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Last-Minute Holiday Gifts On A Budget

In 2019, there are only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas – the shortest possible number of days between these two dates in any given year!

With a few handy tips and tricks, you can find last-minute holiday gifts on a budget. While the National Retail Federation explains that holiday shoppers are starting earlier this year, 18 percent of consumers still planned to wait until December to start their shopping. So if you’ve waited until the last minute to do your shopping, you’re not alone!

The search for last-minute holiday gifts can stretch anyone’s budget, but affordable doesn’t have to equal lower quality. Waiting until the last minute could mean you have the opportunity to focus on gifts that the recipient would truly value instead of being persuaded to buy the latest shiny thing long before the holidays.

Shopping Local Saves Time & Money

Doing your holiday shopping locally means you don't have to worry about delivery times or costly rush shipping charges. You'll also be backing local businesses and supporting your community. Online shopping is another option to consider, and may offer deep discounts as the holidays get closer. Just be cautious about shipping times for online purchases if you've really waited until the last minute!

Personal Care Gift Ideas

Take a stroll down the personal care aisle of almost any big box retailer and you’ll see all kinds of options. High-end soaps, shampoos, or cleansers can be great budget gift ideas. The most expensive options in this category usually cost only a few dollars more than the “standard” version but can really impress the recipient. You could even consider creating a spa basket with a few travel-size luxury toiletries. If a soap is too personal, consider an indulgent lotion in a neutral scent. Dry winter air means it’s sure to be appreciated!

Kitchen Gadgets & Accessories

Wondering where to start shopping for the person who has everything? Kitchen gadgets and accessories to the rescue! Choose unique gadgets that make everyday tasks easier, like an avocado tool, egg cooker, pasta spoon, pineapple slicer, or expandable salad spinner. Or pick a bento box set for lunches, a personalized water bottle, or classic coffee mug. Practical and inexpensive kitchen accessories and gadgets are easy to squeeze into your holiday budget. With a little knowledge of the recipient’s favorite foods, you can find a winning gadget that’s sure to be a hit!

Classic Favorites Can Be Best

Consider a classic holiday gift like a digital or print magazine subscription, a time-honored book or Bible, or even a cookbook. These old-time budget gifts are actually many people’s all-time favorites. Many will continue to bring the recipient joy for years to come. Other gift ideas in this category include high-quality journals or notebooks, adult coloring books, puzzles, or framed posters. For a more personal touch in today’s digital world, consider a framed photo print or collage of family photos.

Make Something Yourself

If it really comes down to the last minute, making something yourself could be your best option. Don’t overlook how truly touching a handmade gift can be without spending any money at all. Items like a personal, handwritten letter or plate of homemade holiday cookies might not have the flash of foil ribbons or glossy wrapping paper. But gifts from this category are all about creating lasting memories and new traditions that will last far longer than any flashy trimmings. Other wallet-friendly make-at-home gift ideas include jars or bags of cookie or cocoa mixes, sewn or crocheted items, or even a homemade sugar scrub or bath fizzer recipe.

Go The Easy Route With Gift Cards

A whopping 54% of holiday shoppers plan to give gift cards this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation. Gift cards are popular because they allow the recipient to choose their own gift. If you’re holiday shopping on a budget, consider a gift card for less expensive items like coffee, movies, or music. Popular options for younger generations include a few months of a streaming service like Netflix or Spotify. If you want the recipient to have even more flexibility, consider a Royal Credit Union Visa® prepaid gift card. These cards are accepted anywhere in the U.S. that accepts Visa® cards, so they can be used at retailers, restaurants, local shops, and online.

Last-Minute Gifts To Fit Your Budget

The last, most important advice we have is not to get stressed out about holiday shopping. Don’t worry too much if you can’t find the perfect present for someone, and don’t feel pressured into spending more than you can afford in an effort to please others. As the old saying goes, “it’s the thought that counts,” and more often than not just taking the time and effort to give a gift is worth more than the dollar value. On behalf of Royal Credit Union, we’re wishing you success in your last-minute gift shopping. Stay thrifty and stick to your budget!