A Frugal Holiday Gift Guide (No Shopping Required*)

9 Flares 9 Flares ×

frugalholidaygiftguideBuying gifts for other people can be seriously overwhelming. Sometimes, I just want to give people 20 bucks and call it a day but I guess that’s frowned upon. I’m usually a last minute gift shopper, which is why we’re less than 15 days away from Christmas and I still haven’t done any shopping. But that’s OK because I actually don’t have to do THAT much shopping this year.

I do have a few Secret Santa gifts to pick up but aside from that, I’m not really doing actual gifts this year. My family and most of my close friends tend to forgo gift giving since it gives everyone a headache and we all just end up with sweaters and socks we don’t need. Instead, we prefer to do nice things for each other or, if we’re feeling adventurous, make something. As I brainstorm about what I’m going to do or make, I decided to put together my own frugal gift guide. Most of these things don’t require any shopping since you can do it for free, do it online or get everything you need in your own home (with a few exceptions, hence the *). Here we go:

  1. Frame a sentimental picture: This gift is one I always go back to because it’s so easy but it also means a lot. I love to have framed pictures all around my apartment because it just reminds me of all the fun and happy moments I’ve had. For a gift, I like to print a picture of my favorite moment I’ve shared with that particular person and just buy a nice (but cheap) frame to put it in. It’s so simple but meaningful and it’s a gift I’d love to receive. (hint hint wink wink)
  2. Bake something delicious: The way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. I can’t bake but I have a major sweet tooth so I get excited when anyone bakes me anything. Baked goods are always a holiday favorite and you can make then right from your own kitchen.
  3. Give away your favorite book: I like to read and I always like to share with friends the books I like. I love the idea of paying it forward – but with books. If you have a book that you love that has made a impact on your life or the way you think, share it with someone else. Hopefully, they’ll love it just as much as you and keep the sharing going.
  4. Take a class together: I’ve taken a few classes, from painting to dancing, and they have all been so much fun, especially when I’ve done it with someone else. Try something new and share that experience with someone you care about it.
  5. Create a website or blog: Since I’m online all the time, this is probably my favorite idea. A website or blog using someone’s name is so easy to make (and cheap!). All you have to is buy the domain. Then you can personalize it by adding a few pictures or personal stories. I’d say it’s pretty cool to get a website as a gift, especially if that person doesn’t know how to make one.
  6. Give the gift of entertainment: I recently got a Netflix subscription and it changed my life (so far I’m up to season 3 of Gilmore Girls…). I think it makes a great gift but if you don’t want to spend so much, you can also buy a couple movie tickets instead. Costco sells them in bulk for  discounted prices and you can split them up and give them as multiple gifts.
  7. Donate in their name: I think it’s important to remember to give during the holidays. It’s something we can tend to forget about. Chances are, your friends and family don’t really need anything. But other people do. Consider giving a donation in their name.
  8. You can’t go wrong with flowers: You can’t really ever go wrong with flowers. Poinsettias are everywhere during the holiday season and they make a great, frugal gift.
  9. Make A DIY Scrub: For a girl in your life, make a DIY body or lip scrub. This is one of my favorite things to make because it’s so easy but practical. All you need is sugar, coconut or olive oil, and a scented oil. You can put it in a mason jar and tie a ribbon on it to make it look extra festive.
  10. Spend time together: Personally, I think the best gift you can give is time. So instead of worrying about what to buy, just spend time with your loved ones. You don’t have to spend any money and it means a lot more than anything money can buy.

What are some of your favorite frugal gift ideas?


  1. says

    I’ve done the sugar scrub thing and picture thing before. They are both easy and usually everyone likes them. I tend to not like getting baked goods only because I’ll eat em, and I’m trying to avoid too much sugar this holiday season. 🙂

  2. says

    I usually bake cookies and other holiday desserts for friends and this year I’m actually thinking about making some homemade bath salts it should be fun to try out.

  3. says

    Interesting ideas! I especially like the idea about homemade scrub, I think it will be an awesome gift idea. I also like homemade gifts. They’re not expensive, and even though I might not use it in the future, it’s the thought that counts!

    • Connie says

      I love the scrub because it’s so easy but looks very chic in a mason jar. Just google it and you can find a lot of good recipes!

  4. says

    Hi Connie, I came up to your blog because we have the same interest. Saving and personal finances. You have a great idea here on how to become frugal especially during holidays. Keep up the good work Sis.

Speak Your Mind