Sense & Centsibility Blog

DIY Gift Ideas: How to Save While Giving

Between anniversaries, birthdays, and various holidays throughout the calendar year, the need or opportunity to give gifts is often surrounding us. Also, it seems we live in a country where gift giving is almost expected for such occasions. Truth be told, it can sometimes be overwhelming how many gifts we have to give each year; it can especially be overwhelming financially.

As I’ve started to get older, I have found that I am more interested in gifts that are practical or functional. I no longer desire what I wanted when I was younger and try to always keep that in mind as I get or make gifts for others.

Yes, that’s right; I said make gifts for others. If your gift giving is often on a budget, one of the best ways to give unique gifts that are often practical and functional is to make them yourself. A one-of-a-kind gift that you take the time to make is often better than something you’ll find at a store.

The Internet – friend or foe?

When it comes to making your own gifts, the Internet can be your best friend. Do a simple Google search like, “Do-It-Yourself Gifts for Children” and you will come across pages upon pages of sites with various ideas.

Websites like Pinterest (which is a virtual pinboard) is full of not only recipes, but thousands of great gift ideas site users across the world have discovered and are sharing with others.

With Pinterest, you can place the ideas on your pinboard and have them readily available when you want to try making one of your gifts.

Need some ideas? Here are a few simple favorites...

  • One of my favorite do-it-yourself gifts is really, quite simple and inexpensive. The Mason Jar Chocolate Chip Cookie (or any kind of cookie) gift is not only an adorable gift, but is something that can be fun to give a family so that they are able to make the cookies together. And who doesn’t like chocolate chip cookies?

The items in the Mason Jar are all the dry items needed to make chocolate chip cookies and the final cost of the gift is under $5 per jar, which is a great money saver if needing to buy gifts for multiple people throughout the year.

  • Looking for a gift that is acceptable for both genders and also practical? Perhaps you live in a cold weather environment and you are looking for something for your five or six co-workers for a holiday gift exchange. Are you an avid knitter already?

Why not take some time to create a hat or scarf for those you work with? You’re co-workers will thank you when the cold wind comes a blowing and they don’t have to worry about the chill around their neck. Most skeins of yarn are under $4 and using two to three skeins be enough to make one scarf.

  • The last of an easy-to-make practical gift is tile coasters. Using plain shower tiles, scrapbook paper, clear coat paint and cork pads, it is easy to make a set of four coasters for a minimal cost. Depending on the paper you use, you have the ability to make them as fancy or as plain as you wish. Your friends will be thanking you for no longer leaving water-stained rings on their coffee or end table.

With those ideas and millions of others available on the Internet, do-it-yourself gifts are not just for kids and are perfect for those looking to give thoughtful gifts on a budget.

Again, these are just a few ideas...What gifts have you made that people love to get?

DIY gifts are just one way to make a small change that can turn into big savings. There are many other things you can do without making a huge lifestyle change. Want to learn more? Contact LSS at 888.577.2227 or START ONLINE COUNSELING NOW. Our Financial Counselors are here to help everyone - not to mention it's free and confidential.

Author Sarah Packingham is a DMP Specialist with LSS Financial Counseling.