From my money saving ezine:
5 Fab Gifts
by Ruth Schiffmann
Great gift ideas for tough times
If you're feeling a pinch in your pocketbook as the next gift-
giving occasion approaches, try giving gifts that are big on
heart and small on cost. These five fab gifts for under $5 aim
to please while keeping you from feeling the squeeze.
1. Junk mail treasures - Save those fake credit cards that
banks send with their applications. With a quick coat of gold
spray paint, you can turn today's junk mail into tomorrow's
good-as-gold gift cards. When the paint dries use a permanent
marker to add a message. Give a friend a shared day of
housecleaning or your husband a night of total control over
the remote. Be creative. Think about what would mean the most
to the recipient, the more personal, the better.
2. Give the gift that keeps on giving - Magazine subscriptions
make a great gift. They are easy for the giver, who can order
from home, and a real payday for the recipient, who receives
new issues all through the year. Be sure to shop around for
the best deals. Do a Google search for "magazine subscriptions
under five dollars." Or check out <www.Bestdealmagazines.com>
and <www.magazinepricesearch.com/under5.html>. They offer
specific search buttons for different price ranges. Each of
these offers between 50-80 different titles for under $5/year.
3. When it has to be bigger to be better - Buy a bag of
chocolate Kisses(r) (or any other miniature variety candy).
Divide them into tiny gift boxes and wrap them. Then place
each tiny box into a bigger box and wrap them. Place each
bigger box into an even larger box, and so on, wrapping each
box before putting it into a bigger, better box. (Shoe stores
are usually glad to save boxes. You can get a variety of sizes
for free.) Get creative with the wrapping by using pages from
the phone book, magazine pages, tissue paper or newspaper.
This gift is big on laughs and big on fun!
4. Party in a box - This makes a great gift for a long-
distance friend. Print out an 8 x 10 picture of yourself. Glue
it onto a cardboard backing and attach a triangular piece of
cardboard to the back (picture frame style) to form a stand.
Now you can be there in more than just spirit. Tear up a few
sheets of colored paper and place the multi-colored scraps in
a zippered plastic bag for instant confetti. Include a box of
their favorite flavor of cake mix and a tub of frosting. Package
up the party goods and send it off with your good wishes.
5. Top things off with tons of toppings - This is when the
celebration is the gift. Buy a half-gallon of ice cream. Make
sure it's on sale. Then grab a handful of single-serve candies
that make good toppers like M&Ms(r), Reese's(r) Pieces(tm),
anything chocolate and crumbled up into bite-sized bits. If
it's the right time of year, you may even find a couple of
fancy sundae dishes. Show up on the guest of honor's doorstep
with the goodies and get ready to do some channel surfing to
find the perfect movie to play backdrop to your sundae party.