Cheap Christmas gift ideas don't have to look inexpensive.
Here are three tips for picking gifts that show you care and don't leave your wallet with nothing but air in it.
It doesn't take money to show you care.
You can't afford a Masserati for the car-lover in your life, but you can afford a Masserati key ring.
The ideal inexpensive present shows you were paying attention when the other person revealed heartfelt dreams, wishes, eccentricities, or anything unique.
It's hard to go wrong with a framed photograph of the two of your together.
Practical gifts also show you care. For example, LifeHammer, the original life-saving windshield smasher is something I know I should have in the car with Florida honeycombed with canals -- yet I never get around to buying one.
Everyone can use a recharging station to keep appliances organized and ready for when we leave the house. As I write this, this Lipper International 812 Bamboo Charging Station is less than $15 -- but I can't guarantee how long that will price will remain.
This darling magnetic key holder, left, is a little man who clings to the side of a refrigerator. You will be hard-pressed to find a thoughtful, practical gift more inexpensive than this.
You'll be home counting your savings while everyone else is battling holiday crowds if you shop for gifts all year long.
If it crosses your mind that a funny toothpaste-tube squeezer is the perfect gift for Aunt Zelda who can squeeze orange juice out of a dime, buy it.
Clearance sales are the perfect place to pick up bargain books, toys, kitchen ware, grab bag, and hostess gifts
For the collectors and eccentrics in your life, you may find those very special unique gifts and collectibles at yard sales, estate sales, auctions, craft fairs, flea markets, and out-of-the-way antique shops.
Be sure to keep a list and check it twice so you don't over-buy.
If something tickles your funny bone, chances are it will make your friend smile, too.
Keep your cheap Christmas gift ideas in good taste for office parties and celebrations when children, your clergy, or easily-offended Uncle Willis will be present.
Bobble-head dolls, a dream catcher, lucky dice, or a sweet that recalls a trip to the penny candy store when one was young can have a lot of appeal.