21 November 2020 (updated)

Christmas Gifts on a Budget: Spend Less. Give More.

Yes, you can find thoughtful, affordable Christmas gifts without going over budget!

With the holidays around the corner, meaningful gift-giving does not equal expensive gift-giving. Christmas shopping shouldn't ever put you in debt, so here are some great gift ideas that won't break the bank.

Plan a Money-Saving Christmas Budget

The spirit of Christmas isn't about spending money, and the price you pay for a gift has nothing to do with the joy it brings. So the first step to affordable gift-giving is setting a budget for each person you plan to spend money on. This will make it easier for you to shop efficiently without the need to overspend.

You can find some really unique gifts at favorite discount stores like Dollar Tree, Five Below, and Dollar General that will make it easy and possible not to overspend. The $5 section at Target also has great finds.

If you have a set budget of under $10, you can then decide whether you will make DIY gifts or buy 4 wine glasses at the Dollar Tree with a $4 wine bottle at Trader Joe's or Aldi. That way, you'll spend less than $10 for your Christmas gift, but it still looks classy and has a theme.

Your gift budget is key to your own self-care during the holiday season. The holidays should not mean that you need to go broke showing appreciation for the people you love.

Debt-Free Gift Giving

When people think of a cheap gift, there may be connotations of a low-quality product.  However, a budget Christmas doesn't mean that you have to scrimp on craftsmanship. Many  DIY Christmas gifts can be more meaningful because they have been personalized by you.

Whether you are creating a monogrammed apron for your loved one or making a homemade picture frame, the personal touches can set your DIY craft apart from something store-bought.  Even better, these frugal gift-giving tips won't put you into debt.

Theme Baskets for Your Christmas Gifts on a Budget

Even if you don't have time to make a gift, stay debt-free by finding unique items at the Dollar Tree and packaging them together. One favorite idea is to buy one of their baskets and fill it with a theme night tailored to your friend or family member.

If you have a movie aficionado in the house, you can fill a basket with movie night treats. Fill the basket with things like popcorn packets, a fun cup, theatre candy, and a DVD. You'll have a fun and meaningful gift for between $5-10!

For the avid reader in your life, check out Dollar Tree's collection of hardcover books that can range from recipe books to novels. Put a few books together with a mug and a pack of hot cocoa or some tea, and you have the perfect gift. You could even throw in a $5 blanket from Five Below to keep them cozy while reading. 

If you someone in your life who needs a little pampering, filling a basket full of fun soaps, spa treats, and bath items, or even making some of the gift items yourself, both shows thought and care.

Stores like Five Below, where everything is literally $5 or below are a great way to find board games, pajamas, unique books, puzzles, and art supplies that can create a fun theme without putting you under unnecessary financial strain. 

Christmas Gifts on a Budget: Glassware and Mugs

If you're mot looking to fill a whole basket, Dollar Tree's glassware and mugs can be ideal Christmas gifts, too. 

Their glassware is both durable and festive and looks great with some flowers in it if you want to add a personalized touch. 

Cute Dollar Tree mugs can be another favorite store-bought gift because they're inspirational and thoughtful. Fill them with inexpensive finds like candy treats, mini-notepads, fun pencils, scrunchies, or even homemade hot chocolate packets.

Christmas Season Deals and Steals

As much as we love discount stores, be sure to keep your eyes open for online deals. Budget-friendly websites like Hip2Save or Zulily often have special shopping deals. Doing a quick internet search for a store coupon can save you money right away.  Websites like retailmenot.com often have coupon codes that can save you up to 20 percent.

Notably, the site Hip2Save has a freebie section where you can often find offers for free magazine subscriptions, which is another thoughtful gift idea for the holidays. Shhhh....they don't need to know that you ordered it for free for them!

Christmas Gifts That Make Sense for Your Budget

Whether you decide to go the DIY or discount store route this Christmas, make sure they make sense for your budget and your time. You could even combine the two approaches- with homemade cookies placed in Christmas or holiday-themed tin rounds that you find at the dollar store. Just don't ever let the pressure of Christmas shopping put you in debt. Don't forget; there are various options to keep costs down while keeping your gift-giving unique and meaningful.

With a little imagination, the holidays can still be budget-friendly while making your gift recipients feel special when they open your holiday surprise. At the end of the day, your gift-giving should be a reflection of your kindness and not the price tag.