March 1, 2012, 9:40 AM
Filed under: Craft Ideas, Gifts

Wednesdays.  Blah days. Nothing on tv and no new movies yet.  Cold weather and a week night.  What is there to do?  Well, today I thought I’d give you some ideas for gift giving without spending a lot of money.  There are a lot of great ways to give great gifts.  One way is to make your gift.  Another is to offer a service as a gift.  There are so many creative ways to give gifts that are more meaningful than a store-bought gift.  You just have to put a little thought into it.  Let me explain.

First, lets start with Anniversaries.  There are traditional gifts for each year.  This a great opportunity to get creative.  Everyone can do it.  You just have to know your spouse.  Here’s the list according to year;

1st-Paper                                 6th-candy                             11th-steel                      16th-Silver holloware (tea set)          25th-Silver

2nd Cotton                             7th-copper                            12th-silk                        17th-furniture                                      30th-Pearl

3td-leather                             8th-Linnen                           13th-Lace                      18th-porcelin                                       35th-coral

4th-fruit or flowers              9th-Willow or pottery        14th-Ivory                     19th-bronze                                         40th-Ruby

5th-wood                              10th-Tin/Aluminum           15th-Crystal                    20th-China                                         45th-Sapphire

50th-Gold                  55th-Emerald              60th-Diamond      75th-Platinum

So for those of you newlyweds, working off a budget paper is one of the easiest gifts to be creative with.  For my first anniversary I made my hubby a scrapbook of our first year starting with our honeymoon and ending on our anniversary (which I must say was a pretty memorable one for another reason).  Another suggestion is to make a coupon books for a few things like, one guys night out, another for a free saturday to play golf, one for his favorite meal and so on.  You can also get a picture of you two framed for his desk at work.  Put a card in his briefcase or lunch box, or leave one on his car at work.

Fruit or flowers, guys are not usually into these but you can make him a cake and put flowers on it either hand-made, edible ones or the pre-made ones.  Bonus take it to his work (if you can and if they allow), make enough to share.  Guys ask the florist for her opinion on a bouquet or find out your wifes favorite flower (always good to know for anytime).  Have them delivered at work with a had written note.  She’ll know you are thinking about her.  Bonus: Deliver them yourself to her work or at home if you are able and take her out for lunch (you may want to check on timing of this first).

Furniture-Don’t be intimidated.  This doesn’t have to be a couch or a new bed.  Remember be creative.  If you are great at wood working build her a rocking chair and stain it so it matches the baby’s room.  If that seems a little to overwhelming make a serving tray.  Or go to a consignment shop or thrift shop and find a good sturdy piece.  Sand it down, paint it, or repurpose it.  It can be used for breakfast in bed, as a serving tray for company and cocktail parties, movie night snacks, or for her jewelry or bath items.

Remember any of these gifts can be used anytime not just for anniversaries.

Birthday and special occasion gifts.  One thing I do when I shop is I look for free items.  Sometimes, stores advertise free items with the purchase of others.  I’ll also use coupons like Bath and Body Works.  At the perfume and make up counters they have some great give aways throughout the year.  These make great stocking stuffers.

Shop the sales.  Use coupons with sales.  If you have a store card already use it to get percent off only if you can pay the cash.  Most stores will allow you to do this.  I will immediately ask for another transaction and pay the balance.  Also look for sales like Macy’s “Go Red” or Bath and Body Works “Pink Out,” and get free stuff just for wearing certain colors.

Make a gift.  If you are anything like me you remember your mother baking food for someone who had lost a loved one or for a house-warming or hostess gift or for Christmas.  I remember thinking “aww mom that’s so embarrassing.”  But now I share her wisdom with you.  I can tell you that the recipient of this gift is blessed by it.  I love getting these gifts because they fill the belly and warm the heart to think that the person cared enough to invest time in a gift for me.  If you know a young mother, fix a complete meal and take it over to her.  Offer to stay and clean up so she can relax for a moment.  Bake something and take it to your new neighbor on a plate they can keep.

Make a house decoration or a new wreath for a friend.  Wreathes are easily made on a budget.  You can go to your local craft store and buy a form and use ribbon and flowers or other seasonal decorations.  Make a scrapbook for your parent, find old photos and new photos and make a family album.  If you knit or quilt, make a scarf or prepare a baby quilt for  an expectant mother.  These gifts last much longer and remind the receiver of you and will keep them warm in both body and soul.

As always I hope this has been helpful to all of you out there.  Let us know how we are doing.  Thanks for your support:)