Don’t Panic – Your Last Minute Thrifty Gift Guide
So, there’s less than a week to go and perhaps you’re sitting pretty with all your lists checked, presents bought and wrapped, and Christmas dinner all cooked and ready to go in the freezer! But, if you’re reading this we think it’s safe to say you’re probably still looking for the perfect gift for that special someone. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our nifty, thrifty guide.
Last Minute Gift Ideas
First, make your gift list (if you’ve not already). Double check that you haven’t left anyone out, so you won’t have to trudge out on Christmas Eve or Day! It may be a good idea to add a few general gifts that can be used in case you receive something unexpectedly. Items could include bottles of wine, chocolates, chutneys and jams or high street gift vouchers.
Next, make a budget. UK households are expected to splurge an average of £473.83 on presents this year. We don’t think you have to break the bank to give some very thoughtful and useful gifts. In fact, £2.4 billion was spent on unwanted presents and discarded food in 2014 according to a Money Advice Service poll. Instead of creating waste by giving unwanted gifts, why not ask those on your list what they’d like to get? Or if you’d rather give a surprise, let us give you a few creative suggestions:
- Give the gift of time – Low on waste, high in joy! Babysit for your niece or nephew so your sibling can enjoy a night out. Offer to clean up your parents garden one afternoon. Do you have useful skill like sewing or baking? Why not sit down with a friend for an hour or two to teach to them your knowledge?
- Create memories – Take a loved one on a day trip to a new city or town. Buy cinema or gig tickets for you and your partner. Get outside and enjoy an activity together with someone special instead of buying them another Christmas jumper!
- Make a donation in someone’s name – Perhaps you have a family member who is passionate about gardening or the outdoors. Consider adopting a tree, flower or habitat in their name with the WildLife Trust. Or plant a tree for them with The National Forest. Whatever their interest there’s bound to be a charity that would be grateful for a donation, which would also bring a smile to your friends face.
- Buy something Second-hand – If it’s been a while since you had a browse in a charity shop you may find yourself surprised at the range of items you could buy, from furniture to dresses, the perfect, unique gift may be waiting.
- Help grow something – Seeds and growing plants make beautiful gifts and for someone who wants to start growing their own but isn’t sure where to start this could be a great gift. Using your knowledge and expertise, or that of other friends and family you could put together a timetable, planting schedule and troubleshooting instructions to help someone grow their own next year.
- Help repair their broken items – Most of us have something at home that we started doing and didn’t quite get round to finishing, something we love that has broken pieces that we can’t find the time to fix. Use your Christmas gift to give a helping hand: you could fix a bicycle tyre, refinish the dining table or even clean the windows for example.
- Gift cards – As well as having no packaging, gift cards are great to re-use again and again. Check your purse/wallet to see if you’ve got any left from last year, get them re-charged with an amount of your choice and give them to someone who’ll shop there. If you’ve not got any used ones, buy a new one and suggest to the person you give it to that they could re-charge it and give it on next year.
- Make Something – Are you a super knitter or delicious jammer? Use your skills to create something, people will appreciate the time and thought you put into making your own gifts!
No matter your budget, or limits on time, we hope these suggestions will give you the inspiration you need to have a wonderful, waste-free Christmas!