Hard to believe that half of the year is almost gone! Time seems to fly by these days. Next month will be "Christmas in July." Some people like to start Christmas shopping early and with the economy certainly not what it used to be, lots of people have a Christmas budget amount for shopping. Here are a few ideas for gifts $25 and under....but this does not count the shipping and handling. Lots of times when I shop online, before checking out I will open another tab and search for coupon codes for whatever it is that I'm puchasing. Lots of times I will have great luck with this and sometimes not! Here are a few ideas. Gift baskets are always a great idea. These ones you can find at Gourmet Gift Baskets.

· Banana Chips by GourmetGiftBaskets.com - 4 oz. - These chips are the crunchy, dried versions of the world’s perfect food.
· Gourmet Twisted Honey Wheat Dipping Pretzels by East Shore Specialty Foods - 5 oz. - Honey? Wheat? What could be more healthy?
· White Birch Pinkhams Nosh Trail Mix - 4 oz. - This all-natural trail mix is the perfect food for the trail, golf course, office, home, ...pretty much anywhere!
· Original Almondina Biscuits - .7 oz. - Almondina biscuits are light and sweet and peppered with almond wedges.
· Metropolitan Trail Mix by GourmetGiftBaskets.com - 4 oz. - Our “Metropolitan” trail mix is a nutritious snack that is as appropriate in the big city as on the trail!

· Triple Chocolate Bliss Cookies by Brent & Sams - 7 oz. - Overstuffed with white and milk chocolate chips, these award-winning cookies are made with all-natural ingredients and packed with ultra-chocolaty flavor.
· Milk Chocolate Signature Bar by Lake Champlain - 3 oz. - Lake Champlain is one of the top chocolate makers in the gourmet industry, and this rich, creamy milk chocolate bar is a prime example of their best work.
· Blum's Gourmet Milk Chocolate Dipped Pretzels by Supreme Chocolatier - 1.5 oz. - One of the favorite ingredients in our chocolate gift baskets, these oversized gourmet pretzels are covered in rich, creamy Blum’s gourmet milk chocolate.
· English Toffee Caramels by Marich - 2.1 oz. - Anyone who says the English are not known for their cuisine has never tried these smooth, rich English toffee caramels by Marich. These caramels are sure to dispel food misconceptions one sweet bite at a time!

These are just two samples of ten mini baskets you can find here.

Of course you can always make your own. Dollar stores are a great place to shop. You would be surprised at the things you can find there. Also, if you are that gifted person who bakes your own goodies...cookies, breads, candies, make your own jellies, jams, etc. , these make the best gifts!!

For those of you who know someone who likes to have a drink or two,  here are some ideas from Kir DeVries.

Rocking Whiskey Glasses, set of 6.

Ice Melts Whiskey Stones (or you could use these for any drink of your choice.) Each stone holds and chills your drink without diluting it like ice would. 9 Whiskey stones.

Wine Tote Sling.

  • Fully insulated
  • Full zip open back to easily insert or retrieve wines
  • Extra zip pocket on front
  • Adjustable strap              
QVC is a great place to shop. Closer to Christmas, they always have shows featuring gifts for $25 and under. July 23rd.  at midnight is their Christmas in July show. It will be all day Sat. and Sun.  I watch this every year. I try to be good and not order to much! Something I always do wherever I shop is to check out the reviews if available before I make a decision in purchasing a product.

Bronner's has a very big selection of Christmas ornaments at reasonable prices. I love collecting ornaments. My friend and I decided to get each other a new one each year. Now I'm sure there are so many other places that you can find nice ornaments from, but I'm just giving some ideas here.

Amazon has a huge assortment of books. Most times if you purchase $25 you will get free shipping! You can find just about anything there.

There are 95 pages of gifts under $25 at Gifts.com
Sun Safety Kit

So, depending on the person you are buying for, there really are a lot of gifts for $25 and under out there. You just need to search and think and keep your budget in mind. And hey...you can always put money in a card or a gift puzzle box...this makes it into a game to try and get it out... I don't know about you, but I could always use some extra cash!