Tips and tricks for gift shopping on a budget

By in Culture

Buying expensive gifts for that special someone isn’t always an option if you’re working with a tight budget. With limited funds, it can be a daunting task to holiday shop, so the Sheaf is here to help!

If you are looking for ways to save money this holiday season, there are better ways of doing it than buying cheap and meaningless trinkets. Although less expensive gifts often involve a little more work, that only makes them even more special.

There is often a stigma around shopping at secondhand stores, however this can be one of the best ways to save money during the gift shopping season. Stores such as Value paige-sutherlandgiftgivingVillage and WorldServe Thrift Store sell assorted items and clothing for low prices.

A nice piece of pottery, a unique piece of wall art or even a cozy sweater can easily be found at thrift stores, cleaned up and made into a wonderful gift! If you are looking specifically for clothing, Saskatoon also has an assortment of retailers that just sell secondhand clothing and accessories, like Plato’s Closet.

Don’t worry — as long as you don’t tell them, no one needs to know your gifts were purchased secondhand. Not to mention that in addition to being cheaper than buying new, shopping secondhand is significantly better for the environment, which is definitely something you can brag about!

If you are willing to put in a little work yourself, customizing or adapting something inexpensive can turn it into something really impressive. Shopping for gifts at a dollar store may sound extremely cheap, but a simple DIY upgrade can make it look and seem much more high end and also make it much more meaningful.

A plain set of white coffee mugs isn’t exactly a thrilling gift, but hand-painting them can make the collection fun and exciting! A metallic touch, some artistic expression or simple full colour transformation can turn something bland into something fantastic!

This is also a great way to customize the gift specifically for the person you are giving it to. It gives you the chance to show them you really know who they are, what they like and that you care about them!

If DIY isn’t your thing, you can still get away with shopping at a dollar store — you just need a little more creativity! A themed basket full of small items can be a perfect gift for someone special, such as a movie night basket that could include microwave popcorn, candy and a couple of DVDs. A spa day basket could include nail polish, lotion and a face mask or two.

These gifts can be as elaborate or simple as you want, which also means the cost is very flexible!

However, if money is really tight and you simply don’t have any to spend on gifts, something sentimental from your heart is a perfect solution.

A letter, poem or song is a great way to tell someone exactly how much they mean to you and can be even better than the most expensive gift. This kind of gift requires the most work on your part, but the best gifts always do. This is especially perfect for a close family member or friend.

It is important to remember that giving and receiving gifts is supposed to be fun! Don’t let financial struggles turn gift shopping into something stressful. Focus on the person you are shopping for and all of the positive things that they bring to your life! If that person values you in their life as much as you value them, then it won’t matter if their gift cost $20 or $200.

Sydney Boulton

Graphic: Paige Sutherland