Christmas ideas on a budget

Looking for a thoughtful and original gift idea for a friend but just don’t have the extra cash to drop? The holidays don’t have to drain your wallet. In fact, simple and creative gifts can cost little to nothing with a little effort and imagination. Here are a few ideas for holiday gifts on a budget that recipients are sure to love.

Memory Jar
This personalized gift is inspired by something I crafted for my mom last Christmas. I took a small shoebox and decorated it and then filled it full of specific favorite memories from the past year I had with my mom, such as attending concerts, baking and camping. This is a simple, fun to make, and thoughtful gift. It requires just a small box or jar, some glue, decorations like stickers, glitter, ribbons and some scrapbook or construction paper. Take the jar or box and decorate it to your liking. On my mom’s box, I wrote a few lyrics from a song that reminded me of her and applied some stickers. Then simply write or type favorite memories on small slips of colored paper and put them inside the box or jar. Altogether, this gift idea should cost less than $10 and all supplies can be found at a local craft store or even around your home.

Tasty Treats
Homemade sweets and foods are always a delicious and heartfelt gift for any occasion, especially during the holidays. Instead of baking a batch of traditional gingerbread cookies this season, try spicing up your variations with a new recipe such as Near-Instant Peanut Brittle or homemade Best Hot Cocoa Mix. All of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store.

Check out these delectable and easy-to-make holiday recipes at the following websites.

Near-Instant Peanut Brittle:

Peppermint Patties:

White Chocolate Snowballs:

Best Hot Cocoa Mix:

Any gift, original or not, can be spiced up with complimentary packaging. Instead of ordinary wrapping paper, try delivering your gifts in a decorative box or even a dressed up recycled paper bag. These ideas are also easy on your wallet, fun to create and elegant. See links below for a few festive ideas:

More homemade gift ideas:

Matchbox Gift Wrapping:

Elegant Gift Bags:

Snowflake Gift Toppers: