Looking for frugal Christmas gifts? What to give when you still want to exchange gifts but don’t have a big Christmas budget.
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There can be so many reasons why you would want to save money at Christmas. The average American spends upwards of $900 on Christmas. That is a heck of a lot of money and probably more than some people can afford. It is absolutely not worth going into debt to buy Christmas presents. Some people do better with a specific Christmas budget to keep them in line. Other people keep it a bit looser but try not to get too carried away. Though gifts can be fun, there are many other traditions that can be so much more meaningful around the holidays. My favorite traditions usually involve food, like having people over and doing cookie exchanges. Going for drives to see fun Christmas lights is up there too, and right now anything is fun around the holidays with my toddler.
If you need some ideas on how to make quick cash for the holidays, check out these posts:
- An easy way to make $500 by the weekend
- Flexible side hustle ideas
- Mystery shopping – a fun and easy way to make extra money
Keeping Christmas simple
You can keep Christmas simple and thrifty, but you have to be conscious of it. It is so easy to get sucked into buying way too much at this time of year when you go to malls. Blame that cheery Christmas music and those Christmas-scented candles wafting out of Bath and Body Works. You don’t have to avoid malls entirely but the less you’re in stores at Christmas time the less of a chance you’ll go overboard. I do almost all my Christmas gift buying online now and I’m not alone. One in five people prefer doing Christmas shopping online and this number is only growing.
- How to save money for Christmas
- Easy board games – at home activities for preschoolers when you’re stuck inside
I have seen other gift guides where it’s considered frugal if it costs under $100 or $200 for a gift. I’m not sure about you, but for me that is not frugal. I wanted to put together a gift guide that is truly frugal with lots of simple Christmas gift ideas too – sometimes simple is best. The gifts below are all very highly rated, and are easy to order and have sent right to your door. With that being said, stay home, make yourself a cup of coffee, and shop these frugal Christmas gifts that won’t break the bank.
Frugal Christmas gifts for adults
No you won’t get any awards for creativity. But it is almost guaranteed the recipient will use this gift. Unlike the inflatable neck pillow I got my dad for traveling, or the time I got him a t-shirt that lit up with batteries (sorry, Pa, not sure what I was thinking on that one). I learned my lesson. Socks, stick with socks.
Shop here for fun and frugal socks:
2. Workout clothing
These high waist leggings and capris have built-in tummy control and a side pocket and are great for running, yoga, and gym workouts. They come in a ton of different colors, and are the #1 bestseller in women’s athletic pants on Amazon. Bonus: 4 way stretch, and they are not see-through – hooray!!
Cookbooks and inspirational books are great choices. This inspirational book “Girl, wash your face” has blown up this year. It would make a great frugal Christmas gift for your mom, sister or friend.
4. A nice pen and journal
A magazine or audio subscription can be a good option for a frugal Christmas gift. One year I got my husband a Wooden Boats magazine subscription and he loved it. Audible is a great choice if you’re not exactly sure what your loved one would want as the person can choose their own audio book. I just got this for myself because I’m at a stage (called toddler mama) where it’s easier for me to listen to a book as I’m doing things instead of sitting down to read a book. They even have a 30-day free trial membership (which includes two free books!)
6. Bath bombs
This pampering gift is great for your friend or family member who could use some time to relax and de-stress. This bath bomb set below is organic, comes in gorgeous colors made with premium essential oils, and arrives in a beautiful gift box. It’s called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.
Hey, we all need to bathe. One year I got my husband soap, cologne, and deodorant, all from these local makers, organic and lovely. I didn’t realize the theme of the gifts until he pointed it out to me 🙂 I wasn’t trying to infer anything. Soap is one of the quintessential frugal Christmas gifts – it’s also great for minimalists since you use it all up! This soap gift set comes with 6 organic soaps from Bali, and are suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
8. Insulated coffee mug
Some of you might know my love for this travel insulated coffee mug. It’s the best one I’ve found and I take it everywhere with me. It doesn’t leak and you can use it/open it with one hand.
A new pair of fuzzy slippers will be appreciated on a cold winter day especially if the house isn’t carpeted. These slippers below are an Amazon bestseller with memory foam on the inside and an anti-skid rubber sole. Handy to prevent slipping if your child likes when you run around the house with them (“mama, run faster!”). Who needs a gym when you have a toddler.
10. Edible gifts
Coffee, tea, and chocolate are all great ideas for frugal Christmas gifts. Though these might seem basic, most people like coffee, tea or chocolate. It’s much better to give a gift that people will actually use than be creative with gift-giving (see above for perfect example).
Frugal Christmas gifts for kids
These are a perfect frugal stocking stuffer. There are so many cute toothbrushes and toothpastes and this stuff is fun when you’re a kid! Don’t go getting them a tube of Colgate Minty Fresh and expect them to be thrilled with their gift (if they are you’ve taught your child gratitude really well). I remember getting Miss Piggy bubble gum toothpaste and Kermit the Frog green apple toothpaste as a kid and loving it.
Kids just keep growing. Gymboree has tons of cute children’s clothing, they always have sales, and their prices are very affordable.
3. Something monogrammed
This was a huge hit from Santa for me one year when I was a kid – I received monogrammed pencils in my stocking. I was blown. Away. When your first name is ‘Suchot’ you can bet you don’t find any little magnets or anything at all with your name on it in stores. No matter what your child’s name is, something cute with their name on it will be a hit.
4. Insulated straw cup
This stainless steel cup is my favorite cup for my toddler. She has been using it since she was 18 months. I can toss it in the diaper bag and it doesn’t leak, and it keeps her milk cold for up to 12 hours. Try this insulated cup!
Cozy slippers aren’t just for adults – kids love slippers too. These ones below are adorable, plush, and highly rated on Amazon.
6. Art supplies
Crafty indoor fun can be had on a winter day with brand new crayons, washable markers, safety scissors, glue, and more. This Crayola gift set comes with 64 Crayons, 10 Ultra Clean Washable Markers, 10 Stamper Markers, 10 Bold Ultra Clean Washable Markers, 16 Metallic Crayons, 8 Neon Crayons, and a Crayola Sketch Pad.
Different books are always a great option for kids. They are also verrry welcomed by their parents, who appreciate having something new to read to their little ones. Although an adorable book, there are only so many hundreds of times you can read ‘Where’s Spot?’ with feeling. These three kids books below are all Amazon bestsellers so you can’t go wrong. You can also check out this post for book gift ideas.
8. Lego and Mega Bloks
There are so many different Lego and Mega Bloks sets including ones for the frugal gift-giver and there is a reason these little connecting pieces have been around forever. Kids love them and they inspire open-ended creative play. The two building sets below are best seller master sets.
9. Indoor playhouse
While you could go the giant cardboard box + markers route (a genuine hit with most kids), if you’re looking for something a bit more obviously gifty, check out this super cute indoor play tent. And if you’re having a hard day of parenting, you can hide in this tent too.
10. Toys for pretend play
My daughter has been really into cleaning, including cleaning up her own messes. Knock yourself out, kid. I know this stage won’t last but right now I’m loving it, and eyeing that Melissa and Doug Dust, Sweep, Mop set. We already have the stainless steel cooking set. She got it last year for Christmas and she still plays with it every day.
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Share your ideas for frugal Christmas gifts below!