DIY Thursdays: Inexpensive Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

With less than a week left until Christmas, your holiday budget is probably starting to run out. But before you let the panic set in, let us help you to get organized while saving some money. First make sure you have a list of all those who you still need to purchase gifts for. With that, you can easily put together some great gifts with a small amount of cash.

Here are a few great inexpensive gifts that can help you to not go over your budget, while finishing off your shopping list:

Create a recipe in a jar

Look online or through some of your cookbooks to find your favorite cookie, brownie, bread, muffin, soup, or cocoa recipe. Once you find it, measure out all of the needed dry ingredients and put them in layers inside of a mason (or glass) jar. Seal the jar and add a tag on it which includes recipe instructions and other needed detailed information. This is a very attractive gift and all your gift recipient will need to do is add the indicated wet ingredients, usually consisting of eggs, a little milk, or a can of broth. A great place to find additional recipe in a jar ideas is from the Food Network.

Make a compilation CD

You can create your own Mix CD or you can load up a new playlist on the gift recipient’s iPod or mp3 player. It’s always great to combine some classic that they love with some new songs that you think they would love. You can also choose to create a playlist based off of a particular theme or their favorite artist. For example, some who travels a lot might enjoy a mix of songs that represents different parts of the world or someone who loves to work out may enjoy a set of songs that may have been used in exercise montages from 80s movies.

Create your own gift basket

This is a better choice than buying one that is pre-made as it will come out to be much cheaper. If you know that one of your favorite relatives seems to always be stressed, give them a gift basket of relaxing goodies like Chamomile tea, bubble bath, a compilation CD of relaxing music, and candles. If one of your family members enjoys sewing and arts and crafts, take a trip to your local crafts store and load up on various colors of threads, fabrics, yarn, and paints. The more creative you are the better the gift will be.

Create a pre-viewed movie present

The best part of video rental stores is that they often sell movies that have been previously rented out at very inexpensive prices. Think of the movies that your gift recipient has loved or never had the opportunity to see while it was playing in theaters. Add a bag of popcorn and their favorite movie theater candy, and you have just gifted a wonderful evening in.

Jessica Williams is Consolidated Credit’s Marketing Communications New Media Coordinator. As a member of the education team, Jessica focuses on helping consumers make better financial decisions while living debt-free. She has previously worked with Take Stock In Children, where she was a mentor and communications specialist, and, where she managed community relations, event planning, marketing, and public relations. Jessica attended both the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida where she received her B.S. in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications and Marketing. Connect with Jessica on Google+.