Stocking Stuffer Savings

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

Sometimes it's the little things that cost the most; stocking stuffers fall into this category. Rather than spend a fortune on small but expensive gifts, be creative and find some great savings on tiny tidbits. It makes it more fun for everyone.

Grown-Up Stockings

Adult stocking stuffers are possibly the most difficult to find. Items like jewelry, CDs, and gift certificates fit in the sock nicely but can cost a fortune. Instead try for a theme stocking. If the owner likes to work around the house, fill the stocking with a small picture hanging kit, some electrical tape, a new screwdriver, and some band-aides. The chef will appreciate a pot holder stocking stuffed with spatulas, spoons, and spices. Other ideas for the average stocking can be:

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  • Small samples of lotions, coffees, etc. A variety can be had for a little price; some are even free!
  • Disposable cameras are always fun, and if you watch for coupons around the holidays they're quite inexpensive.
  • Gum, playing cards, poker chips, dice,
  • A handheld electronic game found in most dollar stores.
  • Assemble a few fun photos in an inexpensive pocket photo album (usually $1-$2)
  • Seed packets for the gardener

Children's Fun

Children are easier to shop for when it comes to their Christmas stockings. Many fun things in small packages can be found. Avoid the unhealthy candies and opt for packages of mixed nuts or trail mix. A special treat can be individually wrapped fortune cookies which can be bought in boxes. Theme stockings might be lost in the excitement of Christmas morning, but they might help you generate some ideas. Try for fun items like:

  • Craft supplies such as beads, ribbon, lanyard kits, and acrylic paints.
  • Matchbox cars; buy the cheaper store brand sets packaged for the holidays and pull them from the packages to fill the stocking with loose cars.
  • For girls, buy a large card of hair clips and remove them from the packaging to let them loose in the stocking as well.
  • Small plastic animals that come as packaged sets are always fun in the morning.
  • Remove crayons from their boxes and tie them together as a bouquet of color.

Keep brainstorming ideas until you get to the rim of that stocking. All the while, keep a budget in mind. A fun activity is to brainstorm a list then pass it to another parent. Have him or her add ideas to the list and pass it again. Eventually have it returned to you, make copies for everyone, and check off which ideas work best for your family.

Stocking Stuffer Savings

Comments

November 30, 20080 found this helpful

I shop for stocking stuffers at thrift stores, surplus stores and big lot stores. I look for the 10 cents and quarter items and stock up on those. I put them in a rubbermade tote and collect all year. you would be surprised at what you can accumulate in a year. Last year my hard to please sister-in-law commented the christmas stockings really were great this year!!!

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