Great AFFORDABLE Gift Ideas... Add Your Ideas Here

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by EthansMom, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. EthansMom

    EthansMom <font color=red>spare yourself from asking me to d

    Jul 13, 2003
    With all of the talk here lately about Christmas, I thought it might be nice to start a list of great AFFORDABLE gifts.

    For the sake of argument, try to keep your ideas to $25 or less (retail price without discounts or coupons). And your idea should be a good gift... something you think a recipient would really enjoy.

    I'll start.

    I've been looking out for a cool new Lego set for Christmas for DS7 who is a Lego fiend. I just happened to run across these two Klutz books both entitled "Lego Crazy Action Contraptions" (; The more expensive book is $21.95 and the less expensive one is available from Amazon for $13.57. They come with some Lego Technic pieces and include lots of instructions to build cool gadgets by combining the included pieces, other standard Lego pieces, and common household stuff.

    Not only is DS7 going to love this, but it will get much more use than a "build it one time" Lego set for the same money. I'm even stocking up on a couple of the lesser expensive books for birthday parties.

    Two other cute gift ideas that I've seen lately are these card sets: "Loot" ( and "There's a Moose in the House" ( I've seen them both at Target for about $6 and picked up the moose one for DS7. They look hilarious.

    I think it's a bit more challenging to spend less on gifts, but find that there ARE some neat items out there that don't cost a mint.

    So what really great gifts have you found recently for a reasonable price?
  2. Shagley

    Shagley If you don't move when I say "beep beep", I will r

    Mar 11, 2005
    I haven't come up with anything yet, but I am bumping this because I think it's a great idea!
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  4. EthansMom

    EthansMom <font color=red>spare yourself from asking me to d

    Jul 13, 2003
  5. momoftwins

    momoftwins <a href="" targ

    Jan 8, 2001
    I have a DD and DS that are 12.

    When the Aeropostale tee's on sale you can get them for under $10. I will take one of these and combine it in a gift bag with nail polishes $.99 bottles, nail files, and I don't know the name, but I call them toe dividers for when you polish them.

    A colorful journal with a really funky pen is fun. I will put these in a bag with some teen magazines.

    A magazine subscription.

    For the younger tweens, a scarf and hat from a store like Limited Too or Justice or any store that carries the most sparkly ones.

    I actually bought my 12 year old a Hollister bag (it only cost $16) that she could carry her school books in. I guess the LLBean backpack with her initials on it was too much for 7th grade:laughing:

    What about their favorite DVD with some candy and popcorn and soda in a gift box. Last year I found some boxes that looked like real popcorn boxes. Why not go to the Dollar Store and get a bowl and put the items in it.

    What a few new board games? DS jborrowed from our neighbors the game of Risk and he loves it.

    I'll have to come back later with more...
  6. MN_Gal

    MN_Gal DIS Veteran

    Jun 9, 2007
    For those who want to give something small, I have taken microwave popcorn packages (individual ones-leave the plastic wrapper on). Cut wrapping paper or themed scrapbook paper to wrap around the middle-adhere. (So it kind of looks like a hershey bar wrapper and you can still see part of the bag).

    Make a tag that says "Just "popping" in (or over) to wish you a Happy Holiday Season!" You can wrap with ribbon or decorate however you wish.

    Sam's has the larger boxes of the micro popcorn for about $5 so it could be a very inexpensive gift. You can attach a personalized note with it.

    There are also some popcorn seasonings mixes that you can google and you could add a small bag of that as well to mix in with hot popped popcorn.
  7. emh1129

    emh1129 <font color=green>I admit, though, that I had Disn

    Apr 10, 2004
    Neat idea for a thread!

    I love to make up a treat basket with local specialties. We have an amazing cider mill nearby, so I'll pick up either regular apple cider or hard cider, some fudge from a local shop, or some nice sharp cheddar cheese and crackers.. Initially I did this for some relatives who were visiting from out of town, but it's really a hit with local relatives, too, because so often we don't buy these treats for ourselves.
  8. EthansMom

    EthansMom <font color=red>spare yourself from asking me to d

    Jul 13, 2003
    My young kids LOVE magazine subscriptions. They are so happy when they have mail in the mailbox. Their faves are Highlights (DS7 gets the regular one and DD4 gets the High Five for younger kids). This year, I thought I'd get them a subscription to National Geographic for Kids.
  9. Mickeypooh99

    Mickeypooh99 DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2008
    The lego books were a great idea. I just went to amazon and added them to my cart. I just wanted to let you know my DS7 and my DS6 love national geographic kids. Also ranger rick is a great magazine for kids.
  10. elsabear

    elsabear Mouseketeer

    Mar 4, 2006
    I like to keep an eye out at Walmart and Target for toy clearance - especially for Lego stuff - Last weekeend I got DS EXO Force and Bionicle for $3 (reg $15 and $20) and a LARGE Mars Mission set that had been $89 for $20 Since his birthday is 1 week before Xmas this really helps!
    I also got MM Clubhouse for my great niece for $10

    A variation on the movie theme - I've gotten small giftcards from blockbuster and given them with popcorn and 1 or 2 movie size boxes of candy from DollarTree
  11. Minnie M6

    Minnie M6 DIS Veteran

    Jan 25, 2008
    On the Lego website, you can get a free subscription to Lego magazine. DS loves to get these in the mail! He also gets National Geographic Kids, which I think is a great magazine :thumbsup2
  12. HLDisney

    HLDisney DIS Veteran

    Oct 25, 2006
    One thing I've done in the past is to do a 12 Days of Christmas gift for kids. Depending on what you buy for each day, it can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want.

    The below list is what I did for my goddaughter and her sister a few years ago. Now that my DD is old enough, I'm thinking of doing it for her this year. The items in parentheses are what I ended up giving or my suggestions for other possible gifts. If you want to keep things inexpensive, you could always substitute appropriate stickers or maybe get used books.

    The line below the song lyrics are the notes I included with each gift. I individually wrapped each gift and numbered them.

    12 Days of Christmas
    A partridge in a pear tree (ornaments)
    I wasn't able to find a partridge in a pear tree but I did find some ornaments for your Christmas tree
    Two turtle doves, (Franklin the Turtle books)
    The doves flew away but left a turtle to take their place
    Three French hens, (2 little chicken stuffed animals)
    I couldn’t find 3 French hens but I hope you’ll settle for 2 chickens
    Four calling birds... (walkie-talkies or you could do something bird-related)
    No calling birds but here’s something for the two of you to use to call each other
    Five golden rings...(necklaces/bracelets)
    No rings but something else you can wear
    Six geese a-laying... (mini erasers, etc, in plastic eggs)
    Look what these geese laid!
    Seven swans a-swimming...(Barbie of Swan Lake book or something swimming-related)
    The swans swam away but left this for you.
    Eight maids a-milking... (2 cow stuffed animals)
    Nine ladies dancing... (Disney Princess markers)
    Hope you like these ladies
    Ten lords a-leaping...(jump rope)
    Here’s something for you to do your own leaping with.
    Eleven pipers piping... (mini slide whistles)
    The pipers ran away with the pipes but hope you like these just as well
    Twelve drummers drumming... (Little Drummer Boy book)
    Here’s a story of a little drummer.

  13. Terry36

    Terry36 DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2007
    These are some good ideas...I will definately do the magazine subscriptions as gifts!
  14. virginiamama

    virginiamama DIS Veteran

    Sep 8, 2004
    I love the Lego book idea. I read in a magazine about a family who started a tradition of sending some "family favorites" for the year to their out-of-town family members. Just things that they had found during the year that they loved and thought someone else might enjoy. I did this for a cousin of mine and she loved it. It was 2 years ago, and the things I got her were a great conditioning lip treatment that I had become addicted to, a great nail polish topcoat, Reynolds Release Wrap, Pledge Multisurface cleaner and a spice mixture that we really enjoyed. Everything was useful or consumable, that way nobody has to find new storage places for more stuff. In the article I had read, they made it a family effort and the kids got really involved with choosing what was to be included each year and they were able to make an event of choosing the items, shopping, and assembling the boxes for packaging. I included a copy of the article so that the gift would make sense, and the funny thing was that my cousin had read the same article and thought it was a great idea.
  15. 3goofyboys

    3goofyboys Me and my 3 goofy boys

    Apr 14, 2008
    In the past I've made homemade goodie baskets for people. I've included things like homemade cocoa mix, cookies, homemade marshmellows, snack mix, ect. Those are always super cheap and a huge hit!

    This year, I'm going to put together some hot cocoa kits. I'll buy an inexpensive mug, put in some flavored hot cocoa packets and add some hand dipped chocolate spoons. I might do the same thing with tea packets and lollipop dipped spoons. I'm thinking I can do each mug for well under $10.
  16. sarahlovesmickey

    sarahlovesmickey <font color=darkorchid>I could probably make Shake

    Mar 9, 2006
    what I have done for some friends here at work is buy a huge bag of mini pretzels, then buy some good milk chocolate, and some cute Christmas tins from say BigLots, Walmart, or the dollar store. Melt the milk chocolate and dip the pretzels in the chocolate and put them on wax paper to harden. Before the chocolate completely hardens, you can put holiday colored sprinkles on them! Line the tin with wax paper and put the pretzels in it and put a bow on the tin.

    Also a good cheap idea is to get the BIG pretzel sticks, and dip one end of them in the chocolate then dip them in chopped nuts or mini M&Ms. These are a huge hit!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can even do white chocolate and add red or green food coloring to make them even more festive!
  17. liveforthemagic

    liveforthemagic DIS Veteran

    Feb 2, 2005
    I'm going to try the pretzel rods this year. At end of year last year, I got clear glass jars with red pointsettas on them from Walmart--I think they were $1 ea on clearance. They are just tall enough to let the large pretzel rods stand up. Then I'll tie a bow and DD is making red and green potholders to attach to the bow. We give homemade gifts to each sibling family--rather than buy gifts for all the grownups.

    For girls, Snorta and Life seem to be popular board games with the girls ages 10 or so here. I haven't priced them yet, but they couldn't be more than $20. Nice pair of gold earrings, cute pair of jammies, cd's, maybe a book of the month club (like Nancy Drew mysteries), possibly a team hoodie, if they play basketball or volleyball. I'm not sure if you can get that under $20, but I'm looking into that.

    For boys, gift cards seem to work well for older kids. Batting gloves. T shirts of favorite team. Last year, we had our son's name and number applied to a new bat bag--the bat bag can be expensive. But the actual application was $15. I'm sure embroidered letters are much more--but its an idea. I have a hard time finding good ideas for my DS13--so anybody else, chime in!

    My sister has little boys (3 & 4) and she just told me they really like the games that go with Leapsters, and they are coming out with alot of new games, and they are around $20 she says. Also, Hot Wheels, a garage for Hot Wheels, or those little race tracks, are all around $20 or less and on her list.

    Every year, we have the parents talk to their kids and get them to put together a list of what they'd like. This year, we've also put a limit of $20/child for gift giving. The wish lists are e mailed to all the parents, and whenever someone buys something, they just e mail the mom and tell them to scratch it off their list. IT works pretty well--and helps keep Christmas affordable!:santa:
  18. FINFAN

    FINFAN Mom to Tinkbell

    Apr 30, 2001
    live comedy DVD's. You have to check which will be age appropriate, but many are under $15 and are easy to ship, wrap, return..:lmao:
    give the gift of laughter!
  19. Kat73

    Kat73 DIS Veteran

    Aug 11, 2008
    Oh what a good thread topic!

    Okay, I got a really great birthday present last year and have to share it because I'm totally going to use it in the future. My birthday happens to fall a couple weeks before my annual Florida Feb. trip, and my BFF took complete advantage of it.

    She gave me a little travel bag for my trip and it was so cute and thought out! She purchased one of those $10 small tote bags they're always selling at Target, in a cute pattern that she knew I'd like. And stuffed it full of "stuff for the plane ride" : packs of gum, yummy trail mix, magazines, etc. It even included a small gift card for the Starbucks in the airport.

    It was such a wonderful gift, and worked out really well. I used the little bag every day on the beach .
  20. mebfalcon

    mebfalcon Mouseketeer

    Sep 10, 2005
    I have to tell you about this great new game we've played called Bananagrams. We got it from a specialty toy store for $15. It's kind of like scrabble but easier. I know kids as young as 6 play but that's pretty young. I'd say maybe 8 and up. My kids are 11 and 14 and we all love it. In fact my daughter and I were in a tournament....we didn't win but got a few prizes!

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