The following is a guest post by Paige Estigarribia.
Christmas songs are on the radio, and the holiday season is in full swing! Black Friday is behind us, and now it’s time to find the rest of those special stocking stuffers still on your list. But this year, according to a recent Gallup poll, along with trimming Christmas trees, Americans are also trimming their holiday spending budgets. Since more and more of us seem to be opting for a less expensive holiday season, check out these 5 spend-savvy stocking stuffer options that are sure to please even the most frugal shopper.
1. Multiple Packaged Items
If you’re planning stockings for several, be sure to take a look at multi-packs of candy, small toys, candles, and even beauty supplies. Often you can find packs of five or more Christmas and holiday chocolate candies that, once opened, you can divide between each stocking stuffer recipient. Toys and beauty products are often the same way. Toy cars, special soaps, party favor whistles or stickers, chapsticks, nail polish, paperback books, and even art supplies all come in multi-packs that you can sometimes find at Walmart, Target, Oriental Trading Co., or even the dollar store. Buying in multi-packs that you can then divide up saves money, especially when you have lots of stockings to fill!
2. The Dollar Store (or the Dollar Bins)
Your local dollar store, or even the dollar bins at your local Target or Walmart, will have a wide assortment of budget items perfect for stocking stuffers. From coloring books, to stationary, gardening tools, and sippy cups, at different times, there are all kinds of frugal treasures just waiting to land in stockings for Christmas. Plus, at such affordable prices, you could even put together themed stockings with collected budget dollar finds! Maybe a gardener’s stocking with soap, garden tools, and seed packets all found in the dollar bins? Or even a writer’s stocking with stationary, pens, or stamps? The possibilities are endless!
3. Small bags of Holiday Crackers, Nuts, Cookies, or Fruits
If food is on your mind, why not put an assortment of in-season fruits or nuts in a stocking? During the holidays you can also find holiday-themed plastic baggies that would perfectly hold crackers or cookies to complement the nuts or fruits? In-season fruits, like citrus, apples, or pears would be a frugal (and healthy) idea for stockings. Depending on where you go, you can often buy nuts in bulk, which you could divide up and put in each stocking. And if you have citrus or nut trees, even better!
4. Gift cards or gift certificates
Gift cards and gift certificates can sometimes be great, budget-friendly ways to create a stocking smile. You can get Itunes, Starbucks, and even grocery store gift cards in the 5 to 15 dollar price range. Gas gift cards are a great idea for this price range too. Plus, don’t forget gift certificates to restaurants, pizza places, movie theaters, and even fast food. Depending on the tastes for those on your list, your stocking stuffer gift certificate could become a great coffee pick-me-up, or even a weekend pizza!
5. Homemade Items
If your hobbies include things homemade, why not make something special for those stocking stuffers on your list? If you make homemade soaps on the side, why not make extra for stockings? Or if you knit in your spare time, a lovely scarf or cap might be the perfect stocking gift? Even children’s artwork would be a great stocking stuffer item for parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles. [Don’t forget about our 100 Homemade Christmas Gifts to give you more ideas as well!]
With a little extra thought and some savvy searching, you can find so many different stocking stuffer alternatives that won’t break your budget. Hopefully these tips will inspire you to frugally fill your stockings with smiles!
Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher, a long-running financial and frugal living website. For additional gift-giving ideas, check out The Dollar Stretcher’s article on homemade gift ideas. You can also visit The Dollar Stretcher’s library for more holiday ideas!