The holidays are said to be “the best time of the year,” but they are also the time with the most added expenses to your budget. Between traveling home, larger spending on groceries, higher electricity bills and all the gifts you’ll have to buy, your stack of receipts can get overwhelming quickly. There’s no reason to fear though, you can cross off everyone on your gift list without spending a fortune.
A good way to stay within budget is DIY and as students at Oregon State, you have many options. Pinterest is filled with thousands of easy DIY gift ideas, such as homemade bath bombs. According to “Real Simple” magazine, “more than 62 million people come to Pinterest for ideas and to find the perfect holiday gifts.”
“Bluprint” is a subscription-based crafts website that’s great for instructions on handmade presents. It offers educational webinars ranging on topics of baking, knitting, paper crafts and many other DIY topics. OSU has its own Craft Center which offers diverse classes and weekly workshops, all of which can be viewed on their website.
If crafting isn’t for you, or you don’t have the time to commit to creating handmade gifts with the end of term closing in, it’s OK, there are people willing to do it for you. With places such as “Etsy,” an online marketplace that deals exclusively in handmade/vintage items, you can buy personalized, handcrafted gifts with the click of a button.
Corvallis artisan Devin White sells custom tailored clothing and bowties at his “Etsy” shop, “DapperStitching,” (www.etsy.com/shop/DapperStitching) and locally at the “First Alternative Co-op.” He says he sees a huge uptick in sales once it starts reaching the holiday season, probably from all the people who want to add a little festivity to their winter ensembles. Outside of local businesses, Oregon State University is also hosting a Holiday Marketplace Nov. 30 and Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Memorial Union Ballroom. Pacific Northwest artisans will be gathered all in one place to sell you one-of-a-kind presents for your gift giving pleasure.
Another great tip is to price watch the items that you’re interested in giving on shopping websites like “Amazon.” Cody Campbell, a recent OSU graduate, uses the “Honey” app to keep track of the items he’s interested in purchasing as Christmas gifts. The app alerts him when there is a price drop on items he’s interested in. “Honey” will not only show you the lowest price of all the competitors before you make a purchase, but it will also automatically apply the best coupon code at checkout.
No matter how you like to shop for gifts, there are many options for staying in budget this holiday season, so get out there and shop smart.