7 cost-effective gift ideas for the holidays

We've all been there. It feels like we have a devil on each shoulder when it comes to gifting around the holidays. We want our loved ones to know that we care, but breaking the bank to do so often feels like the only option.

Why do we have to choose between credit card debt and making our loved ones feel the love for the holidays??

Well, I say we can have BOTH!

Here are some ideas to show the love to your loved ones AND your bank account this holiday season:

1. A jar of experiences

Hear me out on this one. Sounds weird, feels GREAT to give and receive! A few years back, a friend of mine gave me a jar full of things we could do together for Christmas...and I LOVED it. The key with this one is that you can make it as personal or impersonal as you want. A jar full of tickets for coffee dates, skiing trips, trips to the nail salon, fishing trips, and the list goes on.
For this one, use pieces of (maybe coloured??) paper and simply cut out small tickets of experiences you'll arrange. Feelin' extra? Add an instruction booklet of how to redeem the tickets in the jar.
On the receiving end, I felt so loved and grateful. It may be a time-consuming task, but your bank account will thank you. This truly is a labour of love. Experiences are better than things anyway, right??

2. Create a Photo Album

In the age of Instagram, need I say more?? Walmart offers on-the-spot photo developing directly from your phone and/or from your social media site of choice. This is a meaningful way to show some love to someone and costs less than $15 build an album of memories for a loved one. Want to make it even more personal? I like to add dates and context to the back of the photos in writing. This can add humour and keep those memories alive...and if the album lasts a few years, a reminder of the date and context may come in handy!

3. Personalized mugs, t-shirts, socks and more

Another great and cost-effective option is personalizing an item with photos or words on it. Have an inside joke with your friend? Is your aunt wildly in love with Shakespeare? Does your brother eat, sleep and breathe for joy of hockey? Whatever it is, there absolutely is a way to personalize anything from a mug or a blanket or a pair of socks to make your loved one feeeeeeel the love.
Walmart and London Drugs are great places to begin your searches for cost-effective personalized gifts. Able to spend a bit of extra money and support small businesses? Try Etsy!

4. Books

It isn't often that books are wildly expensive, and for the readers in your life, they make the perfect gift. If there's a book you just know that your loved one would appreciate, consider giving it to them as a gift! A great way to make this a little more meaningful is by writing a little note on the inside of the cover. Nothing like a hand-written note to make someone feel the love.

5. Survival kits

This bad boys are so underrated. Who doesn't need a little pick-me-up now and then? Obvious go-to additions to work or school survival kits include Starbucks gift certificates, stationary, and so on. My favourite thing about a survival kit (aka care package) is how easily personalized they can be!

6. Your time (the thing you do that is expensive)

Is there something that you do, a service you offer, that's worth money? Consider giving it to your friends and family for free. Time is money, and love, but it certainly isn't credit card debt; and that's a beautiful thing. Know your mom has been meaning to deal with her garden for months? Has your cousin been needing a hand with his studies at university? Take some time to consider how you can give your time as a gift. It could be the most meaningful thing you give!

7. Host an event

Although this can easily become a very expensive task, Pinterest has your back when it comes to planning meaningful, memorable, fun and cost-effective events! You don't need to be poppin' bottles and hosting your own Oprah's Favourite Things to host a fun evening for the people you love.

Did I miss anything? Let me know! I'll keep this post updated throughout the holiday season to keep the ideas flowing!

Till next time,