There's no time to order anything online, you're fresh out of clever ideas, and your holiday budget is already out of whack. Don't panic! Here are a few no-fail ideas you can rely upon to please a wide variety of people on your list — without breaking the bank.
For the Techie on Your List
You don't need to fight the crowds at the mall or spend a lot to please the techie on your list. Staples has some really cool gadgets, including the Omnitech Mini Speaker Pod that attaches to any iPod or mp3 player. It comes in fun jewel-tone colors, but the best part is that it's only $10. It's sure to please the gadget-lover on your list! While there, check out their “bling” line of ear buds, flash drives, and other low-cost gadgets.
The Family Recipe Album
You may have heard me talk about this homemade gift idea here, because it's simply one of my favorite gifts to give. Everyone in my extended family has one, and they all use them regularly! The best part, besides the price, is that you can mass-produce these for as many friends or relatives as you want. Have your kids design a cover, and you're good to go. For more information on how to create this or other homemade gifts, watch my Handmade Gifts Video here.
If you're invited to a last-minute get-together or have any other unexpected occasions where a gift is in order, it's nice to have boxes of chocolate on hand. Pictured here are the Pot of Gold Collection Premium Collection chocolates from Hershey's which are widely available anywhere you typically shop. They work well by themselves, but you can also add a personalized touch to your gift by adding them to a gift basket with an inexpensive mug or a little bag of coffee (check the Dollar Spot at target for those). If you're feeling creative, check out the fun craft ideas they have on the Hershey's web site for truly unforgettable gifts. www.celebratewithhersheys.com
For the Kiddos
Another store to check out for holiday deals is TJMaxx. They have a larger-than-normal selection of toys and gifts for kids this time of year. To get a video tour of their toy selection, visit this link. Don't forget to check out their videos, too. They have lots of titles for kids – most under $8 – that have the characters your kids know and love. They would work well as stocking-stuffers as well as gifts.
Gifts with a Purpose
I love gifts that are designed to help teach kids about money, and this cute little piggy bank available at Target will help you save money without spending a lot of money. When it first appeared, its retail price was $9.99 but now they've been marked down to just $4.99. At that price, you can buy one for each of your kids!