Here's a quick tip on a thrifty gift I love to give: books!
Now, books can be expensive, but not if you look for the right kind of book in the right kind of place. Whenever I'm at Goodwill or another thrift store, I keep on the lookout for the "Life's Little Lessons"-type gift books. They're small, they're cute, they have great quotations, and they're often only a dollar. Sometimes I will even use one of them in the place of a card- at a dollar, it can be just as cost efficient!
Recently, I was at an antiques/thrift store and I found the cutest little hardback book with a little prose in it about what it means to be a friend. It was shaped like a little novelette, and it was very antiquey-looking. The pages had the sweetest illustrations, and said things like, "A friend will sit with you when you are sad."
I bought the book for fifty cents, then I decided to save it as an anytime gift for my mom, since she is my best friend. The next time she came to visit, I tied a sheer white ribbon around it and left it on her bed in the guest room. She thought it was a really thoughtful little gift, and it was a nice way for me to let her know how happy I was that she was here, and that I think of her when she is not here.
So next time you're at a thrift store (and if you read this blog, I KNOW you go to thrift stores!) check out the book section and pull a few feel-good books for those you love. It's something that costs a little, but means a lot!