For many, gift giving this year will be on a strict dollar limit. With the job market and economy the way it is, people need to be more careful on what they spend, and how they spend it. Credit is not a good choice; the interest rates on credit cards have been skyrocketing lately. It is possible to give gifts that show the people in your life how much you love them, without spending a fortune though.
Start early, make a list of all the people you need to have gifts for and try some of these creative simple ideas.
Create impressive vinegars for many of your friends and family members. This inexpensive gift needs to cure at least 4 weeks, so start saving your bottles now. Wine bottles with fresh corks work well, as do pretty little glass jars from thrift store. The vinegar you choose to start with does not have to be top of the line. A simple red wine vinegar or even vinegar made yourself with a kit from a natural foods store.
Indoor herb garden
This is a nice surprising gift for any cook. Herbs are easy to grow and care for and add a fresh gourmet touch to many dishes. Giving the gift of an indoor garden is very inexpensive. Start a few of the top kitchen garden choices; basil, chives, marjoram, parsley, sage, savory, and thyme. Use a sterilized potting soil mix and plant in clay or other porous material containers. All herbs need ample sunlight or a grow light. Keep them compact, by pinching off the ends of the shoots regularly. Place the pots on a pretty tray or platter and present with a small watering can.
Often the ingredients for homemade cookies and candies are just as expensive as buying a gift. So keep these simple like, taffy which can be made with only butter, sugar and cider vinegar. Wrapped individually and placed in a pretty jar, this is a welcome gift since it is unusual these days.
One scrabble board game yields enough pieces to create tie tacks, cuff links, necklace pendants and key chains for many of your recipients. Leave the game piece as is, and use the initials of the person, or spell out a nickname. Personalize it further by gluing on an image that means something to your loved one. The findings are inexpensive and can be purchased at any craft store. Use strong adhesive and a nail file to smooth out the edges of the pictures and the glue. Wrap these unique pieces of jewelry in little origami boxes that you fold out of pretty paper, or a page from a magazine.
Rather than purchase a gift for each member of your relative or friends family, create a family gift. Ideas include a movie bucket, with king size candy bars, popcorn and DVD or gift certificate. A Trip to Italy basket, with spaghetti sauce, bread sticks, noodles and a movie or mix CD of Italian love songs. Or create a board game specifically for the family. This works best if you are very close to them. Make it simple like a candy land game or harder like monopoly.
Presenting handmade gifts may be a different way of life for you, or a your modus operandi, either way the recipients of these thoughtful gifts will notice your thoughtfulness, not the price tag.