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10 Affordable Gift Ideas for Holiday Shopping on a Budget


The holiday season is all about goodwill, good friends, family, and love. Unfortunately, in our society, we’ve been conditioned to believe that the best way to show these feelings is through extravagant gift giving.

If you’re low on cash this year, but don’t want to give up the giving aspect of the season, look no further for cheap and classy gift ideas!

Here are some inexpensive gift ideas for friends, co-workers, and family:

  1. Tea and Coffee. Create a tea or coffee basket combining a hand-picked mug with a favorite flavor or two of coffee or tea. Add in other items such as honey, sweetener sticks, and specialty creamers if you feel the gift recipient would enjoy them.
  2.  Homemade Cocoa Mix. Create a homemade cocoa mix by combining cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, powdered milk, coconut sugar (or turbinado sugar) and a small amount of salt. Layer each ingredient in a jar to create a pretty visual effect. Attach instructions for making a cup of hot cocoa on the gift tag.
  3.  Homemade Baking Mix. Follow the same idea as above, but this time with cookie or brownie mix. Layer the individual ingredients (flour, sugar, and chocolate chips) in the jar to create a unique gift. Include instructions for the gift recipient so he or she can make your special cookie recipe.
  4.  Specialty Food Baskets. Combine specialty cheeses, meats, crackers, mustards, jams, and other ingredients to create your own gift baskets. Buy the individual items yourself to save money in comparison to buying pre-made gift baskets online or in gift shops.
  5. Gardening Gift Basket. Purchase flower seeds, vegetable seeds, and other gardening goodies – such as a spade or hand shovel – to make a gift basket for someone who has a green thumb. You may choose to add additional items, such as plant markers or pretty pots.
  6. Home Movie Basket. Throw in a gift card for RedBox or another movie rental company with popcorn, butter seasoning, and a box of candy to create a gift basket for enjoying movies at home alone or as a family.
  7. Breakfast Gift Basket. Add pancake or waffle mix with a bottle of real maple syrup, and any other gifts that would suit a “breakfast in bed” theme, such as a relaxing CD or a real “page-turner” of a novel.
  8.  Muffin Baking Basket. Place muffin tins in the basket with a few homemade muffin mixes and some berries, chocolate chips, or seeds. Attach the recipe for each muffin mix to the basket.
  9.  Recipe Box and Cards. Put together a recipe box and include some of your favorite recipes. Place the recipe cards in the box and add in extras so the recipient can put in his or her own special recipes. Use colored markers and pens to decorate individual dividers for the box.
  10.  Favorite Candy Jar. Purchase a glass jar at a Dollar Store and fill it with some of the gift recipient’s favorite candy. Layer different colored candy to create a colorful visual effect. For example, separate gummy bears by color and layer them from bottom to top – then hand-paint a nature scene on the outside.

You can tailor all of these gift ideas according to the recipient, and each gift is meaningful because you put it together yourself with thought and heart. At the end of the day, you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save, and how appreciated your gifts will be this holiday season.