Buying gifts for friends and family during holidays or on their birthdays can be a costly affair; especially if you’re experiencing financial difficulties. Fortunately, there are different ways that you can cut costs and save money on gifts. You can do this by taking full advantage of online discounts, social media offers and coupons. Alternatively, you can even spend time with your loved ones or entertain them with some activities in place of getting them presents.

    Homemade gifts tend to be the best option when you are on a budget. Not only do they tend to be affordable, but they are also easy to make and can be customized to suit individual preferences.

    Read on for some great budget gift ideas.

    Coupons/vouchers, skills and lessons

    Think about certain tasks or activities that you can perform, and offer them as gifts. A haircut, homemade dinner for a special person, a car wash, a hair-color treatment, tutoring sessions, organization services, Photoshop or photography lessons and foreign language lessons are typical examples of affordable gifts. Think about who you’ll be giving the present to: has that person ever mentioned how he or she would love to learn or do something? Did your gift recipient mention wanting something but being unable to afford it? Whatever it is, you can offer your talent or skill as a gift, and not only will this be valuable and heartfelt, but it will also save money.

    Other gift options:

    • Homemade biscuits, jams and chutneys are easy to make and will be greatly appreciated.
    • Flavored alcohols are cheap and innovative gifts. Divide your bottle of vodka into smaller bottles, and mix it with lime, cranberry or another flavoring for gifting family and friends.
    • You can mend old Barbie dolls, wrap them up in beautiful gift paper and give them to young ones.
    • Mittens, scarves and woolen hats are great accessories for cold weather.

    Where you can find effective gifts when on a budget

    Search for coupons for particular items or for stores at which you want to purchase gifts. Certain stores and coupon websites offer printable coupons that you can use. Sign up and subscribe to receive email notifications from your favorite retailers. Most stores will send you emails containing offers, exclusive discounts and coupons, especially around the holidays. Follow your favorite retailers on their social media accounts, as some will provide followers with discount codes that they can use for online purchases. Check social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to find announcements and special offers that can save you a lot of money.

    Look for discount codes when you shop online. These are special and can be entered when you check out to help you save on your purchases or receive additional discounts.

    Shopping online and finding good gift deals

    Buying online can be a very effective way to save money. There are thousands of stores on the web where you can browse, compare prices, purchase cheap items and have them delivered to you in no time. Unlike with typical brick-and-mortar stores, where you may have to visit several locations to find what you want at a good price, you can browse through different online stores at once without leaving your home or office, and you can shop at any time of the day without worrying about store closing times. Online stores such as New Easy offer a variety of gift options and everyday useful products.

    Free gifts

    Online playlists and mixed CDs are thoughtful gifts for a loved one. All you need is a streaming service to share your playlists or a blank CD — these won’t cost you anything and are very easy ways of introducing new music to your friends and family.

    Help save the planet while sticking to your gift budget: There are numerous websites that discourage people from throwing away things that they no longer need and provide a means to give these items away instead. You can sign up with such websites to find something that could serve as a great present.

    Even when you are on a budget, there are still many gift options available at your disposal. Apart from homemade gifts, which, of course, have great sentimental value, online shopping resources allow you to purchase gifts in a convenient manner while saving money. By thinking creatively to craft one-of-a-kind gifts, offering your special talents or taking advantage of different offers, exclusive deals and coupons from your favorite online stores, you can make the holidays special yet affordable.