Six Desperation But Yet Budget Friendly Last Minute Gift Ideas

Still not sure what to get one or two people on your list? Running out of money? Or has someone unexpectedly given you a gift so now you feel obligated to buy them something too? Just a few days left but don’t despair. Here are my six favorite ideas.

More people are finding it hard to make ends meet. These days I’m seeing just about everyone in the supermarket holding coupons as they peruse the aisles. If you’re in a bind, buy a coupon wallet and add some coupons from your own supply. Even download some from the Internet. It’s an idea gift for an elderly neighbor or someone who’s out of work and needs to stretch their budget.

I always head to the bookstore when I need a gift that looks expensive but isn’t. Places like Barnes and Noble and Borders have at least a couple of aisles full of books that are deeply discounted. Some are fiction; some are illustrated books on topics like cooking and gardening. They even have aisles packed with children’s books, some as low as $1.

Magazine Subscription
Here’s another gift idea that’s come to my rescue at the last minute, a magazine subscription. Buy the current copy and wrap that along with a card saying a year subscription is on its way. Best thing is most magazines have cards placed inside with discount offers for subscribers. An added bonus, it’s the gift that arrives every month of the year.

Coffee or Tea
Check the supermarket shelves and you’ll find holiday flavored teas and coffees at bargain prices. The other year I found eggnog flavored teabags that tasted a lot more expensive than their $1.99 price tag. Great for drinking yourself or for keeping on the shelf just in case someone stops by with a gift for you.

One other thing that seems to go on sale and is often marked down drastically a few days before Christmas is chocolate. I’m seeing most stores offering boxes of chocolates, buy one get one free. Most are in the $5-7.99 price range, making this another bargain buy.

Gift Certificates
Many stores and businesses are offering added bonuses when you purchase gift cards. For example, buy a $25 gift card and get a $5 gift card free. One option is to keep the larger amount gift card for yourself and give away the $5 gift card or vice versa. Either way it’s an added bonus and a quick gift.
And if you’re really in a bind, time and money wise, you can always make your own. Maybe one week of dog walking services, I’ll make dinner one night, I’ll wash your car…Best thing is you can match them to the recipient’s needs.

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