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Buying Meaningful Gifts on a Budget

gifts under the tree

Buying gifts for people we love generally fills us with joy, but it’s not without challenges. How do you buy something meaningful, unique, and useful, but also stay within a reasonable budget? And if you’re the kind of person who buys for everyone in the family–children, grandchildren, in-laws, neighbors, pets, etc.–the challenge deepens. You may realize that the gift-giving that used to bring you such fulfillment actually feels like a chore. 

Don’t throw in the towel yet! There are plenty of ways to get gifts that will be loved and cherished without cashing in your retirement fund. Talk to your family and discuss how you want to approach the gift-giving season, possibly using one of the following themes.

1. Homemade Gifts

Decide as a family that you will all exchange gifts you make yourself. When you give a homemade gift, what you are really giving is a gift of your time. Making something homemade takes longer than putting something in an online shopping basket. And before you say that you’re not an artist, keep in mind that giving something homemade does not have to be something tangible–although artwork is a special gift as well. For a teenager, a homemade gift can be coupons for free lawn services or babysitting for a day to be named later. A grandmother can give her grandchildren a collection of her favorite recipes. The list is endless, and don’t be afraid to spend hours on Pinterest looking up great ideas, or click here for a list of homemade gift ideas.

2. Secondhand Gifts

Thrift stores and garage sales are secret treasure troves, and don’t let anyone tell you something different! If you start your shopping in the summer, you’ll have a head start on the holidays, and you’ll be surprised at the great things you’ll find. Rummage sales are famous for having great items, some with tags still attached, and others strange and unusual and wonderful. Thrift stores have special senior discount days, military discount days, furniture discount days, and more. Look for special sales and watch just how much you can get for your money! For those buying for bookworms, a great web site to find secondhand books is You can type in the name of the book, and you will see a list of the least expensive site to buy that book, including shipping and any coupons. Some of the books listed used often come to you in pristine condition, some are autographed by the author, and some have other little surprises that the previous owner has tucked inside and forgotten about. Pre-owned gifts can have special meaning and come at a great value.

3. Deals, Deals, Deals!

Take advantage of the special sales days: Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and more. But you don’t even have to do the work yourself. If you haven’t downloaded the Krazy Koupon Lady app, do it now! You can look at the sales ads that come in, but she is sure to make it known when absolutely anything is on sale. She keeps a special eye on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, but she also tells you about fantastic sales that you would never hear about. You can choose which stores you want alerts from, which products or brands you’d like to know about, and more. You’ll never miss another deal.

And, of course, don’t forget the reason for Christmas. If you are a Christian, Christmas is the day we celebrate the most meaningful gift of all–Jesus. The tradition of gift-giving began as a way to symbolize that very special gift. If buying presents moves you farther away from the reason for the season, perhaps you should take a break from the hectic shopping and simply rest in appreciation for that greatest of gifts.





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