VALDOSTA — With Mother’s Day and various graduations fast approaching, you may find yourself in a predicament of needing to buy a gift for someone special, but not having the necessary funds to do so. Have no fear budgeteers! I have tons of tricks up my incredibly fashionable sleeves that will be sure to get rid of those gift giving grumpies and get you giving a cheap gift without the risk of looking like a tightwad.
• “The greatest gift is a portion of thyself” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
I know the words “home made gift” make many of you cringe as adolescent memories of home made sweaters and fruit cake begin to emerge.
However, there is a way to give a home made gift without looking like you’ve become the crazy cat lady.
For example, one year for my brother’s birthday, I was totally broke. This made me feel horrible as my brother always gets me really nice gifts.
Of course the year I’m broke fell on the year where he got me a silver ring from Tiffany’s for my birthday.
Talk about horror! I knew that I would either have to sell a kidney on the black market or come up with a genius idea. Luckily, I still have two kidneys and my brother got a really great, personal gift.
I went to my parent’s house and found an old picture of us when we were babies.
We were laying on the floor and I was just a little baby and he was playing Legos with me. I took the photo and went and bought a frame on sale from Michael’s for only $5. That, plus a card and even the shipping only rang me in around $10. My brother loved it and he displays it proudly in his living room.
Giving pictures as gifts is great. People really appreciate them, especially when it’s a picture with a story. It let’s that person know that you put a lot of time and thought into their gift. Jazz up the picture with a really cute frame. TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby have the best frames with so much character. Give a memory and a home decor item!
• “Music is the art of the prophets and the gift of God.” -Martin Luther
When me and my husband were in college, we had absolutely no money for extravagant gifts. However, my husband never admits defeat, it is one of the qualities of his that doesn’t completely annoy me. Instead of giving me some lame excuse of how he couldn’t afford a Valentine’s Day gift for me, he would make me the best mixed CD’s.
Now, it wasn’t just him slapping together some Britney Spears songs, he put a lot of thought into them. I remember one CD he gave me had the song that was playing when we first said “I love you” and there was another song that played in the car while we made the trip to Savannah for him to meet my parents.
He made that CD for me five years ago and I still have it today.
This gift idea definitely has some guidelines. First, don’t just burn a CD and put a permanent marker label on it.
Invest in a CD case and take the time to either make a cover for the case on the computer or draw it by hand. For an extra special touch, make a song list with a description of why you chose each song.
• “Give what you have to somebody, it may be better than you think.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
If you have a little cash to spare and are not keen on home made gifts, there is a way to give an inexpensive gift without looking cheap. I like to find gifts on sale that look like they cost $100 but really, I only spent $50. That’s why I don’t like to give gift cards or cash, it totally gives away how much you spend.
Some of my favorite gifts that I have given have been themed knick knack gifts. I’ll get a cute gift bag or basket and pack it full of items on the same theme. At places like TJ Maxx, this is an inexpensive gift to complete. You can buy a cute apron and some girlie cooking accessories. The perfect Mother’s Day gift for around $30! These sort of gifts are so much better than a single item because it’s like a mind trick to the person receiving it. They’ll be amazed by the variety of things and thus, it will look like you spent way more than you actually did. It also shows you spent time on their gift as it would have been much easier for you to just pick out one thing and be done.
I always hate it when I’m told “it’s the thought that counts.” Of course that’s easy for someone to say when they do have money, but honestly, it is the truth.
Showing that you put thought into your gift really counts for more than you think and fortunately for you, thought is practically dirt cheap.
Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Brittany’sBudgetDiary and join the budgeteer revolution!
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