar
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    Look into photo sharing sites such as Snapfish, Shutterfly, VistaPrints and Artscow. Each is always running a special, percentage off, or free item w/shipping promotion.

    Once you sign up for Artscow, your account is credited with a load of freebies that you only pay s/h for. This week I ordered 4 square rubber coasters made with pictures of my kids on them for my grandmother. S/H was $5.95, and the items are adorable. I budget $35 for my grandmother at Christmas, this took care of her gift and I spent $29 less than I had planned.
    I also have freebie credits for a photo book from the same website. I made one for MIL for her Christmas gift. S/H was $5.95. I budget $100 for her gift so I am also using a discount code to have a personalized umbrella made for her @ $16.95 (S/H included). For right at $23 I have two personalized gifts for MIL and stayed $67 under budget for her gift. Other gifts I have ordered from just Artscow and VistaPrints by using the freebies they offer everyone are: canvas bag, personalized with a photo and name, post-it style note pads w/the person's name and picture on them, sets of personalized stationary cards, car magnets, etc...Atrscow also gives everyone certain free credits every month to be used in that month.

    Also, you can use the JCPenny $10 off $10 code (See the Christmas 2010 Countdown thread for the code) in conjunction with an item on sale or clearance and you've got another good gift.

    I have a Christmas budget of $2000 ($500 on each kid and $1000 on all other family members and friends combined) per year. But, every penny I cut off of it is another penny I get to spend on our Christmas vacation trip. I search and seek out every deal I can to have more fun blow money in Disney. This year it looks like I will be able to get all of my family and friends gifts (not including my kids' gifts) for less than $200. Woohoo - an extra $800 to play with on my trip.

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    Registered User gmarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimZ View Post
    The Basket is a GREAT idea - to it you could also add maybe a few recipe cards to use those items? Maybe throw in some pasta's or dried beans? and since it is her birthday maybe a nice photo card of your family?

    Also is there a reason you buy for ALL those people? could you not just buy for the kids or Christmas etc maybe draw names? If they have 12 even though it's one gift a piece that is a HUGE amount of money on gifts!
    I wish we didn't feel like we "have" to. Unfortunately, no one is willing to draw names, and DH's family can be hard to please... they are the opposite of frugal, spend whatever they earn, and tend to be go overboard with gifts... And they are always asking us to "go in" on extravagant gifts that we can not afford. His mother even tells people that we are "terrible gift givers." LOL so it puts a little pressure on us but we have a ton of consumer debt, and are on dave ramsey's plan to get out of debt as quickly as possible.

    So we feel that $20/ kid is the bare minimum, however, I would love to become a "better" gift giver by giving more thoughtful gifts while not spending a lot... which is why I am asking for feedback!

    Thanks!

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    Registered User gmarie's Avatar
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    Oh and i have a sewing machine but i'm still learning how to use it. I have some pillows that I've been meaning to finish.

    I also love to mosaic so i will probably do some frames for Christmas this year.

    And I would also love to try soap making or make homemade beauty products (for myself as well!)

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    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmarie View Post
    Oh and i have a sewing machine but i'm still learning how to use it. I have some pillows that I've been meaning to finish.

    I also love to mosaic so i will probably do some frames for Christmas this year.

    And I would also love to try soap making or make homemade beauty products (for myself as well!)
    Ooo, you'll like this. I just saw this yesterday Blog Archive For Those Who Were Waiting For It…

    There's a link about halfway down the page that you click on to start the .pdf download. You do need Adobe reader, but you probably already have it.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    For the nieces and nephews I would give themed baskets like;

    Ice Cream Sundae baskets

    Put in a sundae dish (you can get nice ones at the dollar store believe it or not, or Wal-Mart)

    Syrups for drizzling

    Maraschino cherries

    Chopped nuts

    Little bags of chopped candy & cookies

    And a $5 gift certificate for ice cream (Any store)

    Get a small basket (you want it small so it is filled out well with items) from a craft store (usually cheaper) Fancy filler from the dollar store, lots of curling ribbon and print out a gift tag from the internet where you choose the words. Say something like, "It's time for an ice cream party!!!"


    Or

    Make Movie Baskets

    A basket or you could buy popcorn bins from the dollar store. They sell them every year around this time. Fill it with;

    A big bag of popcorn (a lot of dollar stores sell name brand)

    Movie theater candy (from dollar store, they have name brand)

    1 or 2- 1 liter bottles of soda

    A gift card for movie purchases, or DVD's from Wal-marts $5 movie bins.

    Same as above for decorating, filler, ribbon, tag.


    These gifts will work for any age, and I've never given one of these that it was not well received. You should be able to fill small baskets to overflowing with $20, just watch where you shop.

    Right now I'm making a soda shop basket for a young man. It will have soda shop glasses (found on clearance) several different kinds syrups, cherries, soda water & a gift certificate for ice cream & whipped cream.

    My son made a tray filled with teas, cookies & different creamers for the Grandparents last year and they loved it. Found almost all the name brand items at the dollar store. Starting buying here and there till Christmas came.

    He also made a hot cocoa basket with several kinds of cookies for his girlfriends family. He just bought tub of fancy cocoa & name brand cookies and put them in a basket. It turned out very nice.

    It is always hard to buy for people who are hard to please. Food gifts creatively packaged have been a real life saver for me.

    For the baptism I would buy a collection of Lullabies. We loved Sleep Sound In Jesus, Compact Disc. Buy inexpensive ones and stack them and tie with lots of curling ribbon. They will never know you didn't pay full price for them.


    All Products : Lullabies - Christianbook.com Search

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    Moderator mauimagic's Avatar
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    Love all these great ideas!!

    Know the challenges of families like yours gmarie. I know that there is no way I could ever please that side of our family - so I do the best I can and am proud of all the gifts!! One thing I started years ago - like 30 years is making stockings for all of DH's family. I fill them every year with goodies I find/make throughout the year - this year, that's all they are getting and that's okay too.
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    Can you make the 'basket of homemade goodies' an annual tradition?

    Don't be fooled to think that because dh made the goodies, they are 'cheap'; calculate how much he would charge in his restaurant (retail price)!

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    We are trying to become more purposeful with our gift giving and less about giving gifts because we HAVE to. I would also drop the thought of having to spend $20 per child. Instead pick a theme. Give everyone a book- yes some might be way less than $20 and some might be close to it. Write an inscription in the front to personalize it and tell them why you chose it for them. Or buy everyone pajamas. Around the holidays Old Navy ran some specials last year where you could get pajamas for around $8. Shop with coupons- don't go into a store without them (I'm not talking food coupons- store coupons). Give everyone the big boxes of candy and tape a movie ticket to a local theater on the outside. Depending upon the size of each family it might be less expensive to buy them tickets to something as a family gift- a membership to a museum or a gift certificate to a bounce place. One of our aunts once made a fast food basket for us with gift certificates to any fast food restaurant you could think of- it was great because we were low on money and loved to eat out. If they are younger children buy summertime stuff now to give for Christmas and cut your budget in half. Cheap swimsuit and a pool toy should be less than $10. As for parents, that is always tough for me. We try to go as personal as we can. My parents don't need anything either. One of the best gifts we ever did was making a photo book on shutterfly or snapfish. This year I want to make one with Santa pictures of all of the kids from over the years. I think it would make a cute Christmas gift. Or would be a great anniversary present to do one of your family- you can write a little dialogue to go with it as well. anyways, good luck!

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Just some articles/ideas I've saved over time:

    Family | Holidays | Special Inexpensive Gift Ideas

    Special Inexpensive Gift Ideas
    by Beth Fisher

    Being on a tight budget, normally we make most of our Christmas gifts. Over the years I've found that you can come up with a more personal, and more appreciated gift this way.

    I wanted to share a few ideas that we are using this year that are great for last minute gifts.

    Recipe File Box - This is a great activity for the whole family. Take an index card file box (3x5 or 4x6), and let the kids cut out small pictures of food from magazines. Cover the box, one side at a time with white glue, and glue pictures on. When box is completely covered (outside only), let dry thoroughly. When dry, mix 2 parts white glue to 1 part water, and brush this mixture over entire outer surface of box. Let dry. Include a package of index card dividers marked for different food categories, a package of plain blank cards and about 25 of your favorite recipes to get their collection started.

    Christmas Memories Book - Another great project for sharing memories with family. Let kids cut out pictures from wrapping paper. Cover outside of 1-1 1/2" 3 ring binder with glue, one flap at a time, and glue pictures to outside. Let dry. Use same glue mixture as above to seal the surface. Add a package of tab dividers marked: Christmas stories, Christmas gifts, Christmas giving, Christmas thoughts,and Christmas recipes. Add package of notebook paper.

    Fill out first page of each section as follows:

    * Christmas stories (put your favorite fictional or true Christmas story here)
    * Christmas gifts (this is to list gifts received by the person receiving this gift, so at the top of the page write 1998, then on the first line put "Christmas memory book" from "your name". This way they can remember who gave them what gift.)
    * Christmas giving (this page is for the recipient to write what they gave as gifts, so just write the year at the top with instruction to fill in what they gave to whom)
    * Christmas thoughts (this is the section for them to write special happenings, so fill in a few memories that you have of Christmas with this person, or their family)
    * Christmas recipes (this can be an ongoing collection, but add one or two of your favorites)

    (This gift is especially appropriate for a newly wed couple, or a new baby, but can be great for anyone.)

    Foaming Vanilla Bath -

    1 cup oil (any vegetable oil)
    1/2 c. liquid soap
    1 tbsp vanilla extract
    1/4 cup honey (optional)

    Blend the ingredients together. Shake well before using. Use 1/4 cup per bath.

    You can be very creative with the packaging of bath products. Take an empty wine cooler
    four pack (complete with box). Spray paint the box white (or gold or silver). Sponge paint with contrasting color. Wash labels off of bottles, keep lids. Decorate the bottle with paint pens, with designs like squiggles, etc. Pour foaming bath in each bottle, close lids and put in box. Gifts for the Kids You don't have to break the bank to give kids practical and fun gifts that they will actually use.

    Go by what your child likes to do and be creative.

    Coloring book - Take a 3 ring binder, add a zipper pouch with crayons, and print out coloring pages from the internet. FamilyCorner.com has several coloring pages.


    Coloring Pages

    Just print out the pictures, and punch 3 holes and put them in the book with the crayons.

    Craft Bag - This can be done very reasonably. Take a large shoe box, and fill with odds and ends that can be used to make things. Cotton balls, tissue paper, glue, markers, paper, etc. Be creative. Even things like buttons and ribbon.

    Makeup Kit - This idea is great for teen girls. Take a shoe box and fill with nail polish, polish remover, cosmetics, etc. You can cover the shoe box and write on the top "Beth's Box" (use appropriate name, of course).

    Garden Gift "Basket" - For the garden lover. Use a large clay pot for your "basket" fill with seeds, gloves, tools, plant food, etc.

    Of course, we are baking a lot of gifts, as we always do, but recipes are easy to find. I thought I'd share some "new" ideas.

    Hope you enjoy them, and have a Merry Christmas!



    About the Author:
    Beth Fisher is a 33 year old wife and homeschooling mother of 3, ages 12, 10, and 3.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Rice bags for heat or cold - this year I'm making them in the shape of a frog and adding a tag F.R.O.G (fully rely on God)

    http://www.diamondthreadworks.com/micro ... g_bags.htm This one uses corn for the filling

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/articl ... gifts.html

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