Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing already? Yes, it may only be November, but before you know it, Christmas will be here once again. When you’re trying to save money, though, the thought of the festive season can be a major stress. Don’t let it be.
You don’t actually have to spend a fortune on presents. It’s not compulsory at all. In fact, if you’re on a budget, there are loads of cheap gifts you can get or even make instead. All you need is a little imagination and may be a bit more time. With that in mind, let’s take a look at ten ideas right here, right now. These will save you money while impressing your friends and family.
1. Homemade popcorn jars/containers
Here’s a quick secret: There’s nothing easier than making popcorn. Seriously. All you need is some kernels, which cost a couple of quid from any supermarket, and a pan with a lid. Pop them in the pan with the lid on and watch them go. You will, of course, need to be super careful when doing this. But, on the plus side, it’s actually loads of fun!
You can ‘season’ the popcorn with anything you like from sugar and salt to something fancier like cinnamon or even melted. Next, get some jars (you can recycle some if you want!) and pop the stuff in there. It’s that simple.
Sure, you may want to make these things look pretty. You could use some ribbons and labels to make the jars look unique. This is one of those gifts that people tend to adore and remember. Maybe that’s because it’s delicious and edible. Win!
2. Hidden compartment book
This is a present for the wannabe spy in your life. If you know someone who loves nothing more than hiding things away, you can make them this gift with little to no trouble. Basically, you just need an old book (hardbacks work best!) that you no longer want or like all that much. Note: You will be ruining it by cutting into it so don’t go using your fave one here.
Next, just follow the tutorial in the above video. It shouldn’t take you all that long. Make sure that you make the compartment big enough for whatever the person may want to hide. This could be useful for everything from booze to secret love letters. Genius.
3. A thoughtful photo album
You can’t put a price on your memories, right? If you’re looking for a super thoughtful present idea, you may just have found it. All you need for this one is a cheap photo album (or you could actually use a notebook instead) and some pictures. The biggest cost here is likely the print of the pictures. That’s one of those costs that you can’t really avoid. If you’re feeling flush, you could go to a special printing shop. However, there are other options.
You could get them done online or even print them using your own printer at home if you’re really tight on money. Next, it’s time to get creative. Take the time to make the album as beautiful as it can be. That means getting crafty. Sure, you may not be able to make it as fancy as the Instagram one here, but it’s certain to be a nice present for that someone special in your life.
Buy: Photo Album
4. Hot chocolate (in a jar!)
And now, for another edible present. What could be better than that? At this time of year, many places sell hot chocolate gift sets and, frankly, they are a huge ripoff. Um, £15 for a mug and some cocoa mix? No, thanks. If you’d rather save your pennies, though, you may wish to make your own hot chocolate gift set.
You will need a jar and some basic ingredients here, but other than that, it hardly costs a thing. What’s more, to make things even cheaper for you, you can make a ton of these in bulk. This year, just give everyone this homemade present. They will adore it… and never once think you’re cheap.
5. Recipe books
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Diets and healthy living are kind of a big deal right now. If you’ve got friends who have suddenly gone vegan or want to start a new eating routine in 2018, this present is great. The brilliant thing about recipe books is that none of them are all that expensive (especially not if you get them online!) and they make for great presents. They show your friends and loved ones that you’ve listened to their constant food-based ramblings and that you really do care about them too. Nice.
You can tailor this present to whatever your friends or family may be into right now. Just go to Amazon and type in ‘vegan recipe book’ or ‘low carb recipe book’… You get the general idea. I’m sure that they will be thrilled with this thoughtful and totally inexpensive present.
Buy: Good Food Eat Well
6. DIY book pendants
Do you know a load of bookworms? Well, then, you’re in luck. There’s a super cheap present you can make that they will treasure for all time. Yes, why not make them a book pendant? This is another present that involves ruining a book. *Gasp!* It’s time to get the scissors out once again.
You will need to invest in some empty pendants, which are actually very cheap when you buy them in bulk online. Once you’ve done so, you just need to go ahead and cut out a quote from the book to stick inside the pendant. Easy. Check out the video and try it yourself.
Buy: Empty pendants
7. VR headsets
Let’s not beat around the bush here… Gadgets are expensive. Luckily, gadget accessories are not. If you know someone who has every piece of tech under the sun, why not get them something like this? You can pick up a cardboard VR headset for under a tenner, which means that it won’t break the bank. That means that your pal can use the headset with their existing phone or smart device and all you have to do is provide them with the casing for it. There are quite a lot of cheap headsets available now so it’s just a case of taking your pick.
Buy: VR headsets
8. The ultimate box of chocolates
You may think that a box of chocolates is a cop out. And sure, in most cases, it is. However, if you do want to give someone this present, why not make it extra special? If your friend or family member loves a particular type of chocolate, why not get them a hamper/gift set of it. You can grab something like this for around a tenner again and it’s a really tasty present.
The key here is to consider what it is that the person likes especially. For example, if they like a brand of chocolates or candy, you should go with that. They will think you’re super thoughtful and won’t for a minute stop to consider the price. YES!
Buy: Reese’s Gift Box
9. Framed Prints
Everyone loves artwork and posters. Here’s another present that you can make seriously unique with little to no effort on your part. Just think about what your friend likes. For example, you may know what their favourite movie is or what series they are currently binge-watching on Netflix. Then, get a print of that movie or series poster. On eBay or Amazon, you should be able to find just about everything for no more than a few quid.
Once you’ve got the print sorted, you can go the extra mile and get a frame for it. You will need to know the dimensions of the poster before you do so, but after that, it’s plain sailing. Giving your friend a poster of something that they love in a brand new frame is a fantastic idea. It shows that you know them well and that you appreciate their interests.
Buy: Picture frames
10. DIY candle
We all have that one friend who is absolutely addicted to candles. You know who I’m talking about — the person who’s house is a constant fire hazard. Of course, you could buy them a candle, but why not make one instead. It’s much easier than you may think. All you need to do is follow the instructions in the video here. It won’t take you too long. Plus, when you go ahead and tell the person that you made the gift yourself, they will be absolutely blown away. Clever, right?
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