Her husband has a job, but Nakatani says she lost her position at a local school district six months ago. And she is halfway through her unemployment benefits.
Nakatani takes her daughter to look for thrifty gifts at a craft store. She wants to make a Christmas wreath for her sister, so she uses some coupons and buys items that are on sale for 50 percent off.
She emerges from the store smiling, with some shopping bags filled with flowers, ribbons and ornaments that she purchased for about $30.
A Holiday Solution: Handmade Gifts
Making gifts is one cost-saving option this year, according to Olivier Rubel, a professor of marketing at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis.
He says many people without jobs are also changing how and where they spend their money.