Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas


Wait! It’s not suppose to install fear in your hearts and mind (nor your wallet)! But, you feel that every looming dark cloud of holiday stress starting to trail your steps, right? I know I do!

Christmas in July – to me that rings the bell that we are to start preparing for the holiday season. And I think if we do start now we have a great chance of having a DEBT FREE Christmas (head on over to Enemy of Debt to join the challenge).

My family’s recent challenge has me thinking of how to meet our needs in a frugal manner; to not charge our Credit Cards or steal from our Savings. To live within our means (and still have fun).

I am determined to stay within my financial boundries! And I have a feeling you want to do the same. There are plenty of lists for frugal Christmas gift ideas, but they lack a personal touch. I wanted to find frugal, fun gifts that:

  • instill warm holiday wishes and love
  • use items I already have in the house (start asking for paper bags at the grocery store)
  • and are easiest enough to accomplish even if one lacks in artistic talent


Without further adieu, I present to you my 2009 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas (click links for tutorials):

xmas4potato (or celery) stamp + brown paper grocery bags + acrylic paint = christmas wrap



wrap3potato stamp + fabric paint + plain pillow cases = A set of Nice pillow cases



wrap4potato stamp + plain cards + acrylic paint = Christmas cards



wrap5 1 yd novelty fabric + little sewing skills + Raffia = 4 Cloth Napkins (full size or cocktail) tied cute



xmas2 Dollar store frames + cute fabric + pretty satin ribbon = Tres Chic Fabric Frames (would be really cute to give a set of these with one of the frames containing a family picture)



wrap6 Ceramic Tiles + Paper Napkins + a little pizzaz = Set of Coasters



wrap2 Dollar store Christmas container + baking skills = Yummy treats



xmas3 A few 2/$1 Hallmark card(s) (from the $1 store) + Dollar store Christmas tin or homemade box = Holiday/Party Cards to be used throughout the year (I’m always in need of a birthday card last minute!)




Tip: by something small at Michael’s and you receive a ‘40% off regular item’ coupon. Then get the more expensive item and use in the same store trip.

Tip: Look at Michael’s clearance or $1 aisle. You’d be amazed what you can find for stocking stuffers. Wonderful aisle.




If you have any great ideas or tips, please leave a comment with your idea. I would like to compile a big list!

15 thoughts on “Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas

  1. Pingback: “He Who Has Not Christmas In His Heart, Will Never Find It Under A Tree.” ~Roy L. Smith | Enemy of Debt: Motivational Money Management

  2. jpkittie

    love that you are already thinking!!! I have started coming up with little ideas per each family memeber….I am going to look for plain note cards & have dd decorate them for a bit of a personal touch πŸ˜‰

    1. admin

      I need to because I know its going to creep up on me last minute. LOL. Having kids allows you to get away with more whimsical thoughts. Love it. I plan on having my DD draw up this year’s cards, too.

      Michael’s has a 50 pack of white cards for $9.99.

      I plan on buying red & green fabric paint at regular/sale price than using my 40% coupon for the 50 pack of white cards! πŸ™‚

      If you don’t mind…Love to see the finished product.

    1. admin

      Thank you. After I wrote the post I thought of a few more. I think I may do another blog post with some more ideas and links.

  3. Tracey McBride

    What a Great Ideas…to stock your Gift Pantry(TM) with gifts such as these now (before the hectic holidays arrive) is the epitome of frugality and simplicity. Thanks so much for inspiration!

    1. admin

      Thanks for refering your great website. Love it! Will definitely come in handy for the frugal holidays!

      Now… instead of my pondering on such great ideas, I need to move forward and start making them!

  4. Brad @ enemyofdebt

    I am pretty sure we are going to put some of these ideas to use this Christmas! Great post, and thanks for the mention!

    I am thinking of doing a combination of the wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and the picture frames. Very nice ideas!

    1. admin

      I just realized I put “Christmas in July” and its August. LOL. On late start, I am!

      I wonder if you can still ask for the white butcher paper from the grocer’s meat department? A person use to beable to get it for free. Make for some great FREE wrapping paper, too. πŸ™‚

      When I was researching potato stamping I can’t believe how intricate some people can be with their projects. I love the celery idea, too.

      Please share your finished products. Would love to see. Maybe I will have to start a flickr group just for all these Christmas posts!

  5. Mama Bird

    Great list! Although I always get excited about getting crafty for the holidays…it never happens. I always wait to late and run out of time.

    But some of the things that I love giving and getting are those little cutesy picture frames that I always see at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. They also have great deals on kid’s books and photo albums.

    Food gifts are always a winner with me too – cookies, banana bread, or savory items like herb infused oils or homemade seasoning mixes. I had a neighbor give us a box that had about 15 items in it including, cookies, chocolate balls rolled in various things, buckeyes, all sorts of yummy delights. That was one of my fave food gifts ever.

    For kids, dollar stores are a great place to get coloring books and sticker books, stickers and craft supplies. I stock up when I see good ones.

    Also magazine subscriptions. It’s something I love getting b/c I would never spend the money on it myself. But, it makes getting the mail so much more fun. If you Google “cheap magazines” you can find ALL sorts of sites that have subscriptions super cheap.

    And no worries about your July/August mixup. I was thinking it was August nearly the entire month of July. I was so confused all the time. Not sure what my problem was!

    1. admin

      I know what you mean! That is why I vow to get crafty while I am stuck at home not spending money. It’s a win-win situation for me.

      Each project is a very minimal cost ($5-$10) and I don’t spend money when I am crafting at home. πŸ™‚

      I tend to buy those frames for my mother, but she has too many now. How do I figure? Because they adorn her bookshelves still with the store picture in them! LOL.

      And food gifts… that is where I lack the time putting a food basket together. It’s a lot of work to bake! I had ever intention of baking small loaves of banana bread (even still have the foil pans in the shelf), but never got around to it. Maybe this year I will! Come to thinkin’… Trader Joe’s would be a perfect place to pick up stuff for a food basket gift. Thanks for the idea. And it will still be frugal.

      Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! I will definitely add them to this list!

    1. admin

      Totally cute! I would of never of thought of such a simple, but fantastic idea. Speaking of coasters… I am actually quilting some right now (another project I found. Very easy and Very cute).

  6. Jennifer

    Love these great ideas! And you are so smart to be thinking about it now!

    I make handcrafted pendants from recycled Scrabble game tiles. They are very economical to buy or make. I sell them for $6 each in my shop

    Thanks for a great post!

    1. admin

      Hi Jennifer,

      You make some great pendants. I also have a scrabble tutorial on my site for those that might like to try their hand at crafting them, too.

      I think they would make great stocking stuffers or presents for the kids to give to their friends.

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