Looking For Great Holiday Gifts
That Won't Break Your Bank?

Looking For Holiday Gifts That Won't
Break Your Bank?

Written by Lois Lane
🕒 December 07, 2020

When the holidays arrive, most people find an extra chunk of change in their paychecks from a generous employer.

To those of us in the local TV News industry, the idea of a “Christmas bonus” is just as mythical as Big Foot. We all know what it is, but few have ever seen one. Pair that with our already painfully small paychecks, and the season of giving can start to feel like a season of credit card debt.

But, fear not fellow news junkies! There are still some great holiday gifts out there, for all the people on your list, that needn’t break the bank.

If you’re crafty, a photo album, or intricate display of photos, can make a great gift for anyone you’ve taken a lot of selfies with. A cute photo album can cost you anywhere between $5 and $15. Plus, printing out photos on sites like CVS Photo, or Shutterfly, can be as little as 9 cents per photo.

For an extra touch of personalization: Write a thoughtful message on a note card, and place it on the last page of the photo album.

A new purse, or knit sweater, can run your budget dry if you buy it at a name-brand store. However, resale and consignment shops can be a great cost-effective alternative!

Websites like Poshmark, Ebay, and Thredup offer thousands of great, inexpensive, items that would make the perfect gift for anyone on your list.

Note: If you only want to buy unused items, most websites offer a search feature that will weed out the used goods. For example, searching “Coach” on Ebay, with the subcategories “new with tags” and “under $25,” will yield brand new Coach scarves, bags and jewelry for a fraction of the original price.

What’s more, sites like Poshmark allow you to “bundle” the items you like from a single seller. So, to help save money, you can add all the things you like from that one seller and get a shipping discount. These websites also allow you to make an offer, or bid on an item, which gives you a chance to negotiate a great deal with little to no effort.

Want more ideas for affordable holiday gifts? Well, no one turns down homemade goodies!

With some added embellishments, your go-to cookie recipe, or a simple set of chocolate dipped Oreos, can make a cute and tasty gift. Package your homemade treats in a glass jar, or Christmas tin, which you can find at your local Dollar General, or Family Dollar, for less than $5. Then, tie a ribbon around it, and add a nice tag to the container, for a picture-perfect present that anyone would be happy to enjoy.

Books also make great gifts, especially during a time when many of us are stuck at home without much entertainment. Go to Google, and search your loved-one’s biggest interests with the words “top rated book.” Once you have a book in mind, search for it on a consignment book website like ThriftBooks.com, WorldofBooks.com, or even Amazon.

You may be surprised to find the book you want for just pennies on the dollar. For example, Amazon has a list of best selling biographies for under $15, and recommended cook books for less than $10. 

Books are also considered media on Amazon, so shipping costs are usually very low if not free.

Note: If you need to ship the gift to it’s recipient, choose “media mail” for the same shipping discount.

Now, since you already have to spend your hard-earned money on gifts, there’s no harm in getting something back for yourself, right? Well, websites like rakuten.com allow you to earn cash back on your purchases.

Follow the simple directions to start an account, and quickly learn how to accumulate cash back. Then, you can earn up to six percent back on your purchase at Macy’s, 12 percent back on your SnapFish purchase, and four percent back from Sephora. The percentages may be small, but they do add up. Plus, there’s also a bonus for signing up!

Finally, for the nostalgic parents, or grandparents, why not print out some of your favorite feature reporting stories, and make a magazine or coffee table book out of them as a gift.

The story you did about Buddy the dog bringing cheer to young cancer patients, the students who put on a socially distant parade for their teachers, and the couple who made funny quips about their 75 years of marriage would make for a touching gift to anyone who loves to cheer you on.

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