It’s the 2nd week of December folks, we’re coming up on crunch time.  I know you’re crazy busy with work, family and friends, but this is the week to take care of the bulk of your holiday shopping, if you haven’t already.  You’ll thank yourself later, I promise!  If you’re looking for more gift ideas that are the perfect combo of (1) inexpensive, (2) easy to create, and (3) beloved by recipients, read on for fantastic, proven gift ideas guaranteed to please!

(1) A new wallet full of gift cards!  Perfect for adults, kids, retirees, you name it.  There are several reasons I adore gift cards at the holidays.  They’re easy to get from place to place (no bulky boxes), and they’re sure to be appreciated by the recipient.  Imagine the delight of anyone on your gift list when they open up a box containing a brand new wallet filled with gift cards from their favorite restaurants, gas stations, bookstores and coffeeshops!  The gifts don’t have to be used that day, it’s effortlessly easy to get the gift home, and it will be one of the few gifts given at the holidays that could save the day in April when you’re low on cash and your gas tank is hovering right over the “E”.

(2) A Package of Delectable Embellished Oreos!  In my house, the holidays are notorious as a “no carb left behind” kind of affair.  Your house may be the same.  A week ago, I received a divine Christmas package from a co-worker, filled with hand crafted, deliciously embellished Oreos!  They didn’t last an hour.  It’s kind of a blur, actually.  To recreate the magic at home – take your favorite variety Oreos, pipe a small ring of frosting around the outside of the cookie, and gently dip it into your favorite sprinkles, chocolate shavings, or finely shredded coconut.  Words can’t describe the deliciousness, but “Oreos touched by culinary angels” comes close.

(3) Gift box filled with Candy Cane Quarters!  The perfect gift for the friend or relative who loves the vending machine at work, lives or works near parking meters, or the new college kid dependent on the dorm laundry room.   Get a small, decorative box from the Dollar Store, fill it with 3 or 4 rolls of quarters wrapped in striped candy-cane paper, and enjoy the thrilled response when friends and family open a gift they can easily use!

Whoever is on your gift list this year, chances are excellent – whether they say it out loud or not – that they would prefer a practical gift they can actually use, especially if its usefulness extends well beyond the crazy rush of the holidays.  Frugal On!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living.  “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs Saturdays at 11A on WNPV 1440 / 98.5 , and Nationwide via the BizTalk Radio Network. She was raised in Delaware County, works in Montgomery County, and resides in Chester County with her husband and kids.  She is honored to be connected with the crew at the Detox Treatment Help Line (800-287-7891) and Elite Rehab (800-932-4082) to help get the word out about their proven strategies to steer the ones you love away from drug abuse. You can find her online at