If you’re a student, you live on a tight budget. Translation? You’re usually broke! The good news is that your parents, siblings, and other family members are well aware of this fact and many have even “been there, done that” themselves. As such, they aren’t expecting diamond jewelry or Rolex watches for the holidays this year. Friends are most likely in the same boat and understand your lack of funds.
If you’re in school and shopping on a student budget, it’s still possible to get a little something for the loved ones in your life without breaking the bank or breaking out your credit cards. We’ve compiled some cheap Christmas gift ideas that will still be appreciated this holiday season. After all, it’s the thought that counts!
No one says you must be able to knit, sew, or paint to churn out impressive homemade gifts. There’s actually no need to super crafty to make your own holiday presents. A few easy do-it-yourself gift ideas:
For other ideas, hit up Pinterest or drop by a crafts store for inspiration.
Warm the hearts of your family and friends by baking a few batches of cookies, brownies, or other goodies. Not Martha Stewart? Don’t stress—refrigerated pre-made cookie dough and boxed brownie mixes taste great and no one (well, except maybe Martha herself) will be the wiser. Divvy up the goods into individual bags or boxes, add bows or ribbon and a gift tag. If you’re incredibly short on time or don’t have your own kitchen, head to the grocery store and pick up a few dozen cookies from the bakery or use packaged cookies like holiday Oreos instead.
Everyone loves gift cards, no matter what the dollar amount is! You could purchase one person a $50 gift card, but ten $5 gift cards will go much further on your list. This is a great cheap gift idea for your friends, roommates, professors, or anyone else that you want to give a little something without spending a fortune.
Cards for drugstores, bookstores, gas stations, fast food restaurants, and coffee shops are great choices that will definitely be appreciated by the recipients. These little tokens of appreciation will help reduce the total cost of items people would most likely be purchasing anyway.
Dollar stores and outlet stores are both great places to find presents for children, such as younger siblings and cousins. You can also score some great necessities to make goody bags or gift baskets for your friends, such as hair ties, makeup bags, toothbrushes, and other small items that don’t have to be name-brand specific. It might seem a little corny—and hey, it probably is—but most people love dollar stores whether they’ll admit to it or not!
Have a huge family or a lot of friends? Suggest taking the Secret Santa route. Get the group together, write everyone’s name on a small slip of paper, put the folded papers in a hat, and have everyone draw a name. This will help everyone involved save money while making sure everyone receives at least one gift. If you do Secret Santa with both family and friends, you’ll only have to purchase two presents.
One final idea is to volunteer your time. This gift option is especially helpful for older relatives such as grandparents, but anyone can benefit. Whether you so some light housework, go grocery shopping, or just watch a movie together, the gift of your uninterrupted time will be appreciated. Just be sure to keep your phone tucked away—no texting!
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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