Whether you’re on the lookout for someone’s birthday or preparing for Christmas, buying presents can be expensive. High street stores charge through the roof for knick knacks, and although online retailers can offer goods cheaper, trawling the Internet is often time-consuming. Finding a unique, inexpensive and thoughtful gift among hundreds of copycat items is difficult; sometimes the only solution is to take matters into your own hands.
1) Bake something
A good way to save money, cut the cost of a birthday party, or just show someone that you care, baking can provide a low-cost alternative to expensive gifts. Delicious and thoughtful, a batch of cookies or a box of cupcakes is always appreciated. If you’re baking for someone with a sweet tooth, ask what their favourite flavours and treats are before you begin.
While something moreish and sweet is bound to be a hit, for an extra-special gift, focus on the presentation. Pop small biscuits into a new mug, add a sachet of hot chocolate and wrap with cellophane. If you’re making larger items then purchase a cheap white cardboard cake box from your local supplier, decorate with special messages and wrap with a bow.
2) Use your points
If you have any sort of loyalty card to a shop then there are savings to be made. The chances are that you have already accumulated a number of points and as we all know, points equal prizes. Magazine subscriptions, vouchers for days out or simply money-off gifts that can be bought in-store, if you use your points wisely, presents don’t have to cost the earth.
3) Get crafty
A creative and thoughtful way to give a personal gift, if you have the ability or know-how, creating a unique, heartfelt item is as easy as pie. Why not personalise a piece of clothing, embroider a vintage-themed image or have a go at creating some fabric bunting. Online tutorials are easy to find, and DIY craft books can provide hundreds of useful ideas for gifts. For a first time crafter, simple items such as no-sew pillows or reusable felt coffee collars are easy and inexpensive to construct. More seasoned DIY-ers can have a crack at making stuffed toys, knitting scarves, or personalising wine glasses.
4) Gift an experience
A day out is much more than a present, it’s an event. Spending time with your friends or family, the memories that you can create will be more cherished than an ordinary gift. Online savings sites such as Groupon offer vouchers for a whole range of activities. From entrance to museums in Wellington and botanic gardens in Christchurch, to luxury sauna deals Auckland, you’re sure to find something. Whatever your requirements, there is a day out to suit all tastes and budgets.
5) Free gifts
If you’re looking for a free way to find a gift, there are options available. Online recycling sites encourage members to get rid of their unwanted items by giving them to other people. With everything from electrical items to antique furniture available, you might just find the perfect gift for free.