I love the holidays. You get to spend time with family, enjoy some festive drinks and treats, and just relax!
What I don’t love about the holidays is the cost of Christmas gifts.
They can be so expensive. According to the American Research Group, the average American plan to spend an average of $929 on holiday gifts this season.
When I was doing my Christmas shopping online the other day, I was stunned to see that my shopping cart was already at $100 and I’d only added a couple of things!
I still had a page-long list of people to buy for!
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Then I thought, why do gifts have to cost so much?
Surely, there are cheaper gift ideas that are just as good?
Why do we have to buy expensive gifts?
That’s the thing, we can get so caught up with fancy gifts and expensive brand-name products that we end up spending a fortune.
When I look back though, I realized that it was usually the gifts that didn’t cost much (like these DIY holiday gifts) which were most appreciated.
I bought my Dad a wine foil cutter as a stocking stuffer one year, next to his main gift, and years later, that’s the gift that’s still well used!
I also realized that some items that cost very little, looked very substantial, like a throw or a poster.
Yet, that $40 face cream I ordered looked tiny!
Often it was the cheap Christmas presents that look expensive
So after the shock of my $100 shopping cart, I came up with a new strategy!
I abandoned the shopping cart, and started making a list of presents that were cheap, but also good!
Today, I’m going to share my list of 50 cheap (but great!) Christmas gifts with you.
Now I think that the word “cheap” or “inexpensive” is pretty subjective.
We all earn a different income, have different bills to pay, and live in different places – so what we spend and how much stuff costs can also differ.
For you, a $20 gift might be cheap and for others that might seem on the more expensive side.
That’s why I’ve categorized my inexpensive gift ideas by price, so you can find presents that suit your budget.
You’ll find presents under:
Let’s just say, although some presents may be more expensive, none cost more than $25!
So when January comes around your bank balance should still be intact!
Let’s get started on that list…
Christmas Gift Ideas for Under $5
I’m going to start my list with gifts that you can get for less than 5 bucks, because who doesn’t want to spend that little?
Gifts for less than $5 are awesome, whether you’re only a really tight budget, have a lot of people to buy for, or want something for a work colleague.
From covers that feature the works of artists like Van Gogh to cutesy designs featuring farm animals, notebooks make a great gift for family members of all ages.
2. Coffee mug
This is another gift I’ve given before with great success. You can find coffee mugs that cost less than $5 at Walmart and Target. Coffee mugs are one of those gifts that looks more substantial than what you paid for it. Plus, you can find a mug that suits the recipient!
For the artistic people in your life, a nice sketchbook is a great gift! You can get them for less than $5. Plus they make great gifts for people of all ages. Kids will love this super cute farm animal sketchbook that costs just $3.62!
I know that people think of socks as sort of a dull gift. But they’re so useful. Since the washing machine or dryer seems to somehow leave us with one sock, lots of us end up with a drawer full of odd socks.
So give someone a pair of socks this year – they’re always appreciated. Plus, you can get funny ones, fuzzy ones, and brightly colored ones – so there are plenty of options to choose from.
You can get socks for less than $5, like these Women’s “Cat-lifornia Roll” Roll Low Cut Socks from Target, which cost just $1.50! Or these Men’s Human Knowledge Mr. Mustache Crew Socks that cost just $4.99.
Aside from Halloween, Christmas is probably the time of year that most people really indulge their sweet tooth!
That’s why candy can make such a great gift!
It can be really inexpensive too.
You could buy a few different types of candy and still spend less than $5.
6. Ballpoint pens
You can get ballpoint pens that cost less than $5 in a variety of colors at Walmart and Target, and there’s also some available on Amazon for less than $5.
7. Cookie cutters
For friends, family members, and coworkers who love to bake, these cookie cutters from Amazon make the perfect gift. You get 8 different cookie cutters, and the pack features lots of different shapes, like stars, hearts, dinosaurs and Mickey mouse. The best part is that it costs just $4.99!
8. Face mask
If like me, some of your friends, family members or coworkers like skincare, then a face mask can make the perfect holiday gift.
And Target is definitely the place to go for them. At Target, you can find tons of different masks that cost less than $5! There are mud masks, peel off masks and much more!
Since many of Target’s face masks are priced between $1.99 and $2.59, you could buy a couple of them!
Christmas Gift Ideas for Under $10
Let’s take a look at Christmas gifts that you can get for less than $10!
9. Wine foil cutter
I mentioned this before, but for anyone who loves wine, a simple foil cutter is a practical and also thoughtful gift. You can get them for less than $10 on Amazon! This one comes with an engraved gift box and costs just $9.99! There are lots on Amazon that cost just $5.99 too!
10. Cosmetic bags
11. Recipe cards
You can get recipe cards for less than $10 from Walmart. These veggie recipe cards cost just $7.99, and these cute floral design recipe cards cost just $9.99. Recipe cards make great gifts for friends, family members, and coworkers who like to cook.
12. Christmas tree ornaments
We all have those favorite ornaments that we love to hang on our tree. I have these traditional Bavarian-style Santa ornaments that I particularly love. For some people, it’s Harry Potter ornaments or ornaments of woodland creatures. I remember getting my sister an owl ornament for her Christmas tree, and she really loved it.
Christmas tree ornaments cost less than $10, but they make great gifts.
You can pick them up at Walmart, Target, and Amazon for less than $10!
13. Photos in a picture frame
A couple of years back, I bought a bunch of frames in TJ Maxx. Then I printed out some photos of my family, put them in the picture frames, and gave them to my parents as an anniversary gift. They loved it, and those frames are still sitting on the sideboard today.
People love getting framed photos because they’re so personal.
Print out a photo you know the recipient would like, put in a picture frame and it will make an awesome gift for their desk at work or that they can display in the living room!
Sure, you can get more expensive photo frames, costing $20 or $30, but there are plenty of frames on Amazon, Target, and Walmart that cost less than $10.
You can pick up a hat for less than $10 if you shop on Amazon, Target and Walmart. Hats make a great gift for men, women, and children, and all age groups as well.
With gloves available for just $9.99 on Target and Amazon and with many available for even less than that, gloves are a gift you can get for less than $10. Gloves are so useful during the winter months that pretty much anyone’s going to appreciate getting them as a gift this Christmas.
Help your friend, family member, or coworker get organized this year with a 2020 diary!
This is another gift that can look more substantial than it is.
For super-organized friends, a simple diary might not be enough – the planner is what they need! You can get daily, weekly, and monthly planners.
Planners don’t cost too much, and they look pretty substantial. Plus they are a gift that the recipient will actually get some use out of.
A keychain is a nice-to-have item that pretty much no-one buys for themselves. That’s why keychains make the perfect holiday gift. You can get one that suits the recipient’s taste as well, as there are so many different keychain designs available.
A wallet is essential, yet it’s one of those things we just don’t think to buy for ourselves. How often do you see people with dusty, torn, and haggard-looking wallets? Quite often, I’d guess!
That’s why a wallet can make a great holiday gift. With lots of different designs available, you’re sure to find a great one for your friend, family member, or coworker.
A calendar is another great gift idea for Christmas, because well obviously in the New Year, a lot of people need a Calendar!
You can get hip flasks on Amazon and Walmart for less than $10! This present is great on its own, and it goes well with other alcohol-related gifts.
22. Travel guidebook
Do you have a friend, family member, or co-worker who loves to travel? Then you might want to get them a travel guidebook as a gift this year. Target has lots of travel books that cost less than $10. You can get them for places ranging from Europe to Central America.
23. Sleep eye mask
Lots of people like sleep eye masks, which is why they make great gifts! You can even get ones that contain lavender.
24. French manicure kit
I think that the French manicure is a classic – that’s why it never goes out of style.
25. Travel mug
For friends who love to travel, or like to enjoy a coffee on their commute, a travel mug can make an awesome gift. You can get them on Amazon at great prices, like this one that costs just $8.99.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Under $15
$15 for a gift is pretty great. So if you’re looking for some presents that cost less than $15, give these ideas a try.
Whether it’s a poster of a Van Gogh piece or a motivational quote, posters make a great gift for the holidays. Plus you can get them on Amazon for anywhere from $10.99 to $15! Walmart is another place that has really cheap posters for sale. You can get posters on Walmart for less than $15.
27. Yankee Candles
I’ve bought Yankee candles as gifts for many of my family members in the past, and they’re always one of the most well-received of the presents I give.
The great thing is that you can get Yankee candles for less than $15 on Amazon and Walmart. I’m talking about the large jar candles here too, which look like a substantial gift.
Walmart and Amazon both have a great selection of scents on offer too, like Sparkling Cinnamon, Spiced Pumpkin, and Pink Sands – that means you have a great selection to choose from!
Cookbooks make a great gift for Christmas. That’s what I got my mother-in-law this year because she loves to cook.
Now they’re pretty inexpensive too, costing less than $15 on sites like Amazon and Target.
Like hats, scarves are a perfect gift for winter, and pretty much everyone will appreciate receiving one for Christmas.
For friends, family members, and coworkers who love journaling, buying them a new journal as a holiday gift is a great idea.
31. Costume rings
Costume rings can look super cute – and again you don’t have to worry about losing them! You can get so many beautiful designs too, like gold rings with faux rubies and minimalist faux silver ones too.
32. Hot cocoa gift set
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate at Christmas? That’s why getting a hot cocoa gift set for someone this holiday season is a great idea. You can pick them up in lots of places too, like Amazon, and at stores like Walmart and Target.
I love a good bottle of wine and so do many others. A bottle of wine doesn’t have to be super expensive to be nice either. You can get a good bottle of wine for less than $15.
34. Throw blanket
A throw blanket is always an appreciated gift. I have bought my mother-in-law one for this Christmas! You can pick up some really nice ones at low prices.
35. Skincare oil
As someone with dry skin, I love skincare oils, from jojoba to almond oil. They’re particularly good for the winter months when your skin seems to be drier. That’s why they can make a great gift for the holidays. Now, you can get so many different oils on Amazon that cost less than $15.
36. Music books
I always know someone in my family who wants to learn an instrument in the New Year. Around Christmas one year, my sister decided she wanted to learn the ukulele, so I got her a book on how to learn it as a gift.
Music books, whether they’re for the guitar or the piano, are pretty inexpensive, but if you know someone who’s planning to learn a new instrument, then they’re a thoughtful gift.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Under $20
In this section, I’m going to give you some Christmas gift ideas for under $20.
37. Pour-over coffee starter kit
For the coffee-enthusiast in your life, this pour-over starter kit from Amazon can make an awesome gift. In red or brown, this coffee starter kit costs just $18.45 or $18.85 – that’s pretty great for a whole kit!
A coffee starter kit can look much more expensive than it actually is!
38. Canvas tote bag
Everyone needs a cute and practical canvas tote bag to take to the grocery store or work or any other place really!
Tote bags are practical and you can get them with lots of different designs on them too. They’re a great cheap gift idea that looks substantial as well.
39. Travel pillow
Airplane seats are just not comfortable. Make someone’s flight more comfortable with the gift of a travel pillow!
40. Action figure/figurine
Brighten up somebody’s desk at work or home with a fun action figure or figurine. Whether it’s a character from their favorite TV show or book or a creature from Star Wars, there are plenty of awesome figurines you can get online that don’t cost too much.
41. Costume necklace
Costume jewelry is cheaper than sterling silver or gold stuff, but it looks just as good. Plus, if you’re anything like me and you often lose or break stuff, you don’t necessarily want a super expensive necklace. You can get plenty of statement necklaces, and trendy minimalist necklaces for really low prices if you go with costume jewelry.
42. Costume bracelets
You can get costume bracelets at low prices, which look awesome. I’ve given costume bracelets as gifts to my family members, and they’ve loved them! There are lots of different costume bracelets available too, so you’re sure to find one that suits the recipient’s style.
Even though a belt is an important accessory, a lot of people put off buying one because they just don’t want to spend cash on one. That’s why belts can make a great gift for the holidays.
44. Gourmet chocolate
Who doesn’t love chocolate?
I sure do and plenty of other people I know love it too. Chocolate is one of those gifts that’s pretty much always going to be appreciated. That’s why a bar, gift bag, box or basket of gourmet chocolate bars or truffles is such a good idea for a holiday gift!
45. Specialty beer
Craft or specialty beer is super popular nowadays. Lots of people love these beers, so a six pack of specialty or craft beer can make a great gift for the holidays.
46. Portable phone charger
A few years back my husband bought a portable phone charger for our city vacation. I was unsure whether we’d actually need it, but we used it loads! It was so handy to have because if the phone’s battery got low, we could just plug it into this little charger and it would charge it.
This one from Amazon is just like it. What’s great about these chargers is that they are so small – in fact, they’re not much bigger than the size of a lipstick! So you can easily carry one around.
For the holidays a portable phone charger would make a great gift for relatives, friends, and co-workers.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Under $25
So in this section, I’m going to cover gifts that you can get for $25 or less. So if your budget is a little bigger, but you still want something that’s relatively inexpensive, then give these gift ideas a try.
Whether it’s a sparkly cross-body bag or a quilted messenger bag, purses make a great gift for recipients of all ages.
I love a good sweater and many people do! That’s why a nice sweater makes the perfect winter gift. You can get them from Amazon, Target, and Walmart for less than $25.
49. Whiskey glasses
A lot of people enjoy a little whiskey over the holidays, making whiskey glasses an ideal present for Christmas.
50. Men’s grooming kit
Whether it’s a shaving kit or a beard kit, men’s grooming kits make a great holiday gift!
A Few Ways to Save Money When Buying Gifts
These gifts are already cheap, but if you use these tips, you’ll make them even cheaper!
Get paid for buying gifts!
Sites like Rakuten and Swagbucks will give you money back when you buy stuff.
Sounds almost too good to be true!
It’s not though. You can, in fact, put money back in your pocket with these sites:
- Rakuten (Formerly Ebates)
Now, the cashback rate you get can vary from site to site and from store to store.
One store might offer 2% cashback and another might offer 70%.
Even the 2% cashback is still a great saving.
You can look at this as one of those easy ways of making extra cash for the holidays.
Coupons are great for saving cash. Whether it’s a coupon code for $10 off or free shipping, coupons are awesome for keeping more cash in your bank account.
Here are some coupon sites you should check out:
- Brad’s Deals
- The Krazy Coupon Lady
- Coupon Mom
- Coupon Cabin
- The Coupons App
- Rakuten (Formerly Ebates)
- Coupon Sherpa
- Grocery Coupon Network
Use a browser extension to save money automatically
Coupon sites are great, but let’s be real here for a second: lots of coupon codes don’t work.
I’ve been there – you try like five different codes and none of them work.
Browser extensions like Honey or Wikibuy will automatically scour the internet for the best deals and apply the best ones to your order.
This can save you so much time! So in addition to bookmarking those coupon sites above, use Honey or Wikibuy to find coupons for you!
Use rebate apps
If you’re shopping in-store, consider using rebate apps.
These apps will give you cashback just for uploading a photo of your receipt.
Some of these apps, like Ibotta, require you to purchase specific items in order to get your rebate.
Others though, like ReceiptPal will give you money for any itemized receipt.
This is such an easy way to save money on shopping.
Here are some rebate apps:
Buy gifts using discount gift cards
This is such a useful tip that really can save you a lot of money.
Basically, on gift card resale sites, you can buy gift cards at a discount.
For example, you could get a $20 Amazon gift card for just $18.
So you pay $18 and you still have $20 to spend.
Some gift cards are even more heavily discounted. You could get $10 off or more!
Here are some websites where you can find discounted gift cards:
Take a look at these sites for some great savings.
Go for deals that are worth it
I was recently shopping for beauty products for my mom and sister. I saw lots of deals like get $10 off when you spend $50 on makeup form L’Oréal.
I thought yeah, but I don’t want to spend that much!
Instead, I looked out for deals that I felt actually saved me money.
I recently got two sleek palettes that were supposed to be $20 in total for $15. This is because the store was offering a buy one Sleek product get one half price deal.
Now, this was worth it, because I was willing to spend $15.
Don’t be tempted by offers with spending requirements that don’t fit your budget.
$10 off when you spend $50 might seem like a good deal, but if you didn’t plan to spend $50 in the first place, then it’s really not worth your time.
The same thought process applies to those free gift with purchase offers. Often, I find that the amount you have to purchase outweighs the benefit of the free gift.
Now, that’s not always the case of course.
A few years back I was looking at makeup from a specific brand. When you bought two items from the brand you got a free gift. Now, I was planning to buy a couple of products from this makeup line anyway, so that fit within my budget. And, the free gift was actually a box that contained a bunch of different products. So, in this case, the offer was worth it.
Always think, does this offer really benefit me?
Don’t buy a bunch of stuff if you weren’t planning to spend that much in your budget.
Where’s the best place to buy cheap Christmas gifts?
You can find great deals anywhere, but the best places to shop if you want to get those really low prices are at:
- Best Buy
I’d also highly recommend checking out places like TJ Maxx, as you can often find brand-name items at heavily discounted prices.
So save money on your Christmas shopping this year!
This year, don’t think that you have to spend a ton of money to get some great holiday gifts! Give these cheap Christmas gift ideas a try. Let us know in the comments below what your favorite cheap holiday gifts are.