Christmas Gift Guide for those on a budget
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Christmas! Whether you embrace its flash and glitter, cherish its warmth or find it all a bit much… there’s no denying that it comes around every year.
And every year lots of people spend too much money, and come January are deeply regretting the impulse purchases and last minute presents.
As with all occasional but predictable expenses there are a few things you can do that will help you control the costs:
- Start a Christmas savings account in January and save £10-50 every month,
- Set yourself a budget (and stick to it!),
- Plan your present buying and stick to thoughtful but frugal gifts.
Remember, it’s ultimately the thought and the time that counts, not the price tag!
A Christmas Gift Guide for those on a budget
Here I’ll be providing a quick round up of all my favourite gift ideas.
We’ll cover both handmade gifts (the ultimate frugal but thoughtful presents are homemade!) and gifts that are relatively inexpensive for those of us that are short on money and time.
This post is part of the month of money – yes, I’m still trying to save/earn an extra £500 to go back into my emergency fund! However, I also want to start some of my Christmas shopping. Here are just a few of the things I’ve been looking at 🙂
Handmade gift ideas for those on a budget!
Take some time over how you present it, and you’ll score points. Everyone likes to feel special, and spending a bit of time on the details will help you communicate just how special you think the recipient is.
Christmas Crack in a jar!
This Christmas Crack is sweet and salty. It only takes about 15 minutes to make, it looks festive and it can be presented in washed out recycled jam jars (or similar).
Perfect as a last minute gift for office colleagues or friends with a sweet tooth 🙂
Alternatively, it would make a great stocking stuffer!
Get the Christmas Crack recipe here.
The Full Helping is one of my favourite vegan recipe blogs, and these sweet and spicy candied nuts make a fantastic homemade gift for your vegan friends and family.
Again, some cute ribbon goes a long way when it comes to presenting your gift.
You could always put together a little gift package if you also made some packets with these vegan macaroons!
Get the vegan sweet ‘n’ spicy candied nuts recipe here.
Homemade Christmas Star Soap
The easiest soap to make at home is ‘melt and pour’ which means you don’t have to mess around with lye.
It’s actually surprisingly easy, and is a step up from the more generic soap you can buy in store.
This Christmas themed melt and pour sparkly soap would make a lovely gift, and it even smells like sleigh rides! 😉
Get the Christmas star soap tutorial here.
Printable Love Coupon Book
If you’re short on money, a coupon book is a beautiful alternative to spending money on a gift. All you need is some card and some scissors.
Sometimes we don’t need to give each more ‘stuff’. Sometimes we just need to give someone our attention and our care. This coupon book is a great way to provide that in the form of a present.
You can use a pre-made printable such as the Love Coupon book in the picture from FTD. Or you can get creative and make your own!
Short on time? Check out my gift guide for those on a budget!
Gift ideas for those on a budget
Sometimes you just don’t have the time to hand make all your gifts. When that’s the case, you need presents that are inexpensive, but still valuable and thoughtful. Here, I have rounded up some of my favourite gift ideas that won’t cost you much money.
These super cute post-it notes in the shape of cats and dogs would be the perfect Secret Santa present or a great socking stuffer for a pet lover.
You can pick from a number of different breeds, so if you can match the sticky note to the person’s actual pet, you’ll get definite bonus points!
Pick these cute notes up from Etsy:
These beautiful handmade soaps come in a cute little sample pack of five different scents. Pick the five you want, or get a random selection.
Pretty and beautifully scented soap is always a safe choice for a present. Perfect for a Secret Santa or a friend.
And at £5 it won’t break the bank.
And speaking of soap…
Giant Lego Soap – £2.90
Kids will love this giant lego soap!
(And parents will love that they don’t end up with even more toy clutter in their house to store.)
Pick from a range of colours, and get 2 ‘mini-figs’ and 6 bricks. You can choose your favourite colour, or ask for a mix.
Plus you get a surprise ‘extra’ soap which you can include in the gift or keep for yourself 😉
Glow-in-the-dark Dice Bag – £15
I am friends with lots of weird gaming geeks, and one of the things we love is playing Dungeons & Dragons.
A unique and beautiful dice bag is a great gift for any gamers you know.
This particular one has glow-in-the-dark star constellations – ideal for a mage, wizard or sorcerer to whip out during an atmospheric game with the lights turned low.
And the nice thing about this bag is that it is big enough for even the most over-the-top dice collection.
Customised gifts are great for people you know well. You can allude to a shared experience or use an inside joke.
This hand painted Christmas Bauble is a lovely example of a unique gift.
One of my friends bought their son a different, unique Christmas bauble every year. Now he has a beautiful collection of hand-chosen ornaments, each one that carries a memory of a Christmas.
Buy the Hand Painted Bauble*
I made Phillip a Photo Book one year using SnapFish.
It cost me £14.98, and I had a blast picking out the best photos of us and our various adventures over the years.
I added some sappy quotes here and there about how much I loved him (look, I am very sentimental about my marriage!) and the result was a meaningful present that didn’t cost very much at all.
This gorgeous skipping rope is hand made, from ‘found’ wood or from wood from a sustainable coppice.
It’s beautiful, eco-friendly, and a skipping rope is always a great present for kids (and active adults), and it’s only £7!
Because who doesn’t like to skip, honestly?
Christmas Tree Decorations – £3.50
These gorgeous little Christmas tree charms are a total steal at just £3.50 each. One would make a lovely little stocking filler or a tiny gift to send in the post. Or pick up all five for a bigger gift that someone can put together on Christmas Day.
Chocolate Stirrer – £3.50
Everyone loves chocolate, and this super cute chocolate stirrer is the perfect low-cost gift for your chocoholic friends.
Made from Belgian chocolate, and shaped into a little daisy, your recipient just needs to stir it into a cup of hot milk to make a delicious cup of hot chocolate.
Fun, tasty, no clutter and just £3.50 – how can you beat that?
Buy the chocolate stirrer here.*
Pencils with book quotes – £5
Or you could surprise them with these quirky pencils with quotes like “I’d rather be reading”.
They come in a range of colours, and are just £5. The perfect budget gift to make someone smile.
DIY Button Christmas Tree – £1.20
I always think the best Christmas present is one that you can play with or build on Christmas day itself.
This DIY button Christmas tree is perfect for the crafty people you know. And at just £1.20 it definitely won’t break the bank.