Jan in NC
If you have a Walgreen store nearby, every month they have items you can get free with rebate. If you ask for a Walgreen card instead of a check they will add 10% more on the card. Today I got shampoo and body lotion that will be free when I get the rebate back. 4-5 of these in a basket makes a nice gift for some lady. (10/25/2004)
Jan, after 18 years of working as an Insurance Professional, I am now a SAHM. My loss of income was tremendous, and I'm always looking for inexpensive ways of doing things. Of course, I have Cadillac taste, so anything that I want to buy is just too, too expensive right now.
How crafty are you? Try purchasing inexpensive socks, scarfs, sweatshirts or jeans and adding some of your own designs to them to make them "an original". I see a lot of websites that are selling home crafted items that sell for big dollars. Of course, I don't have tons of time to sit in front of a sewing machine, but with just a little bit of time you can really have a great gift.
What I did - take little girls socks (from the dollar store - 5 for $1.00) and some scrap material. From Wal Mart, or even an old blouse that you may have. Sew on a little "ruffle" to the bottom of the sock flap. Then, make use the same fabric to sew "patches" of flowers, or letters to make a name on a sweatshirt or sweat pants.
If you are not that crafty, then simple glass bowls (from Rag Shop or Wal Mart) filled with home made cookies or candy, tied with a ribbon work well too.
Holiday gifts come from the heart. I just recently figured that out!
Good luck, and God Bless. (10/25/2004)
By Fia from NJ
Try your local Dollar Store. I have bought several Hallmark brand items at one in my town. Some things do look like they cost a dollar and other things can be quite nice. They have hardback books that originally sold for $25. You may have to shop on a regular basis to find the deals. They have alot of cute frames and some of them sell great candles. You probably can't buy for everyone on your list there, but it's a good place to start. (10/27/2004)
I'd suggest going to a mall or strip mall, even outlet store for an hour or two some afternoon. Go in, make your way immedieatly to the back and hit the clearance bins. If there's nothing there that catches your eye, move onto the next store. I managed to find a $5 shirt for my hubby from Old Navy, some great wine bottle covers from Bombay at $3 each, and some clearance hardcover books from Waldenbooks for other family members. (10/30/2004)
I was reading in the section of homemade gifts and I thought of you. This is super easy, doesn't take a lot of money and will mean the world to the receiver. If the present is for a family member, think about making up a family recipe book. You could gather all the recipes from each member and make up a special book for everyone. Anything that someone is known for. You know, that favorite cake that some aunt makes or your cousin's cheeseball. When you request the recipe, ask them for one of their other favorites (it may add another to the list of family favorites). Do it on the down low so they have no clue of what your doing. Maybe add pictures or little family stories to go with them. Use your imagination. Type them up, make as many copies as you need, put them in plastic sleeves or a photo album. You can find all kinds of ideas for this. This is a real gift from the heart that you can't put a price tag on. Anyone that would receive this would cherish it forever :) Hey, and you might consider to give it to a friend as well. My family is itallian so we have a lot of itallian food. Almost everyone loves that type of food. You could even get their favs and add it to yours as well. Maybe family and friends favorite recipes. Just a thought. (12/02/2004)
You can make a nice jar of homemade bath salts. All you need is a nice jar which you can get at a dollar store or walmart maybe you have one stashed in a cupboard somewhere. You need epsom salt a nice smelling essential oil food coloring and maybe some pretty ribbon to spice it up. You can also make a spa basket or box with towels and lufa maybe some small candles and soap or lotion. (10/18/2005)
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