14 Holiday Gifts That Won’t Break the Bank


During the holidays, there’s a lot of pressure to give your loved ones the perfect gift.

However, on your quest to finding the best presents, you may find yourself with an empty wallet.

Starting off the New Year with maxed-out credit cards and a load of stress isn’t a great way to start 2016.

The holiday season doesn’t mean you have to overstretch your means—it just takes a little creativity and harnessing your talents.

Take advantage of these 14 easy and low-cost ways to spread the holiday cheer without running up your credit lines:

  1. Bake and decorate some holiday treats.
  1. Knit or crochet a scarf, mittens, or hat.
  1. Scrapbook a photo album with special memories of you and your loved one.
  1. Are you a painter? Paint a picture that would fit well in their home.
  1. Make an epic playlist.
  1. Paint wine glasses or coffee mugs with cute sayings.
  1. Decorate ornaments.
  1. Gift homemade soap.
  1. Make chocolate-covered strawberries or pretzels.
  1. Fill mason jars with the recipient’s favorite bite-sized treats.
  1. Make a pedicure kit with a mini nail polish bottle, nail file, and buffer.
  1. Create a bath basket—with soap, a loofah, and crystals from the dollar store.
  1. Put a DVD or $10 movie gift certificate in a popcorn bucket.
  1. Frame a favorite picture.

We’d love to hear your holiday budget-saving tips below!

Holidays on a Shoestring Budget: How to Give Great Gifts Without Breaking the Bank

Holiday BudgetDuring the holidays, it’s natural to want to give your loved ones the perfect gift…yet doing so may leave your wallet considerably lighter. Not to mention, trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list can be time-consuming and frustrating. Unfortunately for some, holiday shopping means maxed out credit cards—which is a stressful way to start off the New Year.

But the holiday season doesn’t have to be a time to go into debt or to overstretch your means. Take advantage of these easy, low-cost ways to spread the holiday cheer without running up your credit lines:

Use your talents. Take an inventory of your basic talents and skills to see which ones you could put to use to create holiday gifts. Most people appreciate a gift that someone put time and effort into and personally made for them. With an investment of just a few dollars for ingredients or materials and some basic skills, you could:

  • Bake some holiday treats and decorate them just for the recipient.
  • Knit or crochet a scarf, mittens, or a hat—or a blanket for your friend’s pet!
  • Scrapbook an album of special photos, or craft a beautiful greeting card.
  • Paint or draw a picture the recipient can display in their home.
  • Complete household repairs for someone.

Use your imagination, and get creative! The beauty of using your talents is that you can customize your gifts especially for your loved ones.

Give the gift of your time. Another easy way to manage your holiday budget is to give the gift of time. Offer to do a specific chore for someone in place of a store-bought gift. Some ideas could be:

  • Make a home-cooked meal.
  • Do a week’s worth of laundry.
  • Clean their house.
  • Wash their car.
  • Do an afternoon of yard work.
  • Babysit their kids.
  • Walk their dogs.

Remember, you can tailor the offer to the gift recipients needs, and if you know them well, you should have a pretty good idea of what offer would be most appreciated.

Get your family involved. Consider discussing cost-saving strategies with family members, such as:

  • Setting a spending limit on individual gifts.
  • Doing a gift exchange where you each draw a name out of a hat, instead of exchanging individual gifts with each family member.
  • Going in together on a family gift, like a family vacation or a season pass to an amusement park or zoo.

When your whole family can agree on basic gift-giving guidelines, you can save money and ensure your family is on the same page, so everyone can enjoy a happy, stress-free holiday!

Have more ideas? Share your tips for staying on budget during the holidays!

Best Gifts Shops in Charleston

Whether you’re just passing through Charleston, or you’re here to stay, at these gift stores, you can find the perfect token to remember what you love most about the Lowcountry.

From candles to kitchenware, to cufflinks and cutlery—these keepsakes make a wonderful treat for yourself or your loved ones. Take a look at our favorite gift shops in Charleston, and remember—it’s never too early to get started on your holiday shopping!

  • Charleston Collections Gifts: Peruse the endless gifts and home accessories with accents of the Lowcountry. Check out their Charleston Candle collection and the locally designed dinnerware featuring scenes from the Holy City. For collectors of beautiful jewelry, this shop has a gorgeous line of sterling silver charms, pendants, bracelets, and even cufflinks.
  • The Silver Puffin: In downtown Charleston, you’ll find this locally owned and operated gift shop filled with charming gifts and handmade items. Tour their selections of glassware, tableware, local gourmet food, gift baskets, hand-crafted jewelry, and toys for the kids.
  • Harbor Specialties: Take a stroll through Harbor Specialties on East Bay Street, and try not to swoon over Michael Healy’s brass blue crab door knocker—just one of the many distinctive, bay-inspired gifts you’ll find at this little shop. Be sure to explore their apparel, purses, jewelry, hats, cutlery, and more!
  • Palmetto Moon: We adore this gift shop for promoting Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its merchandise throughout October, their storefront boasting pink rain boots, Columbia jackets, mugs, t-shirts, and watches. Regardless of the month, you can find a piece of Lowcountry life at Palmetto Moon. And for the sports enthusiasts, you’ll quickly discover this is your go-to store for collegiate fan apparel!

Which is your favorite gift shop in Charleston?