Buttoned Up Expert:10 Inexpensive, Creative and Low-Impact Gift Ideas

10 Inexpensive, Creative and Low-Impact Gift Ideas

By Amy Suardi, Buttoned Up’s Savings Expert

The Center for the New American Dream found in a survey that 82% of Americans would rather receive a personalized photo album than a store-bought gift.

Photo books are easy to make these days, with digital cameras and Websites like Snapfish, Shutterfly and iPhoto. Here are some more ideas for gifts that keep on giving from the New American Dream. http://www.newdream.org/newsletter/good_gifting.php.

Gifts for Children

1. Make up a box of dress-up clothes. (Throw in some of your old scarves, sporting gear, costume jewelry, hats, slips, belts or purses.)

2. Create a coupon for Upside-Down Day. Let kids set the day’s agenda (with parental supervision). Take off your watch, wear pajamas under your coat to the movies, or eat dessert for breakfast.

3. Teach a child knitting or some other hobby.

4. Write and illustrate a story with the child as the main character. Involve the child to create an excuse for some one-on-one time.

Homemade Gifts

5. Make a cookbook with your favorite recipes.

6. Set up a monthly lunch date or phone call with an elderly friend or relative.

7. Frame a picture of someone drawn by a child or a bind together several pictures in a homemade book.

Gifts of Time

8. Make gift certificates for: a home-cooked meal, a car wash, a chores-free weekend, a day of babysitting, etc.

9. Take someone to a concert, cultural performance, museum, or sports game. Or create a new tradition by organizing a game night. Get together a group of friends for a football match or reserve an indoor basketball court for an evening. (Or, if you’re less athletically inclined, try a night of Scrabble, karaoke, or ping pong.)

Donations in the Name of a Loved One

10. Give a membership to a non-profit organization. JustGive.org allows you to donate online to thousands of charities.

Visit www.frugal-mama.com to learn more about Amy Suardi.