How to Spend Less But Give More
Does everyone you know seem to be born on the same month? Has gift giving left your wallet thin? No matter the reason, if you’re celebrating a birthday on a budget, you have no excuses for giving a ghastly gift!
You don’t have to go to the mall or spend heavily to find a fantastic birthday gift. Get your creative juices flowing and think about what you can do with what you have (or what you can buy cheaply). Is the birthday guy a nature lover? He’ll adore your photographs of the blue jay on your tree, blown up and nicely framed. Does she like to curl up with the latest Anne Rice thriller? Knit her a cozy blanket in a color she’ll enjoy. If she’s been bugging you about how you prepare your sumptuous stuffing recipe, compose a little cookbook with some of your best recipes.
Does he dream about chocolate? Has she longed to taste matzoh ball soup as it was made for her when she was a little girl? If you can cook (or know someone who does), prepare a decadent dessert or a full course meal for a grand birthday gift. Make sure you know the recipient’s taste in cuisine and allergy sensitivities. Find out if he hates vegetables before spending a day making broccoli mousse.
A Photo Album
If you want to commemorate your happy times together, select the best photos of you and the birthday lady or guy and arrange them in an album. Add captions, stickers, and mementos to make it more personalized. If you’re on a strict budget, go through old photos and spend some time creating an online photo album. This, however, should be more extensive than that weekend in Vegas you wouldn’t remember but for the photos.
A Little Something
Even the gesture of giving a gift can be enough to make someone happy, if it’s thoughtful and is presented nicely. Scan smaller sale items in local clothing stores, such as scarves, gloves or hats if it’s the winter or sunglasses and sarongs in the summer. Check out local wine stores for inexpensive yet well-rated vino or chocolate shops for petite assortments. If tied with a ribbon or placed in a decorative bag, a smaller item can seem great indeed.