Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Consumer Watch: 5 ways to save and still give something great

Dec. 15, 2011 - 12:15PM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 15, 2011 - 12:15PM  |  
  • Filed Under

If you haven't finished or started your holiday shopping, don't panic. We've got some ideas that go easy on the stress and the wallet.

Panicked shopping can lead to overspending. Don't spend so much that you spiral into debt or further into debt. If your family and friends care about you, they don't want you to suffer financially because you felt you needed to buy them a gift.

Think of what the holiday means, and why you're giving the gift. It's not about how much you spend. Often, people remember gifts that require some effort and thought. Some last-minute ideas to get you started:

Look through your old photos

Enlarge one and frame it, or frame a couple together. Find a small album that you can personalize, perhaps with a theme such as "Our vacations together."

Make life easier for someone

If you know a military spouse whose husband or wife is deployed, make a "coupon book" good for weekend afternoons of baby-sitting, snow shoveling, lawn mowing or a few homemade dinners.

Make your signature treat

Jam, cake, salad dressing or candy. We know one mom who gave canned beef. Dress it up with a bow.

Write a letter

Describe what you like about the person and list some things he or she has done that you appreciate. Focus on that person. Putting pen to paper is increasingly rare, so a friend or loved one might enjoy reading and rereading it. Consider decorating the stationery.

Get military-specific deals online

Your favorite coffee junkie in Afghanistan can pick up a prepaid Green Beans Coffee gift card at the location on his base.

When you buy online from Green Beans Coffee, an additional 10 percent value will be added.

For a music junkie, http://www.apple.com/itunes/gifts">set up an iTunes gift online. You can email the gift certificate or deliver it in person. Also, check out the selection and prices at http://www.exchangeonlinemall.com">MiliTunes on the Exchange Online Mall. Tracks start at 60 cents.

Send chocolates or flowers using your military discount through other retailers on the Exchange Online Mall. FTD offers a 25 percent military discount. And 5th Avenue Chocolatiere offers a 10 percent discount through the mall.

Sign your bookworm up for some reading at Books-A-Million. E-gift certificates can be emailed to your recipient, and can be redeemed online or by phone for a variety of gifts. If the recipient is an authorized shopper, he will qualify for discounts at Books-A-Million http://www.exchangeonlinemall.com">through the Exchange Online Mall.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In Pay & Benefits

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

Readiness at risk
James' mission: Prioritize wisely to maintain capable, agile force

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook