Cash is subprime.
Cash only. I don't want to repeat what I did last year.
my gf works at starbucks. we are using her weekly markouts (one free bag of coffee or box of tea every week) as gift baskets for her family this year. that alone eliminates 90% of the people we would otherwise have to shop for.
& we don't really look cheap, because her family LOVES starbucks.
We are making a donation of grocery store gift cards to our local food bank. We will buy 1-$250 gift card and donate it in our family's name. We live in a county that has been hit very hard by the closing of industries, mainly textiles and steel. Our county has the one of the highest unemployment rates in our state. Just this morning, the news reported another plant is closing with 200 employees out of work.
The food bank admin (who happens to be my sister-in-law) will purchase the items that are most needed at the food bank. She says people forget about the toiletries. We will be supplying her with many coupons to use also. She will shop on double coupon day to take greater advantage.
The food bank is operated by my sister-in-law, so we are sure the gift card will be used as needed, not on beer, wine, cigs, etc.
We do not have small children anymore, ours are college students, so they understand the money crunch we are under with tuition and expenses. They are totally satisfied with helping their aunt do the shopping for the food bank.
I am proud to say, It was actually their idea!
BTW, gift card will be purchased Dec 10 with cold hard CASH!
I have asked my family and friends NOT to purchase a Christmas gift for me this year. Instead, I asked them to take the money that they would have spent on my gift ($25, $50, $100) and use it to pay down on their credit cards, car loan, or student loans.
I plan to do the same.