Happy December! The turkey leftovers are almost gone, ABC Family has started playing a Santa Clause movie every day, and someone you know has all their holiday shopping done already thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
For those of us on a budget, holiday shopping has the potential to empty our bank account—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are three ideas for meaningful gifts that make everyone on your list happy while still leaving you money for a New Year’s Eve celebration.
1. Picture Perfect
Last year, I made calendars for my friends using photos from the past few years. It took a little time going through photos and placing them on the calendar, but the sites I used were user-friendly and the calendars I made were less than $10 each.
This is a great gift for the parents and grandparents who miss you when you’re away at college. They’ll be touched you took the time to make the gift, and they’ll be happy to be reminded of you whenever they enjoy a cup of coffee.
2. Merry Monograms
Personalized and monogrammed gifts are great because they’re unique and specially made for your friends—and what college girl doesn’t love a monogram?
I am a fan of Paparte, which makes customized gifts—you get to pick the design as well as the name or initials on it. You can buy pens, keychains, and travel mugs for under $20, and my local Paper Store often has a two for the price of one deal.
Etsy also has a lot of inexpensive options for personalized gifts; just search for “monogram” or “personalized” and see what you can find. I really like monogram earrings, and my roommates might be getting monogram wall decorations this year …
3. The Gift Of Inspiration
I’m a sucker for a good inspirational quote, and if you have friends who need a boost or reminder of how great they are, you can’t go wrong with wall art. My personal favorite store for this is Icing, which has tons of plaques and signs for under $10.
Etsy has many great prints as well, or if you’re a computer whiz, you can use Photoshop or Word to make your own. Pick up an inexpensive frame at a craft store, and you have an inspirational decoration for your friend’s dorm room or new apartment. Chances are, the sentiment will mean even more than the gift itself.
What gifts are you buying this year? Let us know in the comments!