If you’ve put off buying a gift (or two or three or more) because you didn’t know what to get, didn’t have time, or any other reason, here are a few last minute ideas for you:
You can go to the grocery store or a drugstore to buy physical gift cards. I buy gift cards at Ralphs for my own use all the time, because I get a minimum of 7% cash back through my credit card and store rewards.
Amazon offers a few different gift card options, including a digital version you can send directly to the recipient, a downloadable version, and a physical version that comes with free one-day shipping (but it looks like there’s no guarantee your gift card would arrive by Christmas morning at this point).
There are also a couple of iTunes gift card deals right now – Walmart is still offering a $50 iTunes e-gift card for $40. That’s 20% off, and you’ll have the option to email the gift card to the recipient. Shop through Mr. Rebates for 3% cash back.
Best Buy is offering 15% off iTunes gift cards, which all come with free shipping. They start at just $15 (so pay $12.75 for a $15 gift card), and you can choose between digital and physical versions. Go through a shopping portal like Upromise to get 2% cash back.
One thing to keep in mind with digital gift cards is that they can be really last minute gifts – like Christmas morning last minute. Just print out the voucher, email or whatever has the code on it and give that to the recipient. If you have time to make it pretty, you can do that – make a scroll; print on cardstock, cut out the important part and make a pretty scrapbook-type card; fold it in a fancy manner – whatever you have the time and inclination to do.
Speaking of printing things out, you can peruse the daily deal sites for a gift that’s a good match for the recipient, buy it, and print out the voucher. Many sites offer the option of sending an email to the recipient, and some even offer the option of printing out a gift voucher so you have something physical to give.
Some current deals include:
- $15 Barnes & Noble eGift Card, a $50 Restaurant.com Gift Card and $10 in Save Rewards for $21 at Eversave
- Subscription to your choice of 25 different magazines for just $10, also at Eversave – choices include Self, Elle, and Good Housekeeping
- Subscription to Cooking with Paula Deen for $10 at Plum District
- Beach Camera Noise-Canceling Headphones for $49 at Groupon ($119.95 value)
- $20 Old Navy voucher for $10, also at Groupon (must be redeemed in-store by 1/28/2012)
- Ultimate Meat Lover’s Package for $49, also at Groupon ($149 value; includes all-natural, hormone-free sirloin & peppercorn steaks, Angus burgers, German bratwursts & steak fajita strips fill meat package)
- Starbucks Gift Basket for $46 at Saveology ($77 value)
- 2 Fandango tickets and a $10 Subway Gift Card for $24, also at Saveology ($34 value)
Magazine subscriptions can be the gift that keeps on giving, and I recently ordered a couple of gift subscriptions from daily deal site Mamapedia for people I was finding it difficult to buy for because they have everything. I didn’t do anything special to gift them, but you can buy an issue and then present it with a card that tells the recipient to expect more in the mail.
For people you see in person but who don’t really need anything, food is a practical gift since it’s consumable. If you’re proficient in the kitchen – even if it’s only with one or two things – you can make something the recipient will like. Otherwise, kits like layered jars of cookie or soup mix are easy to make and don’t require any cooking. You can get everything you need at the grocery store (mine even sell the jars). And it’s easy to put together multiples of these at one time, assembly line style. Just do a quick search for whatever kind of mix you want to make, and you’ll find endless options.
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