This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.
It’s easy to buy everyone thoughtful gifts – even on a budget. These ideas for Christmas gifts on a budget will keep your head buzzing!
Whether your money is tight because you are trying to pay off debt or you are just saving up for a big purchase, it’s still possible to give your family a fantastic Christmas!
Budget Christmas gifts don’t have to mean cheap or thoughtless gifts. Keep reading and you’ll see how to hack the gift-buying process so that you still buy everyone thoughtful gifts they’ll love – without breaking your budget.
How To Save Money During Christmas
Whoever said it was more blessed to give than to receive must have loved to shop! Christmas time is a tough time to stay within a budget, especially if gifts are one of your main love languages.
When you are sticking to a budget, you have to look at your spending habits during Christmas and make changes.
I actually wrote an entire guide all about how to spend less this Christmas! It outlines all the steps you need to follow to keep your spending under control.
One of my favorite tips from that list is to plan ahead. I’m definitely a planner! I love it when I know what to expect and how to keep everything under control.
Sit down and plan out your Christmas spending. Agree on who you are going to spend money on and how much you will spend.
This planning period will show you where you need to cut back or how much more money you need to save for Christmas. It’s incredibly enlightening and will prepare you for the month ahead.
Christmas Gifts On A Budget – Hack The Process
It’s possible to buy everyone on your list Christmas presents without going over your budget – it just takes self-control and planning.
These 15 hacks and ideas will give you the tools you need to have an epic Christmas and save money at the same time.
1. Start Early
Last minute never works for saving money. Buy Christmas presents when they go on sale throughout the entire year. Shop the clearance section in January and keep your eyes peeled for really huge deals.
Not only will this save you money, but it will save your sanity too. You won’t have to buy 50 people gifts all in one day.
2. Make DIY Versions
DIY gifts aren’t always cheaper, but they can be. Compare the store-bought version to how much it would cost to make it yourself and do the cheaper option.
For example, a personalized bulletin board might only cost you $10 in materials, but a new one online might cost you $25.
3. Prioritize Wish List Items
When you are asking people what they want, ask them to prioritize the items on their wish list. That way you have the ability to buy them something they really want.
It will make them happier to receive one thing they really want than to receive 3 things they don’t like.
4. Take Advantage of Rebates
If you aren’t using a rebate program like Fetch Rewards or Rakuten then now is the time to start. Sign up and start using it before you buy a single Christmas gift.
These programs give you cash back or gift cards on just about everything you buy. If you shop for gifts early, you can use this money that you earn back on more gifts.
Believe me, it’s worth it to have and use both rebate programs. It might take a bit more time, but you are doubling your rewards!
5. Use Price Matching
Lots of stores offer price matching. Comparison shop and if the store you are at doesn’t match prices from other locations, buy those things at the other store.
Don’t be so loyal to a specific shop that you overpay. Save your money and shop where the price is the lowest.
6. Pay In Cash
Another stupid-easy way to save money on Christmas gifts is to set aside a certain amount of cash and only pay with that cash. This is also called the envelope method.
This method saves my family lots of money! I use it to stay within my budget on things like entertainment and grocery shopping – and it can work on Christmas gifts too.
7. Buy In Bulk
Create your own gift baskets and save money on them buy purchasing the items for them in bulk.
For example, you might be able to put together a self-care spa gift basket when you buy candles and face masks in larger quantities.
8. Take Advantage Of Gift Card Deals
Look for deals on gift cards and buy them when they go on sale. During the holidays lots of businesses will sell $30 worth of gift cards for $25. If you see any kind of discounts, snatch them up and hand them out.
9. Create Your Own Wish List
Stop spending money on yourself during the Christmas season. If you want something, add it to your wish list. If no one buys it for you, then buy it yourself on sale after Christmas.
10. Host A Regifting Party
Do you have extended family or friends that want to get together and exchange gifts? Suggest holding the gift exchange after Christmas. Then, everyone can bring one gift that they want to “regift” and play a white elephant gift exchange.
This is a really fun way to save money and still experience giving and receiving.
11. Quality Over Quantity
Only buy people what they want. Don’t think you have to buy them a certain number of gifts. Avoid buying a bunch of unnecessary presents they won’t even enjoy just because it looks better under the tree.
If the number of gifts under the tree is important to you, split up parts of gifts and wrap them in individual boxes. For example, if you are giving someone an outfit they want, wrap the pants and shirt in separate boxes.
12. Buy Combined Gifts
As you go shopping, compare the prices of one larger gift for couples to separate smaller gifts. You might be able to save money when you buy a couple a combined gift.
The trick to making a combined gift feel as impressive as individual gifts is to buy something they want and will use. Try to think of something that matches their life.
13. Buy Themed Gifts
This tip is for anyone that has lots of extended family members that they need to buy for.
When you buy everyone the same type of gift, you can buy the gifts in bulk. One example of a themed gift would be “kitchen tools.”
I’ve heard of one family where grandma actually told everyone to open the gifts from her all at once since they were all so similar. It becomes a time of laughter and enjoyment.
14. Stay Out Of The Stores
What kind of shopper are you? If you are an impulse shopper that loves the experience of browsing stores and buying things that excite you, then you should do as much shopping online as possible.
If shopping online also causes impulse shopping issues, then give yourself a time-limit and a specific list. Don’t deviate from the list and stay within your time limit.
15. Use Honey To Save Money
Finding legit coupon codes that work online can be time-consuming. By installing the Honey Browser on Google Chrome, Honey will automatically start searching for the best coupon code for you. It’s like having your own little money-saving assistant!
Inexpensive Gift Ideas For The Holiday Season
Now that you know how to hack the buying process, here are some ideas that fall into the category of thoughtful and cheap gifts that people will appreciate.
All of these ideas are less than $30 each!
Personalized Jewelry On Etsy
You can often find these for sale for $25 or less. If you are going to buy on Etsy, shop at least a month before Christmas to give them time to get it in the mail before Christmas.
Personalized jewelry is one of a kind and is sure to make anyone feel loved and special.
Heated Car Blanket
It might seem kinda funny at first, but a heated car blanket is an excellent idea for cars that don’t warm up very fast. They can even keep people warm if their car breaks down.
Personalized Cutting Board
Basically anything custom is going to be a big hit! The best part is that most custom things are pretty affordable. Almost everyone uses a cutting board or hangs them up in their kitchen. This personalized cutting board is super cute.
Mini Waffle Maker
This mini waffle maker is perfect for everyone from college students to teens or adults that want to make a waffle.
If you find one for a low enough price, you can add it to a gift basket with waffle mix and syrup. It’s such a great gift idea that you might even want to grab one for yourself!
Automatic Pan Stirrer
An automatic pan stirrer has to be one of the best inventions of recent history. Anyone that cooks will appreciate this gift – and it’s super affordable too!
Hot Dog and Bun Toaster
Don’t laugh – this is a real gift! It’s pretty genius and the fact that it’s affordable is a bonus. More than 4,000 reviews all rave about how this hot dog toaster actually works and they love how it makes their hot dogs taste.
Face Mask Variety Pack
If you know someone that could really use some self-care time, show them you appreciate them with a face mask pack. When you give them a variety pack like this, there is sure to be something they love in it. Plus, variety packs are often cheaper than buying individual masks.
Soap Gift Set
When you really don’t know what to buy someone, a luxurious soap gift set makes a great gift.
This gift is best for anyone that has a guest bathroom they keep stocked with soaps.
Pet Portrait Pendant
Do you know someone that’s a dog or cat parent? This pet portrait pendant is affordable and incredibly thoughtful.
It lets them show off their love for their furry friend in a mature way.
It’s pretty simple to buy Christmas gifts on a budget when you buy things that are thoughtful and you look for sales. Don’t wait until the last minute – that is the biggest budget-buster!