Budget Smart Guide to Last Minute Gifts

Less than a week left to shop for gifts and if you’re still looking for the perfect one but don’t have much money left here are some suggestions-

Don’t Shop The Usual Stores
While I think most stores are going to be discounting items even more this coming weekend and into Monday, I’m finding lots of good buys in stores that you wouldn’t usually head to when you think holiday shopping. Consignment stores, even charity stores, have items that are new and still in boxes and packages, and for 75% off what you’d pay in a department store. They’re definitely worth a browse.
Another idea is a DIY store. Nowadays they’re not all about tools and things for guys on the list. Last week a trip to my local one netted four great buys, slippers, bathrobe, a cute winter hat, and heat in the microwave slippers, total $24.

The Dollar Store
If like me you love putting together gift baskets for everyone, the dollar store is the place to get cheap baskets and sample size items that are perfect for fitting inside.
They’re also a good place to shop for gift bags. And don’t forget they recycle each year so don’t throw them away. One of the reasons I use them for giftwrapping and not paper.

Items That Can Make More Than One Gift
If money really is tight, a great idea is buy one of the gift packages with lots of items in it. These are usually things like spa items, soaps, lotions, bubble bath etc. Best thing is they’re one of the first things to get discounted as the countdown begins. Buy one and then divide up the gifts by putting them in their own gift bags.

Food Gifts
One of my favorite combos is the tea and cookies gift pack. You can buy a box of tea and a box of cookies and put them in a decorate tin or a mug. Even inside a pair of mittens. These are also perfect for keeping on hand just in case someone drops by and you don’t have a gift for them. Even if you don’t give them away you can use them after the holidays.

And here are some articles I found on line. The first one focuses on making your own marshmallows. I recently saw a package of six gourmet ones that sold for close to $6. Amazing considering that they’re made from items you might already have in the pantry. I’ve also seen them put on sticks and covered in chocolate which would make another quick gift idea

Everyone loves hot chocolate and this article shows you how to make it and also printable labels

Gift Certificates
I’m seeing more stores giving bonus gift cards to you when you buy one. They’re usually only about $5 or $10 but if you have someone on your list and thinking about a gift in that amount this might be the way to go.

Free Shipping
One thing I hate is finding a bargain and then paying more than I paid for the gift to have it shipped. Today happens to be Free Shipping Day so visit this site and check out all the companies who are participating this year. The money you save could be put to good use on another gift, or if you’ve been good this year, something for yourself.


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