Christmas gifts and ornaments.

Holiday Hacks for Cheap, Easy and Meaningful Gift Giving

When the holidays roll around and you have amazing people in your life, you want to spoil them, right? But paying for rent, groceries and other essentials while on a student budget can make the extra cost of gift giving a little stressful. While you may be limited on funds, it’s still possible to make your friends and family feel special without emptying your bank account. Here are a few hacks to help you out.

Refine Your List

Be intentional with your gift-giving list so you can invest in those closest to you. If, after some thought and tightening up, you still find your list running long, decide on a few you can make a heartfelt card for instead. When you go shopping for the rest, be sure to brainstorm your gift ideas and set a budget beforehand so you can stay focused on the mission without overspending.

Make It Meaningful

The new set of Beats at the top of your bud’s list is probably out of your budget, but with a little extra thought, you can pick an affordable gift that’ll mean even more. Show how well you know them by finding merch from their favorite artist, a mug or sticker from their go-to spot to sip a local brew, or a tug at a memory with a knick-knack that’ll spark an inside joke.

Mix Up a Treat

Gifts involving food are always a safe bet. Have a chocoholic on your list? A coffee addict? A sweet tooth? Think of their favorite foods and flavors and find a creative way to pull them together. How could anyone resist a box of this snowflake mix or cookie mix in a jar? If you want to get really impressive, sneak a few nice notes into a batch of homemade fortune cookies. These ideas are all easy to duplicate so you can check more than one person off your list at a time.

Don’t Fear DIY

You don’t have to be a master crafter or skilled artist to pull off a successful DIY project. Even if it doesn’t turn out like the Pinterest pic, the amount of time, effort and thought you put into your creation will show through. Bath and beauty items like muffin tin bath fizzies and home décor like painted canvases are easy to pull off and customize. Themed gift baskets with their favorite small goodies also make an exciting present to unbox.

Team Up

Want to splurge on your mom but just don’t have the budget? Go in on a gift with your siblings and split the cost. Or, if you’re feeling obligated to do something for each of your friends, coordinate a gift exchange or secret Santa instead. That way, everyone will get something to open, but you only have to buy one gift. It makes a fun, festive get-together too!

Give an Experience

Sometimes the best gifts don’t fit under the tree. This year, gift your time by planning a fun day with your bestie, some sibling bonding time with your brother or sister, or plan a surprise date for your significant other. Just write a nice note explaining your plans or wrap up tickets to the event you picked. During this busy time of year, your time will mean a lot.

As you bake festive treats, shop for thoughtful gifts and gather with family and friends this season, local farmers are doing the same. Family is essential for the day-to-day operation of many Ohio farms, but the holidays are an extra special time to enjoy each other.

Happy gifting!

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