That's a good point Niknik. Two of my children are very happy to have things passed down, to have charity shop toys or things that other kids wouldn't look twice at. My eldest is a different story however and it makes for some interesting 'debates'
she wants this and she wants that because she sees it as her entitlement. I'm sure she is far better than some of her friends at school who seem to have money to burn, but it's hard.
Like Twiglet said already Pintrest is a great source of things - I live on there for craft ideas, free sewing patterns and free meal ideas.
One of the things I do with my kids is to scour the charity shops for board games or sometimes a DVD or two and then make a 'date' of it. We have popcorn or some sweeties from Lidl or Aldi and just dedicate that time to being with each other. Also don't be frightened to use old books to make new things from too, you can make gift tags, envelopes, cards, garlands, fancy paper aeroplanes or even bowls, baskets from a cut up comic book/magazine and if done with care these things can easily turn into gifts.
I have to say that the 99p shop is quite good too sometimes - although it's getting harder to find a bargain in there too I have found echinacea tincture, eco friendly shampoos, deodorants and lots of crafting stuff in there that I know is £6 or more in other shops.