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9 Affordable Holiday Gift Ideas

4 minute read

By Christopher Brown

The holidays are coming, and so are the credit card charges. Americans spent an average of $1,131 on the holidays last year, 65% of which was put on credit cards. That’s a lot of money. But, just because the average Christmas gift list is rich, doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot.1

Careful planning, savvy shopping, and a few creative ideas could save you hundreds this holiday season. While we can’t help you build a budget, or do your shopping for you, we can provide you with a handful of creatively cost effective holiday gift ideas to help get you started. With that in mind, here are 9 affordable holiday gift ideas!


A Photo Print

High-quality photo prints are the perfect way to give something memorable, personalized, and most importantly, affordable. All you need is a high-resolution copy of a meaningful image and a couple of dollars. Many photo printers offer home delivery and online ordering to simplify the process even more.

Lottery Tickets

Give the gift of hitting it big! Everybody loves a card full of quick-picks, or a collection of scratch tickets. Lottery companies usually release holiday-themed tickets around the holidays, and can be had for as little as a dollar each. If you’re late to the Christmas party or are just looking for something special to fill a greeting card, give your gambling-age giftee a lottery ticket or two.


Though it is a bit of a cliche at this point, giving the gift of socks is always practical and appreciated. I mean, who doesn’t need a new pair of socks? Plus, they’re available all over and can easily be bought on sale. Socks come in all sorts of expressive colors and feature an endless array of designs which make them even more fun and customizable.


Tickets to local events and attractions are available at a range of price points and are a great option to give those that seemingly have everything. Experiences never go out of style, though they’re rarely ever gifted. So gift wrap an exciting adventure with amusement park admission passes, a night out at a local concert, or live sports.


Indoor greenery has been shown to boost your mood, lower stress, and even reduce fatigue. Houseplants are great gifts too! Though they aren’t for everyone, those that like them will always welcome more. Keep in mind though, that some house plant species may be toxic to pets. Something to keep in mind in case the person on your christmas list has a dog or a cat.2

A Scratch Poster

Themed scratch posters are available in a variety of types and styles and can be incredibly cheap. These semi-personalized gifts are a fun art piece that act as a practical way to work through your movie, video game, or date-idea backlog while also brightening up any room with a frameful of memories. For under $15, you could give the gift of 100 experiences.3

Pet Toys

Pet owners always light up when people think about their pets, and dog toys can be had on the cheap. If the person on your gift list has a pet, why not put together a budget-friendly pet care package. Treats, toys, and pet supplies go on sale all the time too. So be sure to add the local pet store to your christmas shopping list for yet another avenue to save this year.

Tea Variety Pack

Tea variety packs aren’t only great for avid tea drinkers. A pre-assembled collection of teas of various tastes and caffeine strengths is always useful to have on hand to serve visitors. More than just affordable, tea boasts an impressively long shelf life. Better yet, pre-packaged holiday variety packs or custom-assembled tea collections can fit in just about every budget.4


If all else fails, give them sugar. Joking aside, who doesn’t like to indulge in something sweet around the holidays. Though it may be true that no two palates are alike, most people will gladly accept a fancy box of bonbons. You should have no problem finding a few boxes on sale ahead of the holiday season too.

The Wrap Up

Surviving the most wonderful time of the year, and the ensuing credit card bill, can seem like a full time job. Navigating the sales, and securing the trendiest toys amounts to a full time job. There is another way. By getting creative with your gift ideas, and searching the internet for great ways to save, you can keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket.

There are countless other ways to save big around the holidays too. You can stock up on discounted cards, gift wrapping, and decorations after Christmas. You can move beyond the mall and thrift your gifts instead.

And, whatever you do, don’t forget to keep searching online for even more tips, tricks, deals, and ideas.

Christopher Brown