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5 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

frugal Christmas gift ideasIt seems impossible to think of gifts to get for those you love, doesn’t it? If you didn’t get all of your shopping done this past weekend then you might be struggling to come up with ideas for those last few family members and friends.

Without blowing the budget, here are 5 frugal Christmas gift ideas that take only a little effort to put together. I say 5 ideas but I’ve elaborated on some so you really have a variety of ideas to choose from!

Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

If you’re worried that you aren’t creative enough to make your own Christmas present – don’t. I did not inherit the creativity gene but I’ve used and received the gift ideas below often and they are much easier to put together than you think.

1. Themed baskets

You can make up any theme but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Spa night: face mask, nail polish, lotion, slippers, salt scrub, bottle of wine, chocolate
  • Movie night: popcorn, those cool cardboard popcorn containers, their favorite candy, a blanket, a DVD or gift card to a movie theater
  • Sports-themed: tickets to a baseball game, a t-shirt to represent the team, a bag of peanuts, Big League Chew gum, sunflower seeds
  • Coffee: a new mug, a bag or two of coffee, slippers
  • Toddler basket: coloring books, crayons, bath toys, finger paint, play-doh, snack pouches, stencils

FYI – this is often one of the easiest, but also the most enjoyed of the frugal Christmas gift ideas.

2. Mason jar mixes

This is another of the frugal Christmas gift ideas that you can run with:

  • homemade pancake mix
  • homemade hot cocoa mix
  • your favorite cookie recipe (make sure you look up how to pack the jar so you pack it in the right order)
  • homemade salsa
  • homemade jam
  • caramel corn
  • chocolate covered pretzels
  • flavored butter
  • dry rub
  • homemade vanilla extract (vodka and vanilla beans; does gift making get any easier than that??)
  • homemade taco seasoning

Talk about some awesome frugal Christmas gift ideas! Who wouldn’t love to receive any of these mixes??

3. Candied nuts

Of the many frugal Christmas gift ideas, this is my mom’s go-to gift for all the neighbors. Nuts are on the more expensive side but if you buy little transparent baggies then you can get away with giving each friend 1 cup of nuts and a card with an endearing message. If you Google “candied pecans” or just candied nuts you’ll find a wealth of recipes to try.

frugal Christmas gift ideas4. Gift card

This isn’t the most thoughtful of all the frugal Christmas gift ideas, but I can’t say I’ve ever been upset about getting a gift card and I appreciate the simplicity. Just make sure it’s to a place you know they’ll like: easy options are gift cards to:

  • a gas station
  • grocery store
  • coffee shop that’s close to their home/work
  • favorite restaurant

If you know of a favorite store of theirs, then that adds a little to the thoughtfulness. For example, one year I got my sister a gift card to Sephora so she could treat herself to more of her favorite mascara that she probably wouldn’t buy herself since it’s a little more expensive.

5. A Groupon experience

Groupon has some great holiday deals going on right now. You can buy an experience for a family or friend member! Groupons I’ve seen lately include wine tasting, rock climbing, a 7-14 day pass to barre or kickboxing classes, a flight of beer at a local brewery, a wine & paint party, a round of golf, and more. I used this option last year and bought my parents a lesson at a shooting range. They loved it!

Don’t let the stress of gift-buying bog you down. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a great gift. Hopefully these frugal Christmas gift ideas will help you cross off those remaining names from your gift list so you can relax before the upcoming holidays!

What’s your favorite of the frugal Christmas gift ideas?

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. In addition to frugal gift ideas, think of the wrapping paper itelf. I like using comics that I saved throughout the year, or paper bags wrapped in twine, or pictures that the kids drew for the grandparents

    • Very inventive! Nice add to the article, Dana!

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