Gifts with class for a lot less cash

Marlene Alexander

As mentioned in a previous post, ideas from decorating magazines can often be copied, albeit on a smaller scale, with dollar store finds.

Another way to get ideas, especially for gifts, is department or specialty stores. Around holidays like Mother's Day, Father's Day or Christmas, the stores are full of gift baskets. Who knows how many middle men got a cut before it ended up on a shelf in Walmart with a price tag of $10 or higher? If you're so inclined, putting together your own gift baskets is a fun and money-saving way to give personalized presents to people on your list.

Start with an appropriate container. Here, you have many choices; from flower pots to woven baskets to attractive gift boxes -- anything that will hold your gift. I prefer to use containers that are reusable, part of the gift.