1. Avoid buying everyone a present. Instead do a secret Santa with your closest friends and set a budget of $25.
2. For girls, consider making your friends, sisters or mom a trendy long necklace with a bracelet to match. A package of beads and string is less than $10 and even if it takes some time, it is worth it in the end.
3. Make holiday treats for grandmas, aunts and other relatives. For example, fudge has an easy recipe and few ingredients.
4. Set an amount you know you can spend on each person you are buying for. After you have bought something for those on your list and there is extra money, then splurge on others you left out.
5. Try making a scrapbook for someone. It can focus on just the two of you or a trip you went on. All it takes is an inexpensive blank book, pictures, a glue stick and pretty colored pens for quotations. For the less artsy and for a less time-consuming present, frame a picture or two. Make the prints black and white for a more elegant, nostalgic appearance.
6. A mix CD has always been a classic do-it-yourself-with-a-personal-touch gift. Even though you rarely see anyone walking around with a disc man these days, all Ipods and MP3 devices allow for CDs to be uploaded to the computer and then onto the device. If this is too primitive for you, buy 10 to 15 songs at the Itunes music store and send them through e-mail.
7. Cut your coupons out. It is almost a guarantee that major department stores, such as Macys, will have coupons at this time of year. They are normally anywhere from 15-30 percent off your purchase.
8. Instead of spending time at the mall rummaging through the crowds, try and buy some gifts from the Internet. The time you save can be spent, with your family or visit an assisted living home or soup kitchen.
9. Ebay is not the answer to all your monetary problems, but it can definitely be a start. For example, a brand new pair of Uggs regularly priced at $120 can be found on Ebay for $80.
10. Photobox.com allows you to do just about anything with your favorite Kodak moments. Make a personalized calendar, pillow, poster, mug, paperweight or even a mouse pad from any picture you wish. Most gifts are less than $25 and they are a great way to capture a moment you will never forget.