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Christmas on a Budget

Updated on February 5, 2013

Christmas Shopping on a Budget

Everyone has done it, woken up two weeks from Christmas morning only to discover they have not begun their shopping. Either you misplaced the thought in your mind, or just did not have the time nor money to buy for everyone on that list. If you are of the millions who find themselves struggling around that time of year, because you just cannot seem to locate the extra money. You are in luck, there are some thrifty ways to have a remarkable Christmas, on a budget.


1. Shop All Year

Shop all year. If you are the sort of person who enjoys shopping, this one should be easy. For those who compare shopping to a day at the dentist, then you will appreciate avoiding the holiday rush. It’s self explanatory, shop all year. While you are grocery shopping or just picking up a few needed things at the store, spend a little extra time finding something for someone special. Dedicate a spare room or closet to Christmas gifts and when Christmas rolls around all you will have to do is put them under the tree. This is useful for many different reasons.

  1. You will avoid the rush and spend those precious moments at home with the family during the Holiday.
  2. It will allow you to spend the same amount of money, but spaced over twelve months instead of one.
  3. Since you will not be spending it all at once, you could spring for that extra special present for that extra special person.
  4. You can wrap and tag as you go, that way come Christmas you will be sipping eggnog by the fire and laughing at others who are up all night wrapping gifts.


2. Picture Perfect

This one is popular already however often overlooked. Everyone loves to have pictures and even better is a well taken one in a fancy frame. So save the family portrait for gifts instead of Christmas cards. Many places offer great holiday packages for family portraits. So gather the kids, parents, grandparents or aunts and uncles and give the gift that keeps on giving, year after year.

3.Homemade Blankets

I received great reactions to these when I made them last year and have since been asked to make more. Depending on the size and fabric used it should be inexpensive and only take one to two hours to complete. They are extremely easy and the finished product is amazing. Here are the steps I take to complete one, you might find something else works better for you but here are the basics……

  1. Go to any store that sells fabric and pick your favorite. Wal-Mart offers good deals on fabric, especially solid colors. Have them cut out the length that you want your blanket to be, you will need two pieces of the same length (they can be different patterns though). You will want to go about six inches longer, then you desire the blanket to be, both in length and width.
  2. Line both pieces up so that the sides match. From here you can go one of two ways, or both if you want to put in the extra effort. You can either sew the pieces together and then cut the fringe or tie the pieces together.
  3. * If you are sewing - Sew the blanket around the edges leaving a three inch flap on all sides. In other words, stitch the blanket three inches from the sides. You can either continue with step three from here, or just cut the fringe as you desire.
  4. On all sides on the blanket, cut one inch fringes. Make them about three inches long, or longer if you want, but if you go shorter it wont look as good (I know from experience). You will want to use very sharp scissors to do this because blunt ones will eventually make your hands ache and make the whole process very annoying. Also craft scissors with the design cuts look very good.
  5. Go around the blanket and tie the fringe together. Do not tie to tightly or the blanket will come out scrunches. You are shooting for a relaxed look and feel. When you have done all sides the pieces of fabric should be joined together, creating a very appealing blanket.

4. Never Hurts to Ask!

Many times people like to buy for everyone they know, however sometimes that is a challenge. Not everyone is easy to buy for. There is always one in a crowd. For those really hard to buy people, its not always necessary to go expensive just to impress. Ask them what they need. From candles to towels, you will be surprised at the responses you get, as well as how inexpensive most requests are. Here are some ideas on inexpensive things, most can be found in dollar stores, you can buy for people that will have them thanking you all year round. I know!

  • Different scented soaps.
  • Bath salts, body wash and lotion.
  • Make up such as, lip gloss, eye shadows, lip stick, mascara ect.
  • Nail polish, nail polish remover, nail clippers, hand scrub ect.
  • Books for the book worms of the family.
  • Crafts for the artistic ones of the family.
  • Candy or snack food.
  • Toys for younger kids.
  • Kitchen ware such as bowls, cups, silver wear (for new home owners).
  • Medicine of all different types (they will thank you when they unexpectedly come down ill).


My boyfriends mother is famous for her “care packages”. Everyone looks forward to them because they use them so often. She fills them with different, inexpensive, things that she collects all year round. Such as medicines, band-aids, soaps, candles, make-up, kitchen towels and ect. She always puts the stuff in big baskets and it’s a blast to go through because you never know what you will find. The best part? It’s all stuff that can and will be used! I’m already looking forward to mine.


5. Bake it Baby!

You will need mason jars with lids, some kind of material or ribbon, some everyday dry baking ingredients and a desert cookbook. Find a recipe for homemade brownies or cookies. Check to see if you have all the dry ingredients that you will need. When you have them all, layer them into the mason jar. For obvious reasons you can only use the dry ingredients called for in the recipe. Write the recipe on a cute tag and tie it to the mason jar. All they will have to do is collect the wet ingredients and add to your already made mixture. How much easier can it get? If you have a family member with a sweet tooth this is a great gift. Also you can decorate the jar buy putting material onto the lid or stickers on the jar. If you own a hot glue gun the possibilities for decorations are endless. They look really sweet and taste good too!

Other Good Ideas

Many times the hand-made gifts are the favorites. People cherish the time and effort you put into something especially for them. The upside to this is many materials used in these gifts can be bought rather cheaply. The downside is you may need a lot of free time to complete these things. However if you put the time and effort into a homemade gift for someone, chases are it will never be re-gifted. Here are a few basic ideas that most everyone knows how to do but often times over looks doing.

  • Make a scrap book for a family gift.
  • A pretty journal and nice pens.
  • Cute coffee cups filled with candy or homemade hot cocoa mix.
  • Recipe box filled with all your favorite recipes that everyone asks for.
  • Games or puzzles.
  • Movies, a lot of movie stores have really good deals on movies. You can usually find them for under ten dollars.
  • Homemade coupons for your spouse or children. They could be for back rubs, trips, dinner of their choice or to get out of any chore they want.
  • Jazz up any inexpensive gift with a creative touch. Search for inexpensive things and add your own style to them.

 If you keep an eye out you will come up with more things on your own. Shopping on a budget can be fun when you put your mind into it. People will cherish things you put thought into more then if you just put money.

Share your inexpensive gift ideas!

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    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      Some good ideas here, I like the homemade gifts idea and over the years have made a few, it takes a little time but is worth the effort.