8 Super Cheap Gift Ideas

The holiday season is amazing but can be stressful for those of us who are on a budget. You want to show your friends and family you care about them, but you don’t have the money to spend on a showy gift. Our tips combine a few cheap gifts right off the shelf with a few DIY options with help from the craft store and the dollar store. A little presentation goes a long way.

Cheap Gifts – For The Tree

One cute and fun idea that your friends probably haven’t seen before is filled ornaments. You can get food-safe ornaments at any craft store. Fill them up with hot chocolate powder and mini marshmallows for a fun wintry theme.

You can also download a recipe for herbs and spices to be mixed into cream cheese, sour cream, or mayonnaise for a tasty dip. Use the dry ingredients to fill the ornament and include the recipe. If you’re feeling fancy and have the patience, try layering the ingredients one at a time for a pretty presentation.


cheap gifts - Tree

Cheap Gifts – Pack a Kit

Mason jars have been trendy for a few years now. They are easy to find at the craft store or at the hardware store with the canning supplies.

You can adapt the themed gift for anyone on your list. Winter survival kits can include a few teabags, some lip balm, and fuzzy slipper socks from the dollar store. Mom survival kits could include hand sanitizer, a trial size of headache medicine, a pocket pack of wet wipes, and a bath bomb to soak her stress away. Make a cute label to explain the theme.


cheap gifts - heart

Cheap Gifts – Fizz Away Stress

If you’re feeling ambitious, fizzy bath bombs are easy to make at home. If you bought them at an upscale bath products store, they could cost five to ten dollars each. Download a recipe and get to work.

You’ll need to buy some ingredients that you don’t normally keep around the house (like citric acid powder) so if you want to make this gift a really great value, try to go in with a friend and make batches of bath bombs together.


cheap gifts - bath bomb

Cheap Gifts – Foodie Gifts

Everyone loves food around the holidays. A kitchen gadget is a great present for the food lover on your list. Check the gadgets aisle at your local kitchen store or discount store. It’s especially good to find something related to a food or drink you know your friend loves. You could give him or her a nice glass with mini bottles and small bottles of mixers for his or her favorite cocktail.


cheap gifts - crafts

Cheap Gifts – Make Your Mark

This is the easiest DIY idea on this list: all you need are cheap plain dishes (check the dollar store or even your local thrift store) and a porcelain marker or paint marker from the craft store. This gift is a great choice for people with artistic ability. Use fancy lettering as your inspiration to put your friend’s name or initials on the dishes.

If you have kids, it’s fun to turn them loose on mugs for the grandparents. Make sure to add the kids’ names and ages for posterity.


cheap gifts - prints

Cheap Gifts – Tech Gifts

There are many useful but cheap items to help your friends use their smartphones and tablets. Phone cases, spare chargers, styluses, and even touchscreen gloves are things that anyone could use. You can find many of these items under $10 at discount stores, though you may have to spend a little more money to get a durable charger.


cheap gifts - old tech

Cheap Gifts – Save a Snapshot

In a world where everyone carries their photos around on their phones, it’s nice to bring your friends’ memories into the real world with a printed gift. Download a favorite picture of their family or their pets and print it out. Buy a pressed cardboard or wooden gift box at any craft store, along with some adhesive used for decoupage. (Mod Podge) Cut the photo into the shape of the top of the box and glue it on. You can cover the sides and edges of the box with any pretty wrapping paper you have on hand, or buy special paper at the craft store.


cheap gifts - photo

Cheap Gifts – Gift Card Baskets

Gift cards are affordable, but putting them in a plain envelope makes for a boring presentation. Pick up a basket from the dollar store and fill it with fun little items to go along with the theme.

For example, you could give a small gift card to the streaming video service your friend likes best and fill the basket with popcorn and candy for movie night. A bookstore gift card would go nicely with some coffee or tea.


cheap gifts - card


These cheap gift ideas will help you show your friends how much you care without breaking the bank. A little time and thought goes a long way when you’re giving an inexpensive gift.


Author: Billie Hauk

24-year-old Tennessee local yokel, part-time LGBTQ+ journalist and blogger.

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