I’ve compiled a  list of inexpensive gift ideas just in time for the holiday season. Everything from baking to art to dollar store finds!  Gift giving shouldn’t be about spending money, it should be about taking the time to find presents that you know the receiver will truly appreciate.

  1. Homemade granola.  I’m a big granola fan.  My favourite breakfast is granola, yogurt, fruit and a bit of soy milk! As much as I love it, granola can be a bit pricey as far as cereals go so how nice would it be to receive it as a gift?  Get creative and put the homemade granola in a nice jar or purchase a re-useable cereal container like this! Adorned with a bow and a cute ingredients card, it’ll make a great gift. This Ina Garten recipe sounds delicious or for something healthier try this from Healthy Green Kitchen.
  2. Discount books.  All new books are created equal, it doesn’t matter what the price tag says. One store will charge you one price, another something different.  Thankfully, there are a lot of websites with amazing book deals! Here are just a few: Books a Million, Thrift BooksHalf.com Ebay. You can also use a website like Book Finder 4 U to compare book prices between many different stores!
  3. Re-useable grocery bags.  These are very popular right now so they make for great gifts!  You can purchase them at many places including most grocery stores but I suggest making your own! Morsbags.com has simple patterns you can use. 
  4. Re-useable snack bags. I posted about these here. These would make great gifts, especially for anyone with kids or in school.
  5. Craft supplies. This is a great gift for kids. Look up some fun craft ideas and purchase the supplies. Then, instead of doing the craft yourself, simply put the supplies in a gift bag with printed out instructions and voila! A fun gift for any kid. A few ideas would be jewelry supplies, fabric scraps for doll clothing or a puzzle along with glue and a photoframe (so they can frame the puzzle once they complete it!).
  6. Restaurant.com.  This website is great enough that it deserves it’s own spot!  If you haven’t checked it out, I highly suggest you do. Basically, it has gift certificates for a ton of different restaurants and discount prices.  Check out retailmenot.com first for a discount code.  They often have 70-80% off! I have bought quite a few $25 gift certificates for local restaurants for, get this, under $3!  The “catch” is that you have to spend $35 in order to get the $25 off but that’s still a huge savings.  They will email you the gift certificate so you can easily forward the email to someone or print it out, put it in a nice holiday card, and give it as a gift that way. 
  7. Home made gift basket.  The least expensive themes for making a gift basket are beauty and spa. Many high quality brands carry smaller items that you don’t have to pay a lot for, like chapsticks.  You can also find sales on a lot of beauty items like makeup.  Try E.L.F. for some ideas! Bath and Body Works is great for stocking up on things like lotion.  Some other theme ideas are tea, chocolates, favourite childhood treats, pets etc. You can get gift baskets as dollar stores or even thrift stores without spending a lot.
  8. Bake!  I’ve always loved to bake during the holidays and will often give a lot away in cute gift bags to relatives.  It has a nice, personal touch without costing you a lot. Get creative with your baked goods! This year I’m going to do maple leaf shortbread dipped in chocolate, truffle balls, tarts and these.
  9. Entertainment book.  Right now you can get this entertainment book for 20% off and free shipping!  They are full of coupons for many different cities, just pick the one you live in, closest to or plan on visiting.  Here’s the Vancouver Island one which features coupons like 50% off Brady’s Fish and Chip Shop, a free kayak rental or free whale watching all in Victoria.
  10. Locally made goods.  Visit your local Farmer’s Market and pick up locally made goods like jam or BBQ sauce. These make for great gifts for anyone who lives far away from you because it’ll be something they couldn’t have bought themselves!

Look for an upcoming post on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals! Another great way to save this holiday.