What do you give if you have no money? You can still give some great gifts on a tiny budget if you are creative. Believe it – there are many ways you can give thoughtful gifts on a limited budget.
Here are some ideas you can use to give a great gift without spending too much. Read these stories and get ideas to give gifts when money is low!
When one of our boys, probably Dwaine, was 8 yrs old we were living out east, near Gettysburg. In their park (or area) there was a mass of huge rocks stacked against or on top of each other-making passageways (tunnels) throughout. This was called “Devil’s Den,” and our kids loved it. Dwaine’s 8th birthday came up, money was scarce (wasn’t it always!) and we really couldn’t afford taking his friends out bowling, to a movie and for hamburgers, like many of our friends did. Warren made the suggestion, “Why don’t we have a pirate’s party!” We did. Warren made a one-eye patch for each boy (we probably had 8-10) and a cardboard sword; I bought a couple of yards of fabric and made headbands (or scarves) and sashes and Warren marked their faces up with an eyebrow pencil. The “buried treasure” was hidden inside the rock caves, consisting of the birthday cake and drinks. Together, with some appropriate pirate games and pictures for each to take home, it was one of the most memorable parties that cost practically nothing.
A couple of years ago, with several of our family members being out of jobs, and Dean’s large family always watching pennies, instead of giving up drawing names at Christmas it was decided to give dollar gifts-or at best, very economical ones. You’d be surprised what turned up-many “white elephants” such as videos; books; music; collected walnuts, shelled out; pretty dishes or other items around the house that needed new owners; homemade pickles and jams; handmade crafts. I think that’s when I typed up “Grandma’s Favorite Recipes” for the older kids.
I happened to be at a friend’s home when she was clearing out “junk” from their summer cabin after it sold. She had no use for another electric skillet, more towels, bedding, etc. so I helped her out by accepting them and passing them along to our college students-and whoever needed them. I’m still gradually giving “gifts” to my overflow.
Who needs three sets of dishes, so I’ve passed all my stoneware on to Debbie. My Corelle is much lighter and easier to handle.
Making playdough or making doll clothes from scraps was always a treat for the little girls, at practically no cost to me.
I’ve also bought children’s storybooks, then included a cassette recording of Grandma reading the story.
Houseplants are good for dividing and sharing, as are seeds. Even used candles can be melted down, poured into plastic cups, to be later used as fire-starters. Campers especially like this gift. Some even add sawdust to the wax.
Dave once said that he couldn’t remember anything about his childhood younger than 6-8 yrs old, so I thought I’d “fill in the cracks.” It was the year we took our computer along when we traveled in our RV around the country. Not only did I write “The Biography of David W. Jones as seen through the eyes of his mother” but I also did one for each of our six kids. I think they were far more appreciated than any shirt or sweater we could have bought them.
I’ve also written for each of the grandkids, “What your Daddy (or Mommy) was like when they were a kid.” I saw some scared looks on parent’s faces when the little ones were reading their papers!
Recently Darrell and his fiancée went with her (Charlotte’s) family to Hawaii for her parents’ 50th anniversary. It had been planned that each of their kids would provide one activity while there. Even taking a family of 10 or more out to dinner is no small cost; Darrell and Charlotte needed to save their money for their upcoming wedding, so being creative, they secretly went through all the family pictures (held in a box under the bed), chose the best that told the story of their life, put them on a DVD along with comments. They had helped so it turned out very professional and very much appreciated!
So when you don’t have money, you get creative!