A gift should be from the heart and not just the wallet.

Often gift givers put too much pressure on the actual gift rather than the symbol behind it, while gift receivers are typically overjoyed at the idea that someone thought about showing their care for them in that way. Don't put too much pressure on yourself as a gift giver, especially if money is tight this holiday season. We have compiled some holiday gift ideas that will keep cost low while still being the present you were hoping to give!

Use Coupons

This seems like a "duh" suggestion, but seriously, go all out to try to find the best deals if you have a particular gift in mind for someone that doesn't fit into your budget. Be sure to sign up for any rewards programs, email listings, and follow any store social media accounts to get exclusive offers or coupons you otherwise wouldn't receive. Many stores offer in-store or online exclusive coupons, so shop the best deal at the time, whether it's an in-store or an online purchase (remember to factor in shipping when shopping online!). Many stores allow you to stack rewards coupons with running specials, so be sure to ask about all your coupons and how it's best to use them.

Bonus Tip:

Don't be afraid to break large purchases into smaller purchases to be able to use all your coupons most effectively, especially if the store won't allow you to stack them. Multiple transactions may be a hassle, but your wallet will thank you in the end!

Compare Deals

Compare prices either online, in mailed ads, or the newspaper (or all three!) to make sure you're shopping for the present at the best location. Remember to add in any coupon or reward savings into your comparisons, because a lower initial price with no coupon doesn't always mean it will be the lowest price if you shop with coupons or other rewards.

Think DIY

Try getting crafty to recreate a picture, sign, or other item that they may love! Think if there was anything they said they wanted, but didn't want to purchase themselves or think if their office/bedroom/other living space could use a new picture or wall hanging. Look at dollar stores, craft stores, or pre-owned stores to find items that you can transform on the cheap. Giving someone something practical that they can use and know that you crafted yourself is a heartfelt gesture while being easy on your checking account.

Regift

Depending on the circumstances, regifting a present you got may be an easy way save money on a present while still getting something special for someone else. Use your own judgement on this, but remember that it may be better to give something like a special card with a message showing you care rather than just giving any gift to someone because you felt obligated. If you know you received something that someone else may love, then regifting is a great alternative to buying something yourself!

Bake Something

Homemade treats are a great way to put a personal touch on a gift for someone. Stick to one of your staple dessert recipes or bake something you know the gift receiver will love. Fair warning, sometimes it is best to stick to recipes that aren't out of your comfort zone so you already have the ingredients on hand and feel confident while making them. So moral of the story, just because the person you'd like to gift to loves creme brulee, it still may not be the best creation for you to attempt if it's your first time. Know your limits and skills in the kitchen to make the best decision for your gift. Even if they love creme brulee, they will probably love your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe just as much. If you choose a food item, remember to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies when you select which recipe to follow.

Bonus Tip:

Write out the recipe on a recipe card and stick it with the present so when you gift the baked good, the receiver could recreate your delicious treat! Then it's the gift that keeps on giving!

Remember Why You're Giving

Sometimes the self-imposed expectations of the holidays can get overwhelming, but as the gift giver it is important to remember why you are giving the gift. Many of these holiday gift ideas aren't for everyone and that's okay. If money is very tight this year, think about giving a card or some other form of your appreciation for that person. Gift receivers very rarely care about the monetary value of the gift, but rather they focus on how grateful they are to have received one in the first place.

Happy Holidays from Your Friends at Speedy Cash!