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Niche Topics (Money and Lifestyle) is about helping you manage your finances so that
you live comfortably within your means. We share frugal living ideas such as save
money around the house, cheap to make recipes, budget-friendly solutions for everyday
living, recycling crafts, helpful hints to buy things without getting burned, and
If you've a long list of gifts to buy this Xmas but have a smaller than normal budget,
then these frugal Christmas gift ideas from the heart will come in really helpful
in trying times. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how little money can do so much
more than pricey presents!
Affordable Xmas Gift Suggestions
1. Homemade Gifts from Your Kitchen
An inexpensive gift of freshly baked cookies, cakes, candies and bars is the simplest
and yet always appreciated, especially if your recipient doesn't bake. Think chocolate
truffles, Christmas sugar cookies, toffee bars and cranberry pistachio biscotti...
just to name a few of the all-time favorites.
And, if you're lacking in the baking department, jams, jellies, salsa make great
Presentation is very important with homemade food gifts. You want to package in beautiful
containers that matches the personality of your recipient such as antique cookie
jars for an elderly neighbor, or flowerpots for the gardening enthusiast in mind.
Wicker baskets, cookie tins, glass plates, or large salad bowls are also wonderful
If you're big fan of all things DIY, consider plain wooden boxes at your local crafts
store. They usually come in various novelty shapes, and cost very little. Make them
extra special with colorful spray paints, decoupage with laser copies of family photos,
decorate with collage of leftover gift wrapping paper, or use holiday-themed stencils
to create holly leaves, stars, angels, sleighs and stockings. You can also add poetry
or song lyrics to set the mood for Christmas – the ideas for personalization are
Decorate the container of your choice with a tulle ribbon, or metallic twine and
attach a pretty gift tag. You can even include the cookie recipe card and a holiday
cookie cutter so the gift recipient can make their own cookies.
2. Homemade Spa Gift Baskets
Spa gift baskets are practical and always popular with both men and women, but it
doesn't have to be expensive. You can put together a luxurious spa gift set with
a few relaxing items. Pamper your friends with rejuvenating bath oils, massaging
body brush, bath scrubby, assorted foot salt soaks, pretty tealight holders, and
scented candles. Also, you might want to consider adding a relaxation CD, or terry
cloth thong slippers to your homemade gift basket.
3. Handmade Jewelry
I love one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, and I know many women love receiving them
as gifts. If you haven't tried making your own jewelry, you really should! It's fun,
easy and quick to make.
Bead bracelets are possibly one of the easiest and most popular jewelry to make by
hand. You can buy DIY bead kits with instruction (they usually cost less than $15)
for jewelry-making or opt for higher quality items from specialty bead shops. Alternatively,
restring an old piece of jewelry into a new stylish look, or make your own paper
And, if creativity juices running dry, go to Esty and look around for inspiration.
Better yet, buy crafts that support charity from them.
4. Homemade Art and Craft Kits
Whether it's crayons and drawing papers, or watercolor paints, kids love to do fun
things with their hands. You can put homemade playdough, homemade kids paints, homemade
sidewalk chalk, and some leftover scrapbook paper (include a variety of colors and
textures) into a toy dump truck, or sand pail. Cover with colored cellophane paper
and tie it up with a curling ribbon. There you have it... a lovely Christmas gift
for the young ones!
And, don't forget to throw in a few fridge magnets and stickers. Kids love to see
their art stuck up on the refrigerator or noticeboard.
5. Store-Bought Christmas Gifts Under $20
If you don't have time for homemade gifts, or you're really a last-minute shopper
searching for the perfect present, steal a few of these interesting yet affordable
Xmas gifts that won't break the bank. Many of these gift ideas are practical and
will surely be appreciated by everyone – friends, neighbors, boss, co-workers, cooks,
gardeners, seniors, travelers, etc.
You can easily find most of the gifts online, or at any major retail store.