Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas

A gift doesn't have to be expensive to be enjoyed and appreciated. This is a guide about inexpensive Christmas gift ideas.

November 9, 2016 Flag
1 found this helpful

I went into my Dollar General store and was looking for a gift for a few friends. I decided on a small seasonal themed drinking cup with a straw as a container to hold three small Christmas cookies, some candy, and gum. The little cup will be reusable after the gift is opened.


To assemble the gift, open the drinking cup, keeping the straw in the cup, (or you could tie it to the cup with a ribbon), and pour the first layer of candy around the straw. Layer more candy on top of the cookies. I used gum balls for the very top layer.

Gift a friend or family member and enjoy their reaction!

Total Time: 15 minutes

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November 13, 20160 found this helpful

Great idea!! I am going to make some jar and coffee mug gifts this year so this would be a perfect one for a kid!!

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January 2, 2011 Flag
5 found this helpful

For those of us who have children and need low-cost or free gift ideas:

Check out sites like:

This site has tons of recipes for making play dough, modeling clay, jewelry clay, etc. Type "homemade toys" into Google for more ideas.

Check to see if your local thrift store has a "free bin" - sometimes you can find good stuff.

Public libraries often have free passes you can reserve for local children's and science museums, reserve passes for Christmas vacation. These museums often have free days, too, give your kids a coupon for a day at the museum.

Public libraries sell used books for 10-50 cents each.

Borrow movies from the library and have a fun movie marathon with your kids.

Teach kids how to make their own board games like "Nine Man Morris" (for directions go to

A box of crayons is a great, inexpensive gift.

Make baby rag dolls from old socks - take a sock, stuff it, tie it closed and fold the end down to make a hat. Draw a face or sew one on.

Make a finger puppet theater out of a box, and make finger puppets. You can find directions on line.

Make a beanbag game using beanbags made from fabric scraps and fill with sand or beans.

By Vaylmer

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January 3, 20110 found this helpful

Lentils make good beanbag stuffers. They are smaller than beans and make "easy to handle" bags for tossing.

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January 4, 20110 found this helpful

The dollar store near us has some very nice, microwave-safe mugs for $1. I think for my next gift exchange (with a $5 limit,) I'll buy a mug and stuff it with instant soup, cocoa or tea pouches. But then, the youngest member of my group is 20 or 21 now...

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February 15, 2005 Flag
2 found this helpful

At Christmas, I was signing cards and found more than a few I'd like to endow with a 'tiny' gift. I enclosed a flavored tea bag or two and got nice responses.

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December 5, 2007 Flag
1 found this helpful

A wonderful, inexpensive, lovely idea for Christmas gift giving. Purchase a measuring cup, preferably glass. Tie a ribbon to handle with a card stating this or something like this: "The measure of a person should be...

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September 16, 2008 Flag
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When my 3 children were little, money was tight. So I bought a present for each child every month. Granted they were very inexpensive gifts but they still had 12 gifts to open on Christmas morning.

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November 29, 2010 Flag
1 found this helpful

I'm an 18 year old college freshman, and I'm really worried about gifts this year. I know that, living in a dorm room or small apartment, getting stupid wasteful gifts isn't practical. I want to get some girls [and guys] I'm friends with small, cheap, and meaningful gifts that they can use and love. I'm looking at between 5-10 girls and 5 guys. Please remember that most of these people live in small rooms or apartments so we don't have room for random junk. What is something creative? Thanks!

By Maddie from Normal, IL

November 30, 20100 found this helpful

Well, I'm 34 and due to economic downturn I am making Gratitude Journals for those close people in my life. I bought composition books at our local 'Dollar Tree' (where everything in the store costs only $1) and plan to cover the front and back cardboard covers with pretty/attractive scrapbook paper. I have a stamp that actually says "Gratitude Journal" on it, so I am going to stamp this on a coordinating piece of paper and then secure it to the face of the journal. One gift will only cost me my time plus about $1.20 to $1.50 but I know those special people in my life will love this! Or, at least I hope they will! I think it's a pretty clever idea, anyway! LOL. I made my own and I simply love mine! Merry Christmas, and give to others with a joyful heart always! God Bless! :)

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

I'm a practical thinker, and don't know many college students who don't constantly need quarters for the laundromat. If you're dividing one roll of quarters between two people, it would probably be cute if you cut net bags and tied them with thin ribbon. You should be able to find fine net at any sewing-supply store like JoAnn Fabric, or the sewing-supply area at Wal-mart or your fave department store. Merry Christmas!

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November 30, 2000 Flag
1 found this helpful

Here's my idea for inexpensive holiday gifts. It saves me some money to make many of my holiday gifts this way, and people seem to like them.

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October 19, 2004 Flag
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For several years now, when I do an internet search for "Homemade Gift Ideas". I come to your site, and see all the great ideas, like Jar, or basket gifts etc. But even those seem to be too expensive, and not really workable for my needs.

Here's my problem.

Christmas is just around the corner, AGAIN! And I have almost no money, I have almost 300 people to send Christmas cards (and a little "something" to go with it) to (So it has to be flat (easily mailable, and that won't make the envelope too big or heavy), not fragile, and useful, something that anyone (man, or woman, and if it can even be for any age, that'd be even better) will find useful. It can't be food or teas or whatever, because so many people on my list have allergies, or illnesses or are on a diet, or are picky, or etc. And, it also has to be quick and easy to make, because I'm almost out of time. And I've already made bookmarks, several years in a row. I need something new.

I hand make each of the greeting cards we need, each year. But I haven't started yet, for this Christmas and next year. So, ideas on card designs would be appreciated too.

Also, on my list are a few people that I can spend a tiny bit more on, and That I can hand deliver the gifts to. These people have everything, or go into phases where they get rid of everything they own (almost). And stuff. I need "useful gifts" that aren't food. And I need good gift ideas for a 4 or 5 year old boy (I know very little about age appropriate gifts). I don't see him often, so I don't know what he loves most and what he already has, and etc. (something other than food, or a "toy", would be good).

Also.... For a Christmas Party I'm going to, I need a "healthy" cookie recipe! (and it needs to be fancy!).

So, you can see, I have a lot of trouble each year, because this is what I'm faced with each year. My annual "Christmas Anxiety" has begun.

Please, please, please, help!

-- In Peace, Phoebe.

December 8, 20060 found this helpful

A nice healthy treat is simply dried apricots 1/2 dipped in white chocolate ...I don't even like apricots but I love them done this way.

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June 26, 20080 found this helpful

Get a glass salt and pepper shaker and wash and dry thoroughly. Spray paint the top to coorindate with your colors. Put bath powder in the shaker and decorate the outside with buttons, lace, ribbon, etc. This makes an excellent gift for ladies or girls to pack in their suitcase or leave on dresser. Your cost is usually under $1.00.

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December 2, 20080 found this helpful

December 11, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have a 5 year old step son and he is into the Hulk, Transformers, Mickey Mouse, cars, and just all this boy stuff, but he has all the toys in the world because his dad and real mom spoil him. I was just wondering what I should get him with a budget of $50 for him maybe only $25. Please help me.

By Nikkie09 from Corpus Christi TX

December 13, 20090 found this helpful

Why not do a little photo album of you, his dad and all the things you do together? Including other family members in the photos would be great too. It would be just his little album.

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December 13, 20090 found this helpful

These are all great ideas, esp. the ones involving spending more time with him. My 5 year old son loves all the same stuff plus he enjoys when I let him snap the photo. There are kid-tough digital cameras now. I know you are thinking what? But it could give him some independence and teach him some great skills. Who couldn't use practice taking good photos? I've seen these cameras for $49 and under now. Good luck!

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December 18, 2010 Flag
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What to do with $50 bucks for Xmas? I am super poor right now. My other cheque hasn't come and it's almost Xmas time. I have 50 bucks to buy my kids and fiance gifts. I am looking for some gifts that I could get or make before Christmas.

By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario

December 22, 20100 found this helpful

This year many adults are taking a back seat to make sure the kids have something at least for Christmas. Your fiance should understand that. Check dollar stores, KMart for bargains, Walmart and even thrift stores for some really good finds. I don't know how many kids you have, but think of one thing each and then get one gift that they all share together. Take $1 of that and make some nice cupcakes or a cake that kids can all decorate together. Here's a great tasty shortbread recipe (no eggs!) that you can all make cut-out cookies with or just slice and bake:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon flavor of your choice, vanilla, lemon, almond, etc.

Cream the butter, add sugar, mix well. Gradually add flour, finally add flavoring. Shape into a roll, wrap in plastic wrap, chill for at least 2 hours. These cookies can be sliced from the roll, or rolled out and cut into shapes. Bake at 300 degrees for 18 to 20 or until lightly browned on the edges.

These cookies can be iced and decorated, dipped in melted chocolate, or left plain, and they're delicious!! They don't rise too much, but they're great.

Another idea is to make Applesauce and Cinnamon ornaments:


* 3 cups applesauce (1 1/2 cups works better for clay-like consistency), see note below

* 3 cups ground cinnamon


1. Mix applesauce and cinnamon together until it is thick enough to hold a form when cut into cookie cutter shapes. Flatten the mixture on a flat surface and cut into cookie cutter shapes.

2. Place cookie shapes on a cookie sheet to dry for 3 to 4 days depending on the size and thickness of the cookies. If using as a hanging ornament, make hole with toothpick before drying.

*Note>1 1/2 cups applesauce to 2 cups cinnamon works for me to get a clay-like consistency. Dust hands with cinnamon for handling. You can add a teaspoon of cloves, ginger and allspice to round out the fragrance. To get them DRY QUICKER, bake on an un-greased cookie sheet at 150 degrees for one hour. Remove from the cookie sheets and bake on the oven racks for another hour and a half. (Don't roll thinner than 1/4 inch if you're using this method.)

Making them each an individual ornament will make them feel special..or they can help you and design their own! Merry Christmas!

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December 22, 20100 found this helpful

Go to the dollar store they have neat toys for children.

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December 23, 20100 found this helpful

October 4, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

I need some inexpensive christmas gift ideas for around 40-50 girls all over 13.

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