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4 Thoughtful Last-Minute Gift Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank

With a couple weeks of shopping left before Christmas Eve you may be worried about finding time to complete your shopping list. Or if you’re like me, you have barely started to do any shopping at all. As a huge fan of staying at home and shopping in my boxers, I tend to procrastinate as I know I have until December 18th to shop online and the deals always get better as we get closer to Christmas. So why not put it off and save some money in the process, right?

Once the procrastinating ends and I finally begin to do my shopping, I am always looking for thoughtful gifts that won’t bust my budget. The following gift ideas will all cost you under $25 and one actually won’t cost you a dime.

Photo Gifts for Grandparents

Some of the most memorable gifts for grandparents are photo gifts of their precious grandkids. Just last night I paid a visit to Snapfish.com and created a coffee mug for my mom with several pictures of my kids on it. The best part was I found a Snapfish coupon for 30% off your entire order and ended up getting the personalized photo mug for just under 10 bucks. In addition to mugs, you can personalize Christmas ornaments, stationery, mouse pads, key chains, playing cards, and even pillows. Also be sure to check out Shutterfly.com and Personal Creations.com for more really cool photo gift ideas that are not expensive.

Gift Cards, Yes or No…

In recent years the gift card has gotten a bad rap as nothing more than a gift that tells the recipient, “I spent exactly 30 seconds considering a gift for you.” But if you do it right the gift card can make an excellent gift for last minute shoppers. The secret is to combine it with a small gift that is related to the store the gift card came from. For example, if you’re going to buy someone a Starbucks gift card, include a bag of their Holiday blend or a set of coffee mugs. Or if you’re buying a $20 gift card from Sports Authority for someone on your shopping list, include something small related to the sport they love. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way when giving gift cards for Christmas.

Classic Board Games for Kids

My 3 young kids couldn’t have been more excited with the big snow storm that hit Redding over the past weekend. At one point, my 6 year old daughter was literally shaking with excitement as the snow started to accumulate in our backyard. So my life on Saturday and Sunday basically went like this; go play in the snow, come in out of the snow and play board games in front of the fire. Then repeat it all over again. We had two marathon Monopoly sessions only to be followed by other classic board games like Sorry! and Clue.

It got my wife and I thinking that it would be cool if Santa brought us a couple other favorites from our childhood like Risk and Life. After some research at Amazon.com, I was blown away with how dirt cheap these classic board games cost. Life is $16.99, Clue is $14.99, Monopoly is $11, and Sorry! can be had for only $12.

Consider picking up one or two of these classic board games this Christmas and stick them under the tree. The single best thing about them is that they force you to turn off the TV and video games and do something together as a family.

Homemade Coupons

Are you a mom or dad with kids under 10 years of age and looking for a fun and inexpensive way for your kids to give a gift to your husband or wife? I think I found the perfect gift idea for you. Sit down with your kids and create a personalized ‘Coupon Book’ filled with redeemable coupons for things like “One Night with Full Remote Control Access”, “Bring in the Newspaper”, “Breakfast in Bed”, or “Help Wash the Car”. Your spouse then redeems the coupons with the kids in the weeks and months after Christmas. Not only is it completely free but it teaches kids that doing nice things for others is a gift unto itself.

From my family to yours, I hope your holiday season is filled with children vibrating with excitement and cold nights spent in front of the fire battling it out for Boardwalk and Park Place.

About the Author: Kyle James lives in Redding with his wife and 3 kids. He runs an online business called Rather-Be-Shopping.com which lists thousands of online coupons to over 800 popular stores.

Kyle James lives in Redding with his wife and 3 kids. His online business, Rather-Be-Shopping.com, specializes in online and printable coupons to over 800 national retailers and since 2001 has been featured in the New York Times, The Today Show, and Reader’s Digest to name a few.

Kyle James

Kyle James lives in Redding with his wife and 3 kids. His online business, Rather-Be-Shopping.com, specializes in online and printable coupons to over 800 national retailers and since 2001 has been featured in the New York Times, The Today Show, and Reader’s Digest to name a few.

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