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When it comes to shopping for a gift, sometimes the the best way to save money is to be creative. Here are some easy ideas for saving money while giving those you care for a gift they will enjoy.

Keeping a few quick go-to ideas on hand can prevent you from overspending.

1. Have a gift stash.

Whenever I see a great item on clearance that can be potentially used as a gift, I add it to a shelf in a cabinet for potential gifts. I can’t name how many times this stash has come in handy. Whether it’s a birthday gift I didn’t have time to shop for, a last minute decision to go to a baby shower or often never planned Thank You or Congratulations gift, going into this stash not only saves me time from having to make a trip to the store, I have already saved money on a cute gift.

2. Make a gift basket.

Go to your local department store and head straight for the decor aisle. Grab a cute basket or some type of container that matches the theme of the contents it will hold. Then, run to the toys, candy, cooking, or any aisle that works with your gift recipient’s tastes. Fill the basket with trinkets. The more thoughtful the gift basket items are to that person, the better the gift.

3. Reconsider re-gifting.

Regifting may have received a bad wrap, but sometimes you get gifts that you don’t necessarily like or you may already have, and you know someone who would love that item. Add them (and I mean the nice quality gifts that someone would want) to the above mentioned gift stash. You can give the gift that didn’t hit home with you to someone who will appreciate it. Just make sure you’re not giving it to the person – or their friends – who gave it to you originally.

4. Create something.

Creating a gift that comes from the heart can be an inexpensive way to show how you care. While knitting a blanket or carving a statue may be too time consuming for last-minute gift giving, there are some crafts that can be whipped up in just a few hours:

  • Create a pocket-sized memory book using copies of some of your favorite photos.
  • Customize an inexpensive gift by adding a monogram to make it seem more lux.
  • Buy an inexpensive decorate-a-frame kit and but use a decent photo frame you can get from Michaels or Ross to create a custom photo frame with a nice photo for the recipient.
  • If you have a skill that your family member or friend envies, make them a coupon for free lessons plus items that go with it. For example, the ingredients, a recipe and a time and date to make the special dish with them.
  • You can never go wrong with baked goods. Cook a basket of muffins, a plate of cookies or a cake if you are handy in the kitchen.