Staying on budget during the holiday season can seem almost impossible, especially considering all the enticing sales and deals shoppers are bombarded with everywhere they go.
But the good news is that the holidays don’t have to break your budget — there are plenty of inexpensive Christmas gifts that don’t look and feel “too cheap” for your loved ones.
Inexpensive holiday gifts that don’t seem cheap
Before we get into that list, let’s remember that it’s the thought that counts and you should never overextend yourself to meet someone else’s expectations.
If money is tight for you this year, your friends and family probably already know. They’ll understand.
Reddit user CooCooKabocha started a popular thread on this topic titled, “It’s the Holidays! What are some ways to stay frugal when getting gifts for those who are close to you?”
Here is the user’s full post:
I’ve already purchased the majority of the gifts that I’m going to get this holiday season, and I’m feeling a bit remorseful that I spent so much money!
What are good ~frugal~ gifts to give others, and what are some good techniques to make sure that people don’t discover your ‘penny-pinching’ ways?
Dozens of Reddit users responded with some great $10 or less gift ideas, including things that we’ve heard from fans of Clark.com before.
Here are some of those gift suggestions:
1. Themed stockings: Pick a theme and fill a stocking with budget-friendly items that fit into the theme. For a skincare theme, you could include smaller sizes of lotions, shampoos and face washes. Maybe throw in unused samples from stores like Aveda and Sephora. One user said this costs about $10 per stocking.
2. Fun with photos: Print out your favorite family photos and put them in inexpensive frames from the dollar store or use your photos to create a one-of-a-kind calendar. We found personalized wall calendars on sale for $6 at Snapfish.com, which is 70% off the regular price.
3. Focus on experiences: Instead of buying more “stuff,” take your family or friends out for a day of fun. You could visit a museum, go bowling, get a manicure, have a picnic or do anything else they would like! To save money, check sites like Groupon that offer discounts on many things to do.
4. Go to T.J. Maxx, Marshalls or Ross: Discount stores are full of inexpensive items for everyone on your list. Clothing can be tricky, so shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where you’ll find things like gourmet foods, adult coloring books, toys, fragrances, bath products and kitchen gadgets. These stores also have a great selection of candles. We recently found one for $7.99 that sells for $20 on Amazon.
5. Bake something: Instead of spending a lot of money shopping, spend time in the kitchen preparing sweet treats. This is the way to go if you like to bake cookies or brownies. Simply place them in holiday tins from the dollar store or use some cellophane and colorful ribbon.