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GIft Giving on a Budget

Giving gifts is great, going broke isn’t; so here are some ideas to be generous this year without breaking the bank:

 Baked goodies are a great gift, plus they can be made in bulk. The cost to buy ingredients for 12 dozen cookies is about $15 (depending upon the type of cookies), that 12 gifts for less than $2 a piece. If you want to elevate your gift, consider placing your baked good on a platter the recipient can keep.

 If you don’t want the mess or time of baking, put the dry ingredients for a favorite recipe in a jar (you can stir the ingredients up if it’s a family secret) and label with cooking instructions and any wet ingredients needed; Your recipients will appreciate having this jar on hand when an unexpected guest arrives

 Consider crafting, prowl websites like Etsy for idea of what’s in and what you can make. Tip: Burlap door hangers are all the rage right now, they retail for $35 put cost less than $10 for materials!

 Buy in bulk. Gift sets can often be split up into multiple gifts. Sam’s Club and Costco always offer coffee, candy, ornament and assorted sets that are meant to be made into 4 or more gifts, and they are usually less than $30 for the whole package.

 Inexpensive items can be upgraded and personalized with a simple monogram - make that $19.99 target pajama set look high end.

 Time is money, so consider gifting the service of something you are good at. If you find this a little cheesy then switch recipients with a pal. Gift a “gift certificate” for services performed by your friend to your loved ones and then they can give a gift certificate for whatever you offer.

 Photos of the kids are always appreciated– especially by grandparents. Wal-Mart and Target offer inexpensive frames.

 Re-gift. Ok, this is kind of frowned upon so here are the rules: Item must be unopened, unused, and something you truly (be honest) believe the receipt will enjoy. Also, the recipient should not be connected to the original giver.

 Shop online. Almost everything has someone offering it for a discount. Just remember to shop early or else you will lose your saving in express shipping.

 Stock up this year for 2012. In January most gift items will be 50% off or more. If you see something you know someone will love and you have a little extra storage space then go for it! Gift closets are awesome, just make sure to store things appropriately and don’t get anything that has a limited shelf life.

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