Inexpensive gift ideas


I've come across a few items that I thought I would jot down as ideas for others as Christmas Day approaches. I don't like to get my children tons of expensive things, but I do like to have a fair amount under the tree. A few items that have gone over well in the past are:

sweet cereal
pop tarts
large bag/box of their favorite mini candy bars

At this year I'm buying a handful of:

Mad Libs (the Christmas ones, according to the reviews, do not butcher the religious aspects of Christmas, only the secular)
paper dolls

Has anyone else run across items that they could share so that we can fill up stockings, give small gifts to friends/relatives, without breaking the bank?



grandkids are getting gift certificates to fast food places near their schools, with coupon good for special activity at our family vacation in July.

an elderly relative (now deceased, and we really miss her) made up a huge batch of gorp which cost her about $20 to make, and when put in baggies made gifts for at least 20 children. popcorn, MnMs, froot loops or similar cereal, mini marshmallows, I think gold fish or similar crackers or pretzels, etc. She also made a batch for birthdays and bagged it as individual favors. When older kids were away at college they loved to get their batch from her.

anything food related, esp. if you usually don't buy it, will be welcome. museum gift shops usually have trays of trinkets for $1 or less, cheap ways to fill stockings with toys that have meaning for them--dinosours, space toys, bugs, rocks, whatever their interests are. No more pricey than the dollar store but a bit more interesting.

you might try an ethnic grocery store for interesting items, food and otherwise

I found 3 santos reyes incenso packets in the spice rack at our Mexican grocery, and some pretty tins, so I am making up Gift Packs for Baby Jesus for each family. Got the gold covered chocolate coins, now looking for something to be the "myrrh" and will welcome suggestions. I will use golden raisins if I can't find anything else.


The other day I was in the Dollar tree store where anything and everything is one dollar. As I was passing a woman and her shopping cart, I heard her telling her grandson "How about that for your Daddy?" Great! he said. "Now we just need to get something for your Mom and we will be done!" They had a cart full of gifts, presumably for him to give his family and he was so happy.

The many different dollar type stores out there always have something for everyone no matter what kind of pockets we have. I think they are a great place to shop for fun gifts that are inexpensive. Food, candy, coloring books, pads of paper, portable games, toys for girls and boys, fancy bows and jewelry for girls, so many things to choose from.

Exiled, wishing you a wonderful, blessed Christmas with your family!


I had gotten some myrrh at a Christain bookstore, it had also carried lots of incenses, and such... and they also sold frankincense, and a little gold incense burner with actual sm. round pieces of charcoal, to go with the kit, so you can burn. It was very cool to be able to find it . It was a store in Cookeville, Tn. If unable to find anything close, I can try and get the address for you. Good luck, and Merry Christmas!


Hit the dollar store - art projects, coloring/puzzle books, board games can be cheap...
And don't forget CLASSICS like underwear and socks! :D You know - the stuff they need anyway... new shoes, belt, lunchbag for school, school supplies, hairbands...



I attached a picture of those cocoa cones I seem to see for sale everywhere. I was thinking that this year it might be a cheap and easy homemade gift to try and replicate myself…
All you would need essentially is a tub of hot cocoa powder, plastic bags, a bag of mini-marshmellows and some fancy ribbon and you are good!
If you were feeling really fancy, you could add some chocolate chips or other treats like the company I used as a picture.
Wholesome, homemade, and pleasing to the eye and tongue!


A small gift card to iTunes/Amazon for a few bucks to buy some songs migtht be something nice that kids will like.


[quote="exiled, post:1, topic:179048"]

large bag/box of their favorite mini candy bars


My mom always did well with this one. She'd buy seperate bags of different candies then mix them up in a little gift bag for us. Those $1 bins at Target are awesome I think, for stocking stuffers. Also you can go to Whole Foods or someplace that has candy/granola/nuts, etc. in bins, fill little bags with chocolate colored nuts or whatever, and tie 'em up with ribbon. I've done that many times. :)


I think Christmas ornaments make great presents! When I was younger my aunt and uncle gave me and my sisters ornaments each year and I love them still. I started getting ornaments for my nieces and nephew last year. This year I bought unfinished ceramic ornaments for 59 cents each and some paint and brushes to paint them. My total was less then $10 for all 6 of the kids!


This gift is about $10, it is a card game called Five Crowns. I have never played it, I bought it for my 12 year old nephew a couple of Christmases ago. It was a huge hit with the whole extended family adults and kids, my brother said they played it for the whole holiday period and other relatives asked them to bring it whenever they went over! They couldn’t get it in my home country. I finally have bought one this year for my 9 yr old daughter, so I’ll let you know what we think in a few weeks. :smiley:

It is still the most talked about present on that side of the family :shrug:


we have one mandatory gift which is a huge jigsaw puzzle which takes the whole vacation to complete, tradition from my childhood, as my mom and her brother had it too. start looking now, I often snap them up on clearance after Christmas and save them, so I have one for each family.

DH has been writing a little story for each grandchild for a few years, which he puts inside a silly card with $5, they all save the stories and pictures.

our grandkids’ Catholic school has kids paint a Christmas picture, and sends them out someplace where they are copied and printed as Christmas cards, or blank note cards, and that is their gift to me, which I cherish, DD says it cost less than $10 for all 4 sets.

FIL used to make bookmarks, using school photos of the grandkids, dried flowers, stickers etc, and laminated with clear contac paper, we still cherish those as well


I always put a pair/package of socks in my kids' stockings. (Sometimes fun Christmasy socks, sometimes practical.) Believe it or not, they always really look forward to seeing what I've come up with. Plus, socks take up room! :)

One year, I didn't do the socks and my daughter commented with disbelief, "What?? No socks??" It's a fun tradition now.



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