Pinching Pennies This Christmas

There’s nothing worse than Christmas shopping without having any disposable income. And while you could probably explain that it’s easier to exchange cards and call it a day, present buying can be a holiday season highlight. So instead of re-acquainting with your Visa or oh-so-familiar line of credit, consult our budget-friendly holiday tips to help make this Christmas a financial treat.

Baking It Happen
There’s two things you should know about making your Christmas financially-sound: 1) the puns will be relatively unstoppable and 2) the easiest solution isn’t necessarily wrong. Provided you’re not throwing broken cookies and crumbs into a rusty old tin that used to hold pennies (we’ve all been there), it’s possible to make holiday baking present-appropriate. If you’re not particularly inclined in the kitchen, you could either make foolproof treats like peanut butter balls, Rice Krispie squares or slice and bake cookies, or you could buy Christmas cookies from your neighbourhood bakery, line a gift box with holiday paper and wrap them with a fabric bow to make sure you do dessert justice.

DIY: Paper and Prints
Artwork is expensive, but if you’re hoping to help your friends up their home dé©cor ante, pick up a frame from Ikea (or a store like Michael’s), a sheet of paper with a bold, unique print and ta da “ you’ve got a gift. However, if you’d rather make the present even more tailor-made, staple your favourite fabric to a few small canvases (make sure they co-ordinate) and your friend can hang them however they’d like. Just make sure they go with the rest of her home (colour, print or scheme-wise), and that she doesn’t identify as an art snob.

Staying Thrifty
Again with puns, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. Thrift stores, antique centres and estate sales may seem overwhelming, but you can pick up one-of-a-kind items for affordable prices if you’re hoping to score something unique for a friend. Artwork, books and even jewelry are the perfect gifts for those with a vintage affinity, but if you’re not willing to shell out for restored vintage finds, scour with patience to put a few small things together. For only about $20, a record, a book and a second-hand print can be tailor-made for the artistically inclined, while a silk scarf, old necklace and retro purse works for anyone fashion-inclined.

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Tags: budget-friendly, budgeting, Christmas, Christmas on a budget, Christmas presents, holiday shopping

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