Last Minute Gifts – Being Frugal with Your Time and Energy

last minute gifts

Christmas Present © mac9416 via CC 2.0 by License

Last Minute Gifts Don’t Have to Look Last Minute

You’re nearly out of time to shop, and it’s way too late to start complicated DIY gifts. Do you really want to brave the crowds at the mall, pay for expedited shipping, or stay up late baking cookies? No, I didn’t think so. Consider these last minute gifts instead.

  • Printable gift card.
  • Coupon for your services or a fun activity.
  • Coupon for a homemade gift (e.g., a pair of handknit socks, a flax-seed heating pad, or a yearlong supply of homemade soap in the recipient’s favorite scent).
  • Seeds and small gardening tools from the hardware store.
  • A subscription to something (magazine, something-of-the-month club).
  • Coffee shop gift card, perhaps along with a pound of beans.
  • A card that says you’ll take the recipient out for a meal the week after Christmas (or other convenient time – but soon).
  • A thoughtfully curated selection of specialty or luxury foods or beverages you can pick up at your local grocery store.
  • A carefully chosen variety of beauty products you can find at your local pharmacy.
  • For someone who can’t go shopping when they please (a child or homebound adult), offer to take them shopping after Christmas and to pay for their purchases up to the planned gift amount.

If none of these ideas sound good to you, shop smaller locally owned stores, which are often much less crowded than big-box stores (it’s better for your town’s economy too). If that’s not an option for you, you might be able to buy your last minute gifts online, but pick them up in the store.

What are your favorite last minute gifts?

2 thoughts on “Last Minute Gifts – Being Frugal with Your Time and Energy

  1. I used to buy leather kits to have on hand. I could lace up a wallet in minutes yet it would be handmade. Of course it helps that I already had to tools to punch the holes for lacing. When I took up crocheting, I made string shopping bags which stored in their own pockets and which took a couple evenings to make while watching TV. I never had anyone look disappointed to have such a handy thing. In fact, when I wasn’t consciously saving them for gifts, I sold them as fast as I could make them.

    • Awesome gift ideas, especially the homemade wallet – I can’t think of anything I know how to make so quickly. For a quick knit, I’ve made coffee cup cozies to replace the cardboard sleeves they usually give you, but they take a couple of hours. I suppose I could make simpler ones faster, though, instead of cabled versions I’ve knitted in the past.

I'd love for you to share your ideas and experiences.