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Guest blogger Elyse Berkowitz is an intern at the Case Foundation
There is nothing I like better than getting a good deal. While some people snooze off their turkey hangovers on Black Friday morning, I am cruising into my third hour of door-busters, deals, and steals by 9AM. All-nighters throughout college prepared me well for the rigors, hysteria, and mathematical calculations (you’d be surprised) of Black Friday shopping. Yet, each year, I struggle to stay within my budget and resist the urge to max out my credit card as I find the perfect gifts for my loved ones.
This year, I have crafted a shopping strategy to not only survive Black Friday but to give back in the process - all for $50 or less! Here is my list for budget-conscious frugalista holiday shopping:
- Calendars: You can get beautiful calendars from Amazon.com or mall calendar stores that support organizations like Amnesty International, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and National Audubon Society.
- Books: A couple of great reads with proceeds supporting the Central Asia Institute are Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools.
- Cards: Sometimes a card is all you need to give to show you're thinking of someone during the holidays. Stephanie's Dressed to Give post offers some great card options. A couple other places that offer cards that give back are Hallmark and UNICEF.
- Gift cards: Can't think of a tangible gift, then a gift card might be the way to go. Network for Good's Good Cards and Global Giving's Gift Cards allow you to give your family and friends a credited amount to donate to the cause of their choice. Plus, they also make great stocking stuffers.
- The Body Shop’s Soft Hands Kind Heart Hand Cream supports the Stop Human Trafficking Campaign and the Community Trade Project.
$15 - $50
- Some great gift options that also support the fight against AIDS in Africa are The Gap's (PRODUCT)RED mens and womens shirts and (STARBUCKS)RED gift cards.
- The FEED Foundation has multiple items under $50, including a pouch, stuffed bear, and bracelet, that help give a hungry child warm meals through the World Food Programme while making a statement.
- Another giftable book option is Road of Lost Innocence. Its proceeds support the Somaly Mam Foundation, dedicated to flight human trafficking in Cambodia.
- The Garden for the Cause Gardening Tools, Bag and Kneeling Pad from Walmart will make a great gift for moms who garden and supports the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.
- For a truly unique gift, give honeybees through Heifer International and support their efforts to end world hunger.
- The Shared Heart Pendant at Zales supports awareness of autism and Autism Speaks.
Some places to shop for gifts under $50
- Go to your local Goodwill to find something unique and support job training and employment programs for people with disadvantages.
- You're sure to find interesting gifts from local holiday charity auctions and bizarres through community centers, schools, synagogues, and churches.
Let me know if know of other items that support your cause and stay within a budget!