Budget friendly presents!
This article was originally published for The Odyssey on December 19, 2016.
It is that time of the year again! Empty wallet season! If you are a college kid like me, your wallet is empty all season. No worries, though, there are plenty of ways to spread holiday cheer without digging into your savings. This holiday season, give the most affordable and original gifts. Here are ten to start you off!
1. Recipe Box
All you need is a box of some kind, perhaps even a refurbished shoe box, and some index cards. Whether the recipes you’re giving are homemade, family secrets, or taken from those videos on Facebook, this gift is sure to warm some hearts this year!
2. Sock Exchange
That myth about getting socks for Christmas is so 2000-and-late! Fuzzy socks are a must and you can fill them with small items, sort of like a stocking exchange! For girls, emery boards and nail polish are fantastic. For guys, try sunglasses and snacks, like sunflower seeds!
3. Movie Basket
This does not have to be gourmet! Simply buy some of those dollar store boxes of candy, some popcorn, and a movie. Finding a movie may be pricey, depending on the film. You can find bargain movies in a clearance bin just about anywhere!
4. Cozy Kit
Or even a spa kit. Add tea lights or candles, a facial mask, lotion, and more fuzzy socks! All of this can be purchased at the dollar store, or can be purchased in travel sizes! Give this to someone who deserves an entire day of relaxation!
5. Homemade Coupons
Get as creative as you’d like with these! If your parents have been trying to clean out the attic for years, make a coupon. If you’re feeling like treating your significant other, try breakfast in bed. If you’re paying someone back, make one for a coffee on you. The possibilities are endless!
6. Mix CD/Playlist
This may be a bit of a throwback for some of you, but a mix CD. If you’re fresh out of blank CD’s, use a spotify, 8tracks, or iTunes playlist as an alternative! Toss 5-10 songs on a playlist and dedicate it or send it to your person. This is a personalized gift and they will be sure to love it!
7. Photo Album
Alternatively, just one photo. Giving someone a picture of a memory that you cherish is a great way to show how thankful you are for that person. If you’re looking to make a photo album, gather up some of your favorite photos and head to a kiosk to print them. Or, if you’re looking to stay under the $50 range, Shutterfly has some great products that they can create with those photos!
8. Movie Night
This one is more simple than you realize. Invite a few friends over and pop in a favorite, or search Netflix for a classic. Make some popcorn, have some snacks, and consider that your present to your friends. It can even be a mutual agreement. They can even bring snacks to contribute.
9. Dinner Date
If your wallet is really hurting, don’t be afraid to give again. It sounds terrible, but we all do it. Just make sure that you don’t re-gift a gift that they previously got you. Otherwise, there’s probably something around your room that you could part with.