Buying gifts for friends and family can be an expensive proposition, even inexpensive gifts add up quickly. Here are a few gift ideas that will help keep the cost down.
A Nalgene bottle: For your out-of-state friends a Nalgene bottle is the perfect "Colorado" gift. It seems like everyone on campus has one, why not spread the trend to other campuses? A 16-ounce Polycarbonate wide-mouth bottle (the classic Nalgene) doesn't retain odors or flavors the way other water bottles do. It is also nearly impossible to break.
Cost: $8.50 at REI.
Sushi made easy book and gift set: give this gift to an aspiring chef. The book teaches sushi making technique, includes some recipes, and has the basic utensils to start preparing a gourmet sushi meal. Two Sushi preparation mats to roll the sushi in, four sets of chopsticks and even a rice paddle are all included.
Cost: $5.97 at Barnes and Nobel.
A dashboard decoration: Every car needs a dancing dashboard character, or a classic bobble head. www.fadtoys.com has all sorts of dashboard decorations, from a dancing Jesus to a President George W. Bush bobble head. They even have bobble heads with a space to insert a picture for its face.
Cost: between $6 and $10.
Fort Collins micro-brew: A big part of Fort Collins is its breweries. While not as cheap as the infamous Key Light, it is pleasant to drink. Instead of bringing the traditional house-warming bottle of wine, make it a six-pack of Fort Collins' finest.
Cost: $7 to $10.
CSU paraphernalia: Every CSU parent needs to display where their money's going. The CSU bookstore has lots of random stuff all branded with the CSU logo. Since they're paying for college, a nice mug or bumper sticker would help offset the cost of school.
Cost: variable, lots of stuff for under $10.
Yerba Mate: Buy a friend something that sounds much more interesting than coffee or tea. Yerba Mate is a South American drink, which is similar to coffee or tea. This cultural drink is becoming popular in some coffee shops around the United States, and best of all it can be found for not too much money.
Cost: $6.95 for 25 tea bags at www.guayaki.com.
Ice shot: The ice shot gives a whole new meaning to "chilled." The kit includes everything needed to make six shot glasses out of ice. Or, experiment with using juices, or jello to make the shot glasses.
Cost $4.99 at www.iceshots.com.
Boozter shots: Since there has to be something to go into the ice shots. Boozter Shots includes instructions to a few drinking games, some shot recipes and a shot glass. This would be great for fellow of-age college students.
Cost: $7.95 at Barnes and Nobel.
Suck Ball: Maybe the name is what makes this toy worth giving. The suck ball is simply a ball covered in suction cups that stick to smooth surfaces. It comes with two smooth paddles to catch the ball with, a window can serve as the third paddle if need be.
Cost $4.99 at Target.
A book: there are thousands of paperbacks out there for less than $10, in fact most of them are only $6.99. Anything from a novel or classic, to a pop-culture book can be fun to read, in fact anything that's not a text book can be enjoyable. Plus, giving books as gifts makes anyone look smart and thoughtful.
Cost: around $7 in most bookstores