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Tips for Spending Less But Giving More

Posted In:  family

Giving gifts to family and friends can be one of life’s biggest joys...and expenses.With the holidays around the corner, gift giving season will soon be in full swing, but of course there are year round opportunities to give-birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, wedding showers or just because.

These days money is tight and giving a gift can be a real budget buster.  The heart to give is there but the money may not be.  Giving free or inexpensive gifts can be more meaningful to the receiver as well as saving you some cash.

Make It:
There are many gifts you can make that will speak volumes over something purchased and will barely cost you a dime.  There are simple and cheap recipes for making everything from candles to rug wreaths, from jewelry to eco friendly grocery bags. Step outside your comfort zone and try making soap or a pottery bowl. These things are not expensive to make and allow you to add your personal touch.
Bake It:
Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven.  Cakes, cookies, fudge, candy and pies are always appreciated gifts and won’t cost much to make, but try baking outside the box and cook up something fresh for an inexpensive alternative gift. Some ideas:

• Quiche
• Fruit Pizza
• Granola
Teach It:
Do you have a skill that comes easy to you but leaves others stumped?  Give the gift of your mastery, donate a few hours to teach someone how to cook, organize, or waltz.  The recipient will appreciate it and you’ll have only spent your time.
Thoughtfulness is Priceless
You can’t put a price tag on thoughtfulness. Thinking through your gift giving is at the heart of generosity. Your sister with the new baby would probably rather have a free sitter or house cleaner than a fancy gift. You can volunteer to do both. Your grandmother would really appreciate some household chores take care of.  Take out your drill and get to work. Your teenager would jump at a week off from doing the dishes. It’s only a week, you can do it!  The gift of thoughtfulness, that you took the time to really think about what the other person would need is better than gold.    
The Spirit of Giving
When you think about it, gift giving is its most fun and inspiring when it’s at little to no cost.  You can save a lot of money on gift giving with some creative thinking, time, effort and thoughtfulness.  Unlike a pricey gift from the store, these are the kinds of gifts that last a lifetime.   


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