|Tasha Ashby often gives photos to friends and family. She said a frame costs as little as $6, and the photograph will be appreciated. Ashby said her average price for presents is around $6, but she makes an effort to make inexpensive gifts more memorable by adding a little of her own work.|
With the holiday season already upon us, many people are already thinking about what to get their friends and family. However, finding the right gift on a limited budget can be difficult.
For young people who are just entering the workforce or trying to support a new family, the holiday gift budget often gets very small very fast.
"I look for gifts everywhere I go," said Donald McCarty, a 23-year-old Price resident.
McCarty explained that he often finds good deals on meaningful gifts at thrift stores and online.
"For the past three years, I've given my girlfriend things I bought on eBay," said McCarty.
McCarty added that he checks out the clearance specials at stores and can often find good deals on newer items.
This year, he plans to give one person on his list a throw he bought at Deseret Industries for just a few dollars. The cost of the item if he were to buy it new would be in the neighborhood of $30, according to McCarty.
As far as cost is concerned, McCarty said it's not always necessary to spend a lot of money on a gift.
"It depends on who you're buying for," said McCarty. "You can get away with buying cheap stuff for some people."
In addition, there are ways to add sentimental value to a gift.
|Donald McCarty's favorite gift was a denim blanket his girlfriend made for him. He and his girlfriend look forward to giving away a Simpsons throw this year. McCarty said shopping around works best for him. He stays away from the more expensive stores and shops thrift stores and online for good deals.|
Adam Anderson, a 22-year-old Price native explained that one year his dad made a music stand for him. Anderson is a music major at College of Eastern Utah. He related that his dad spent a couple of weeks making presents for each of his siblings.
Anderson said the stand was quite functional and the fact that his dad made it for him made it that much more meaningful.
McCarty said that two years ago, his girlfriend made him a blanket out of old denim pants. He added that now he can't remember what he wanted. Instead, the blanket was the perfect gift at the time.
"The blanket kept me warm all winter," said McCarty.
"Christmas isn't about getting what you want," said McCarty. "I don't get people what they want."
McCarty said he buys gifts that he know they will appreciate, but leaves the filling of the gift list to others.
"I stay away from clothes. That's what grandparents are for," he said.
But even trying to save, sometimes the holiday budget can get expensive. Anderson related that he tried to spend between $10 and $15 on each person on his list.
"I buy presents for a lot of people," said Anderson. "I usually end up spending around $500 on presents each year."
Tasha Ashby, a 19-year-old college student from Fielding, said she spends an average of $6 on each gift.
"If it's a close friend, I spend more money," said Ashby.
|Adam Anderson plays a flute he was given a few years ago. Anderson said the flute, at a price near $1,000 was one of the most expensive gifts he has been given. A gift that was in many ways more memorable was a music stand that his father made for him. His father spent a few weeks making presents for the family. The time and effort put into the music stand made it memorable, said Anderson.|
Many holiday shopping lists often have acquaintances and distant friends. Ashby explained that she goes to the dollar store and gets them a simple box of chocolates or something similar.
For closer friends, Ashby said photographs are an easy gift. Ashby takes a lot of her own photos and has the walls of her dorm room plastered with both her own photos and many that were given to her by friends.
"You can buy a frame for about $6," said Ashby. She added that those she has given the photos to have appreciated them. "It's a photo you're giving them. It's a memory."
Shopping the dollar stores and thrift stores can easily cut a holiday budget.
"I don't go to the more expensive stores," said McCarty. But he said you have to avoid appearing too cheap.
"One year I bought a Coca-Cola cup for $1 and told my girlfriend it was her present. She wasn't happy." McCarty added that the gift was a joke and he later purchased a better present.
He said one year, his younger brother had his Playstation stolen. McCarty found a Super Nintendo, a game console more than a decade old at a thrift store. He said his brother loved it.
"I couldn't afford to replace his Playstation, but I got him a system and a few games," he explained.
Another way to stretch the holiday budget is to split the cost with friends or family. Candice Buchmiller, a 21-year-old Price native, said she and her siblings chilled in to buy her dad a guitar.
Of course, the gift card is an easy route.
"With some friends, we get a gift card and buy a bag of candy for each other," said Buchmiller.
Another option is to give a gift that can be reused. Ashby said she has given friends poem or message on poster board with candy in place of some of the words. She found out that one person took the candy off and used it as a stocking stuffer.