I’ve been looking at Christmas gift guides now for a while, trying to figure out how to make my measly budget go the furthest, but all the ‘budget’ lists I find aren’t really budget at all. That or they’re filled with tat no-one would realistically use. So, I decided to compile some very budget Christmas gift ideas. Owing to my own employment (or lack thereof) situation this year I have decided upon a £10 per person budget. Thus, everything on this list will cost £10 or under.
- Paperback book.
Obviously books would be top of this tree. And as they come in at £7.99 (less in a sale or second hand) they’re perfect budget gifts. How else can you give someone an entire world for under a tenner? If you know a loved one who is into books, pay attention to which kind, and get them their next adventure. If you’re able to support an independent bookstore in the process all the better.
- Custom hamper.
I’ve put together a few hampers in my time and the beauty is they can be as pricey or as cheap as you can afford. They’ll certainly be cheaper than the pre-made ones you can buy. Also, as you’re picking each item individually, hampers are one of the most personal gifts you can bestow. Decorate an empty box and fill with treats.
- Movie date.
This one may come as a bit of a surprise to most people as you used to have to take a mortgage out to go to the cinema. But most now offer discount tickets for certain days. As an example, with a code you can find on their website, Vue Cinemas offer Super Monday tickets for just £3.99—meaning you and a friend can have a movie date for under £8!
- Photo gifts.
Through the years I’ve made everything from photobooks (both sentimental and satirical) to calendars and mugs. It’s always a nice way to offer something thoughtful on a budget. On sites like Vistaprint, where they have sales more often than they don’t, you can create photobooks from £5 (and other items for even less)! https://www.vistaprint.co.uk/photo-gift-offers
I’m a writer so this is a no brainer. Stationary can also be a beautifully affordable gift (as well as being something that can go nicely in the aforementioned custom hamper). Paperchase, for example, have an entire section of their site dedicated to gifts under a tenner. https://www.paperchase.com/en_gb/gifts/gifts-for/under-10
- Beauty gift set.
If you don’t have the time to put together a custom hamper there are a few ways to buy gift sets for a tenner or under. The most popular and widely available are beauty ones. I’ve popped some examples below:
- Gift card.
I do always think these are a bit of a cop out BUT they can be great for those people you never know what to buy for. They’re also perfect for slipping into a card—you can even get ones from the Post Office that allow the receiver to choose from several stores so they’re not tied to one they don’t like (first world problems and all that).
I don’t know why but I always think of pyjamas as a festive thing. They are one of those things, though, that can be a cheap or extortionate gift (seriously, some pyjamas are so damn expensive!). However, you can easily get PJs for £10 when buying them from shops like New Look or Asda.
If you have creative juices flowing in your veins put them to use—knit a jumper, paint a portrait, make a candle, bake fancy biscuits… Whatever your area of expertise, think outside the box, and get making. It’s a great way to gift super personal and inexpensive presents. You can find ideas on Etsy, Pinterest, and local upcycling shops.
- Second hand finds.
This is a point many might turn a nose up to but hear me out. I’m not talking about cheesy shoes or broken clocks. Hunting in thrift shops, antique places, charity shops, car boot sales, etc. can yield gold if you dig. Trust me, I’ve found it. Not to mention second hand items making less of an environmental impact.
Make use of sales and loyalty points.
Throughout the year points in shops such as Waterstones and Boots can build up. I myself discovered I had £10 on both of those points cards which certainly takes the pressure off. Not to mention the Black Friday and pre-Christmas sales everywhere now—there’s no shame in making good use of them!
Christmas isn’t a competition.
Whether you can afford to buy all your friends and family an iPad encrusted with diamonds, or if you can spare only the love in your heart, it doesn’t matter. If your people don’t appreciate what you can afford to give them, in the politest way possible, they can bugger off. Your time and affection are the best gifts you can give this year (yes, you may go vomit now…).
Happy Christmas and all that jazz.