Small-business owners have some ideal holiday gift items to offer -- custom, one-of-a-kind items, Gallegos says. Shop at farmers markets for handmade crafts or food products, craft fairs for unique jewelry and home decor, and small boutique shops for something your loved one will love.
Kristen Hagopian, who hosts the radio program, "The Brilliant Frugal Living Show," says you also can find treasures at your local thrift stores. Sometimes you'll run across new pieces with the tags still on them.
"Bring back sensible gifts like a gorgeous thrift-store basket filled with delicious coffees purchased at your local discount grocer, and add flavored creamers," Hagopian says.
Use your imagination to save money.