Yes, I know it’s only November. Yes, Christmas is 1 month away. But in the last year of writing these articles, among the many amazing and useful things I have learnt is that planning is the quickest and easiest way to save money.
So, I’m looking forward this year and planning some delightful or delicious DIY Christmas presents.
Always a winner. Spend a little bit of money on a way to display your treats nicely, and some investment in ingredients and you have yourself a large selection of presents for all your loved ones. Food works well as it can be given to either gender, it shows that you’ve put time into the present and is a good substitute for CDs or DVDs, which everyone already has a zillion of anyway. What’s the best kind of treats to make? There are millions of options- truffles, Vanilla Kipferl or a gingerbread house. Or you can make a cute little cookie kit. Get all the dry ingredients of a cookie mix, measure it out and place them in nice little bags. Then write out the recipe in old fashioned font, and place it all in a stylish cookie jar.
Head to your local second-hand store and buy some old musty classics. If you know your friends’ favourites, then hunt them out. Glue all the pages together and then cut out the middle of the book. You’ll have a secret treasure box, made of a favourite book, and perfect for little kids to hide things in.
The Right Recipe
If you have a lot of family recipes that your friends have been extolling for years, share the secret and make them a recipe book. Just write down a list of your ten favourite recipes, get a bit of Photoshop action happening and you have a lovely present for the price of printing.
Give of Yourself
If you are a sparky and know a friend who needs some help with their electricity, why not offer some time to help them out as a present? Of if you’re good with fixing bikes, or landscaping gardens, offer those skills as a present. After all, it’s going to be much more valued than a little-thought about gift.
A Bit of Spice
How about making a spice sampler? I would love someone to give this to me for Christmas, I’m continually running out of spices and would sincerely appreciate someone stocking me up once a year. Also, it’s as cheap as chips. Buy a large amount of a couple of spices and divide into 3- 10 gift bags. And you can make your own magic spice mix, to add something personal to the gift. You could also do this with types of tea.
A Memory Jar
I love this idea. It takes a lot of planning, but give yourself a couple of months. If you want to give a special present, then send out the call to all friends and family and ask them to write a memory or send a photo of the person you are giving the gift to. Funny, sad, nostalgic- whatever they want to add. Print out the memories and photos and place them all in a jar, tie it with a big red bow.