Life, Money

Be savvy about last minute Christmas shopping! Gift ideas that won’t break the bank

Published on December 11, 2018 1:45 am, by

Giving at Christmas is a joy. It’s fun and a way for us to express our love for others in our life. It’s not meant to feel overwhelming or like a chore. Even with a budget, limited time and busy shops it’s possible to hold onto the joy we bring to ourselves and others when we give.

With less than 2 weeks to go until Christmas, it would be easy to get into a bit of a panic and blow your gift budget. Don’t! Stop, write a list, give each person a spending limit and remember that sometimes thoughtful gifts or the gift of time are just as appreciated as expensive gifts. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

For godparents and/or grandparents – there is nothing as special as a piece of artwork from a favoured grandchild, niece or nephew. Give as is or put your inner carpenter to use and make a frame. Laminating is also an inexpensive option.

Novelty photos – Big W has some great gift options.  The novelty packs of playing cards are a great option. Choose a photo and have it printed 52 times for $20. Sometimes you can find them for quite a bit less when they are on sale. 2019 calendars are also relatively simple to make, and there are always 50% off sales in the lead up to Christmas. If you left it a bit late, put an IOU in a card, and let them know the gift is prepared, ordered and on its way.

Save your jam jars & fill them with homemade goodies – these are such fun to give and receive. Basil pesto is a great example, if your herb garden is in a good way, get cracking, and if it goes well, why not print out the recipe and wrap it around the jar so your family & friends can make their own next time?

Banana bread (or other baked goods) – who doesn’t like banana bread? Get to work in the kitchen (or put the kids to work) and bake unlimited banana bread. Change them around with choc chips, frozen blueberries or raspberries etc. and wrap them in red cellophane and green ribbon. What a great Boxing Day breakfast!

For parents of young children – Babysitting voucher, babysitting voucher, babysitting voucher.  If you want to spend more include some movie tickets and/or a dinner voucher. But as many parents will tell you, 4- or 5-hours kid free with a trusted friend or relative is one of the best gifts you can get.

For friends or family who own property – Gardening voucher, painting voucher, labour voucher. Not only will this help a lot, but it will also give you the opportunity to spend time with your mate or family member and bond over sweat.  It’s also a great way to get your kids involved with a lawn mow or picking up debris.

Check out websites like OzSale, Groupon, Scoopon – there are lots of great gifts and gift ideas at a fraction of the price you would pay in the stores. You can purchase vouchers for services or goods, just make sure you check the delivery date for pre-Christmas delivery. Alternatively, there are stacks of vouchers for meals out or excursions in many suburbs around the country.

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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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