Alternative holiday gifts
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The biggest shopping day of the year — Black Friday — is just a few days away! Savings are the name of the game, as people strategize how to get the best shopping deals possible. However, if fighting the crowds to get a good price is not your cup of tea, here are alternative gift options.

Make your own gifts.

With the rise of social media sites such as Pinterest, DIY presents are more popular than ever to make. You may have to shell out some money to buy the materials necessary to complete a project, but this pales to a comparable gift you'd find in store. Plus, it's the thought that counts! One Christmas, I made my grandmother an apron with a family picture on the front, along with messages from all the grandchildren on it. She loved it!

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Make a donation in someone's name.

Instead of shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday, take part in Giving Tuesday, which is December 1, 2015. #GivingTuesday is dedicated to giving back and encouraging others to do the same. Charitable donations, no matter how big or small, are a wonderful way to help those in need and celebrate the season of giving. While a small donation may be all you are able to give with your budget, every little bit helps to make a difference in someone's life. Some amazing organizations you can donate to are: Padres Contra El Cancer (PADRES), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Buy a family gift, instead of individual gifts.

Instead of splurging on individual gifts, make a gift basket for an entire group or family. You can fill it with baked treats, jams, dried goods, wine, candy, etc. or order a basket from websites such as Harry & David or Gourmet Gift Baskets

Show tickets are always a fun idea, too, for groups. A few years back, I bought our family tickets to a Christmas play. It was a great experience for the whole family and didn't break the bank. In fact, the memories from that night are priceless.

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Perform an act of service.

In Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages, he describes five ways people express and want to receive love, and “Acts of service” is one of them. For many people, actions speak louder than words and mean much more than any gift you could give. For instance, offer to babysit your sister’s kids so she and her husband can have a holiday date night or offer to prepare the food for Christmas dinner so your mom can relax. Performing an act of service may mean more to your loved ones while not costing you a penny.

So amigas, don’t feel the need to break the bank this holiday season or put on your running shoes to beat the crowds on Black Friday for big savings. There are numerous alternative gift options for a girl on a budget. In fact, many of the options may bring more joy and excitement to your loved ones than any expensive gift could do.  

Sasha Monik Moreno is a Founding Creator and career and education blogger. When she's not sharing her advice on, you can find her at