Holiday Gifts on a Budget

How to Survive 2

While this season is all about making spirits bright, it can often lead to empty wallets. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of the holidays and make gift giving a budget busting ordeal. However, there is no reason you can’t check off every name on the gift list while still staying on budget. Try some of these ideas for inexpensive and easy gifts to put under the tree.

  • Build a Theme Basket. Dollar stores and thrift stores often have an assortment of baskets and tins that you can decorate and fill for only a few dollars. You could even fill it with unused items you already own. Make a Movie Night Basket with a bag of popcorn, candy, soda and a movie. Try a Spa Day Basket with candles, bath salts, face mask and lotion. For a coffee lover, a mug, a handful of K-Cups and flavored syrup or cream will be a sure hit.
  • Design a mug. All you will need is a light colored porcelain mug, oil-based markers and an oven to create this DIY mug. Write your favorite quote, draw a design or make a monogram on the mug then bake it in the oven. Add some tea or hot cocoa packets and they’ll be sure to love their one-of-a-kind gift.
  • Gift useful household items. While it may not be exciting, gifting household items is practical and always appreciated for anyone on a tight budget. Make it a special and fun with a witty pun such as a spice rack with “Seasons Greetings” or a candy dish of candy with a note of “We dish you a Merry Christmas.”
  • Bake some treats. From peanut brittle to decorated cookies, food is always a great gift. If you don’t trust your baking skills, buy a mix and go from there. Party supply and dollar stores often sell festive bags and tins you can package your treats in to make them more festive.
  • Make flavored extracts. This is a great gift for anyone that enjoys being in the kitchen, but it does require a week or two to set. You can create many different flavors using fruit or vanilla beans and put it in a cute jar so it can stay on display while it’s steeping.
  • Personalize photos. Go through your photos and pick a favorite memory to print. You can use free editing software or photo apps to jazz up pictures or print out a whole collage. You could make a memory jar, make a bouquet of photo flowers or simply decorate a frame.

Heart of Florida United Way is focused on addressing the five major building blocks of financial stability in order to provide working families the services and support necessary to succeed. For more information visit or if you are in need of assistance, call 2-1-1, our 24-hour Information and Assistance helpline.