My gift guides are a-startin' and will roll out over the next week or so, hold on to your hats! First up, here are eight gifts which will make a real difference to life of someone who is struggling financially - they won't set you back too much cash either.
Gifts that will make a difference
1. Slow Cooker
My friend gave this £10 slow cooker a rave review and for £10 it's a real bargain. If you read my (vaguely pornographic) post Slow Cooker Love, earlier in the year you'll know how great I think they are and for someone on a low budget they can make a warming meal with cheap cuts of meat without spending a fortune on energy.
2. Hot water bottle
So useful they should come free at birth!
You can pick up a hot water bottle almost anywhere these days and over the Christmas period you'll find some lovely specimens in the gift aisles. They instantly warm feet, beds and hands.
3. Netflix, Lovefilm etc.
Now this might seem a bit of an odd one but if you're on a low income you might find socialising or entertainment is near on impossible so getting to catch some films or TV shows might just add a bit of light to a life or give them an excuse to invite someone round. A subscription to a service such as Netflix or Lovefilm is a really thoughtful way to help someone.
4. Flannel Sheets
Adding flannel sheets (we have these ones) to a bed will make it significantly warmer and not to mention cosier. Keeping the bed toasty and warm can help reduce energy bills and who doesn't love new sheets?
5. Gardening equipment
If you think they might be the type to eventually dabble with gardening why not buy them a stash of seeds, a gardening book and some cheap but good quality tools. You can also score some nice pots from cheap shops such B&M, Home Bargains and Wilko, so even someone with a tiny outdoor space can grow herbs or tomatoes.
You can pick up seeds on the cheap in places such as Aldi, bargain stores or even eBay.
6. Bike lights
Many people who are struggling are now opting to use a bike as their main method of transport and many aren't as well equipped as they should ideally be. A good set of bike lights could make a real difference. Mr Thrifty cycles daily and has found Decathlon lights to be really good quality for their price points.
A good quality pair of slippers are often the kind of investment one won't make for oneself but it will save a small fortune in the long run. Without slippers I can really struggle to get warm but once I have my feet cosied up inside a good pair of slippers I can turn the thermostat down a few notches and make some utility savings. These are my current favourites.
When you're on a very limited budget it is very easy to eat the same meals over and over again which can be endlessly boring and depressing. A gift of a selection of spices could very well open up the number of meals a family or individual can cook.
What gifts would you give to someone struggling financially?
P.S. Check back later for day 10 of 12 Thrifty Days of Christmas!
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