13 Cheap Christmas Gifts for the Holidays

On a budget? These are some of the most thoughtful yet inexpensive gift Christmas gifts that don't look cheap.

Happy Frugal Christmas! There’s no doubt we spend a lot of money at Christmas time.

Times may be tough, and your budget may be stretched to the limit, but, there are ways to come up with frugal Christmas gift ideas without looking like a scrooge.

If you’re into the frugal lifestyle, then here are gift ideas for the family that you can consider this holiday season:

Free Christmas Gift Ideas

These are some of the most thoughtful yet free gift Christmas gifts that don’t look cheap.


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1. Gifts of time

The gifts of time work especially well for children. Give the gift of a day or a slumber party with a niece or nephew. Spend the day playing in a park, watching a movie at home or cooking cookies in the kitchen.

These sparse ‘experience gifts’ are often much more valuable than a cash gift or a new toy.

2. Service gifts

Service gifts are perfect for the elderly, extremely busy or economical. We used our gifts and talents to offer a variety of service gifts, such as hairstyles (I was a beautician in a previous life), painting, landscaping, and childcare.

Just create a list of your skills and link them to those on your wish list that might be able to give gifts in coordination areas.

3. Cookbook Written by Hand

Buy a cute notebook and write down all your favorite recipes. Be sure to leave some blank pages so that your recipient can add some of his favorite recipes.

You can also choose the recipes you add based on a theme, such as a cooking theme, a theme for another country, or a simple recipe theme.

4. Homemade Bathing Products

There are many ways to make fragrant bath salts or body ointments in your bath set at home. One of my favorite scrubs is a simple mix of equal parts of coconut oil and sugar. Add a scrub to the loofah or bath, an excellent CD with relaxing music and put it all in a nice basket. This is a great frugal gift idea for just about any adult.

5. Frozen Meals

If you have a recipient on your gift list who does not have the time or cannot cook, he can enjoy it if you give him or her homemade meals for his freezer.

That way they can quickly take them out and put them in the oven. Soups, stews, stews, and lasagne are great meals for the freezer.

6. Microwaveable Heating Pad

Seriously! I’ve done this before, it had the shape of a fish and was filled with rice and clove. It was a great comfort for the children if they were scared or did not feel well. “Spongebob” as it is called, still gets used to our family.

Cheap Gifts Under $10

These are some of the most thoughtful yet gift Christmas gifts that are under $10.

7. Handcrafted Fleece Blanket

We did this one year for the grandmothers of the family, and it was by far the favorite gift of the year. We still see grammars crawling with their fleece blankets during the cold season.

Grab a discount coupon at your favorite fabric store or craft shop, choose a non-woven pattern that matches your recipient’s favorite colors or the color scheme of your home.

8. Portable Reusable Drinking Straw

The Stainless Steel Metal Straw dispenser is telescopic, which is perfectly compatible with 12-40 oz cups. The straw can be packed into in the small keychain container. One can attach the case to their belt or bag and sip on the go.

9. Monthly Sock Subscription

One surprise pair of awesome crew socks in each bag delivered every month. Features 100s of in-house designed socks, randomly selected for maximum design diversity.

10. Winter Skin Facial Mask

Infused with rich peppermint, this mask will help energize dull skin and give a festive glow

Cheap Gifts Under $20

These are some of the most thoughtful yet gift Christmas gifts that are under $20.

11. Small Leather Crossbody

This crossbody phone purse design with superior soft Synthetic leather, durable and nice appearance.

12. New Phone, Who Dis?

This is the 100% offline text message party game where players compete to create the funniest text message thread.

13. I Love You Mom Book

Give your Mom the gift of a memory. Give her the gift of gratitude. Give her the gift of the stories you share, written in your own words.

Cheap Christmas Gifts

These are some of the frugal gifts that can be presented easily without looking like a last-minute gift idea.

Remember, the value of a Christmas gift does not lie in its price but the thought behind it.

Next, be sure to check out our tips on how to save money for the rest of the year.

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About the author

Brian Meiggs
Brian is the chief editor of SavingJunkie and is a personal finance expert who has spent the last few years writing about how Millennials can make smarter money moves. He has been fortunate enough to have appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, MSN Money, AOL, Discover Bank, GOBankingRates, and more. He is also diversifying his portfolio by adding a little bit of real estate. But not rental homes, because he doesn't want a second job, it's diversified small investments in hands off real estate investing via an app called Fundrise.

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