I’m all out of alliteration for my list of budget ideas, but these are just as good as the others-

13. Custom Costuming. Stretch your children’s imaginations. Decorate a box to hold cast-off uniforms, jewelry, hats, and shoes to create a treasure chest of dress-up clothes.

14. Play It Again. Make a recording of yourself reading your child’s favorite book so he can hear it over and over. This gift will be appreciated by your child as well as the baby sitter! Many .mp3 players have a “record” feature or you could make a CD with your computer.  (Ask an older child or a neighbor teen to show you if you don’t know how.)


15. Auto Shop. For the car lover, grab a bucket and fill it with car-care items: chamois, wheel cleaner, glass cleaner, leather conditioner, and an air freshener. Many of these items can be purchased in “trial size” bottles at an auto parts shop. (If you’re lucky, you may get your car cleaned, too.)

16. Personal Shopper for Dad. Offer to shop for the women in your dad’s life. If your father’s anything like mine, this is the best gift you can give him—and your mom!