University of Illinois Extension

Spend Smart, Save Smart Tips

Ten Tips for Low-cost Gifts

  • Have a white elephant gift exchange – someone will treasure the item you don’t want.
  • Draw names so you will only need to buy one gift.
  • Give a special treasure you have to someone to cherish then pass on to someone else.
  • Take pictures and create a photo album of special times.
  • Make gifts – a gift certificate sharing your time or your talents is always appreciated.
  • Give a little girl a dress-up box of your old clothes, jewelry and hats.
  • Encourage a budding artist with a decorated box of art supplies or supplies to make puppets and masks.
  • Fashion beautifully wrapped gifts out of recycled newspapers, Sunday comics or brown paper bags.
  • Sew special one-of-a-kind fabric gift bags.
  • Bake special treats and include the recipe. Cookies, quick breads, cakes, and pies make wonderful gifts.