If you’re anything like me, Christmas is absolutely the most wonderful time of the year. Ever since I was little I’ve always loved the joy around this season, getting presents, and giving presents. In elementary school we had the holiday shop where we could buy presents for family members for no more than five dollars, and every year I’d be so proud of the gifts that I had picked.
But shopping for gifts while you’re in college is an incredibly different animal. Even with a paying job during school, getting together the money to buy gifts for family and friends can be an incredible hassle. Here are some ways I’ve avoided breaking the bank while still getting my friends and family amazing gifts!
With friends, make a budget and stick to it. Secret Santa within friend groups is always tons of fun, however it can get a little pricey if you aren’t careful. Make sure you set a limit within the group as to how much money you’ll be spending on the gift. It’s important to have everyone one the same page so that one person isn’t spending more or less than someone else.
Shop in the sale section. When buying gifts for everyone on your list, whether you pay full price or not isn’t really an issue. You’ll be taking the price tag off anyway, and the sale section is full of quality items. You’ll be buying something that your friend or family member will love for half the cost!
DIY. I’m an absolute sucker for handmade, sentimental gifts. I personally find presents to be a lot more meaningful when they’re made by the hands of someone I care about. It could be as simple as going to the craft store, buying a picture frame and decorating it. Once the frame is done, you can put your favorite picture of the two of you inside. There are also plenty of DIY makeup tutorials that are worth testing out!
Go in on a gift with another friend. There aren’t any rules saying that you can’t split the price of a gift with another friend! If a friend wants a gift that’s a little out of your price range, ask a mutual to split the cost with you. Not only does it reduce the price of the gift, but it can make it that much more special coming from two of you.
Make a coupon book. For family members specifically, you could make a coupon book of all the things you’d be willing to do for the person. Some examples could be cleaning the house, cleaning your room, walking the dog, making dinner, and so much more. This way your family members know that once they ask for the service, they’ll already have writing saying that you’ll do it. What better way to show you care than to take some of the household work off their shoulders.
Put together bags of candy and homemade cookies. Nothing says the holidays like baked goods, and it’s often pretty cheap to buy cookie dough. You could even be more adventurous and bake cookies from scratch! Top it off with some of their favorite candy and it’s a sweet way to show how much they mean to you.