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Cheap, thoughtful Christmas gift ideas
By Tammy May

There’s exactly one week to Christmas and you might still be looking for some cheap and cheery last minute gifts. This list below comes from MyBudget clients who have been generously sharing their ideas on the MB Buzz online forum. All the ideas have been thoughtful, creative and fabulous—thank you! We’re sorry we can’t share everybody’s contribution.

I hope you find something on the list that inspires you.

Homemade goodies:

  • Recipe in a jar: Give someone all of the dry ingredients needed to make a recipe (such as biscuits, brownies or chili) layered in a jar along with instructions.
  • Homemade honeycomb (just like Crunchie bars!) and bags of caramel popcorn in noodle boxes with handmade gift tags.
  • Christmas pudding inside a terracotta pot, wrapped in cellophane.
  • Bag of homemade shortbread, almond bread, mini Christmas balls etc.
  • Rocky Road wrapped in cellophane and ribbon—a great one for kids to make.
  • Jams, sauces and relishes—because store-bought varieties don’t even compare!

Get crafty:

  • Photo jars: Place shells and sand in the bottom of a recycled clean glass jar; print out a photo to fit and place it in the jar before sealing with the lid.
  • Animal artwork: Paint your children’s feet or hands then press them onto a canvass or art paper so that the prints can be detailed into a butterfly, bee, spider, fish or farm animal. Place the canvass or paper into a frame.
  • Homemade bath bombs or soaps with some tea-lights and a book mark.
  • Rainy day box: Fill a box with ideas for what to do on a rainy day (craft accessories and other small gifts), along with a personalised note about what's in the box and what to do with it. By buying things in bulk you can divide the item between multiple boxes and keep the cost down.
  • Recipe book: Collect your family’s favourite recipes; print the recipes with family photos and collate in a plastic presentation book.

It’s the thought that counts:

“I let our family know we are on a budget and we’ll be making homemade stuff for Christmas presents this year, like jams/relishes etc. To my surprise, everyone was thrilled because they then didn't have to go to the huge expense of shop-bought pressies either. They are all making homemade presents, too.”

“We are doing stacked handprints of our family made with matching scrapbooking papers, framed with our names and the year on them. We live a long way away from our family so we wanted to give them something they can hang up all year to remember us!”

“What made the best Christmas you ever had? The chats you had with family down at the park Christmas arvo? Cracking up at your grandparents coz they look a treat in a bon-bon paper crown? Taking over a slot car set you got your kids while they sit there for 45 minutes "spectating"? I couldn’t tell you what I got for Christmas five years ago, but I remember the look on my son's face when he hid my present and told me I had to find it. That cost nothing. Look hard enough and you'll find not everything has a price tag.”

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