For a cheap alternative to giftwrap, try using newspaper. Particularly this time of year, you'll find colorful, full page ads that would make wonderful giftwrap allowing you to save a bit of money as well as being a bit eco-friendly. The general problem I've found with newspaper is that the ink tends to get all over your hands, and that's not what you want when you give a gift. So, the secret to it all.... HAIRSPRAY. Crazy, huh.
So, apparently, spraying some hairspray on the newspaper you want to use, will help seal the ink in so you don't end up with ink covered hands. I suggest spraying the newspaper first before wrapping and allowing the newspaper to dry completely. My experimenting has also shown that the hairspray will not make the paper sticky (something, I was concerned with).
To finish it off, I also added a magazine gift bow. You can find out how to make one here.