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50+ Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas Your Family Will Love

Can you believe we’re already a week into September?! 

It may already be starting to cool down a bit when you live, and Fall/Christmas decorations are on grand display in the stores.

You’ve probably also noticed the cost of everything has gone up significantly too. 

With just a few months left until Christmas, now is the perfect time to start thinking about gift plans for the holidays.

And if your budget for the holidays isn’t what it used to be, no need to worry!

There are lots of affordable gift options that will delight your family and friends. Let’s get right into these 50+ ideas.

1. Cookies

Christmas cookies are a timeless staple for the holidays and always well-received by my friends and relatives. 

I enjoy making chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies from scratch every year. 

The Dollar Tree has cute Christmas themed tins that hold a dozen small cookies nicely. 

Or if you don’t have time to bake, you can purchase the famous Danish style butter cookie tins for $1.25.

2. Yankee candle car jar air fresheners

There’s nothing like getting into your car and enjoying the scent of a fresh Yankee candle.

These Car Air Fresheners are a little over $4 each and will have your gift recipient’s car smelling amazing 30 days or more after Christmas.

3. DIY Christmas Ornaments

What a better way to celebrate Christmas than to gift a beautiful handmade ornament?

This is a great opportunity to get creative and customize your gift for each loved one.

But if you’re not much of a crafter, than check out this Dollar Tree DIY Ornament video. There are 30 ideas that will cost you next to nothing to make.

4. Notebook of recipes you are known for

For this gift, you can purchase a little notebook from anywhere that is affordable. Decorate the cover to look Christmas-themed.

Write a nice note on the first page and then fill the next several pages with your favorite recipes. 

If you don’t feel like writing each recipe out by hand, print them and glue to the notebook pages.

5. Homemade jam

A classic gift that can be enjoyed for months after Christmas.

If you’re a little nervous about canning or have never done it before, check out this easy strawberry freezer jam recipe.

6. ChapStick or lip balm

In the words of ChapStick, “Give the gift of happy lips.”

7. Books

This is a versatile gift that you can customize for each family member. There’s a book for literally everything.

First check your Buy Nothing Facebook group for free books. If your city has a Little Free Library, you can take books from there (as long as you replace them).

You can also find books for super cheap at yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores, and even used on Amazon.

8. Homemade canned salsa

This gift will require a little more work than the jam idea, as you will have to go through the canning process.

But salsa is very affordable to make, and you can do batches of mild salsa and hot salsa depending on who likes spicy foods. 

9. Packets of Seeds

Wildflower, fruit, and vegetable seeds make wonderful Christmas gifts that can be enjoyed once they are planted! 

You can gift them in containers such as sachets, jars, and envelopes. Decorate to be festive and include a nice note.

There are many resources you can reach out to for free seeds. Check your local library, Buy Nothing Facebook group, gardening groups, and your local city/county governments for seeds.

10. Homemade hot cocoa mix

There’s nothing like a fresh cup of hot cocoa on Christmas day. 

Did you know that you can make homemade hot cocoa with just a few affordable baking ingredients?

Check out this amazing hot cocoa mix recipe that makes a large batch of up to 18 cups of cocoa.

11. Mugs

This one is great to go along with the hot cocoa mix!

You can get festive mugs for cheap from Dollar Tree or thrift stores.

12. Christmas quick bread

Who doesn’t like a fresh baked banana bread or cinnamon bread during the holidays?

Quick breads are super easy and inexpensive to make.

You can purchase a $2 loaf pan from Walmart and gift bread right in the pan. Wrap it in plastic with a festive bow and include the recipe.

13. Head/back scratcher

The USAGA scalp massager is a fantastic self care gift costing just under $6 on Amazon. It will send tingles down your spine – in the good way!

You can also purchase back scratchers in packs very inexpensively.

14. Chocolate Truffles

Homemade chocolate truffles are so delicious and can be beautifully packaged for Christmas gifts.

15. Christmas Candy

Reese’s peanut butter trees, anyone? Candy is always a great gift for those with a sweet tooth.

16. Pressed flowers

If you have a flower garden or access to wildflowers nearby, this will be a completely free gift.

17. Cookie or brownie mix in a jar

This can make a really nice gift and the presentation is stunning. 

Layer the dry ingredients for cookie or brownie mix in a quart sized jar. Then, write the baking instructions on a tag and tie to the jar.

18. Lottery Tickets

This is one of my favorite gifts on the list! You can buy $1 or $2 lotto tickets and see who wins the most money.

19. Caramel apples


These can handmade or purchased in large quantities very inexpensively. I love these bookmarks with pretty inspirational quotes.

21. Scented bar soap

This is such a good, practical Christmas gift. You can make it yourself or purchase a nice bar of soap, take it out of the container, and decorate/wrap it in a more festive way.

22. Mini hand sanitizer

Everyone can use one of these for their purse or work desk. Hand sanitizer keyring holders make great gifts, too.

23. Simmer pot sachet

Have you ever made a simmer pot before? If not, a simmer pot is an all-natural air freshener made by boiling water with herbs, spices, and fruit rinds.

There are tons of simmer pot recipes you can find and make with the fruits and spices you already have at home.

Gift the simmer pot contents in a cute sachet, write the instructions on a gift tag, and tie with a cute ribbon.

24. Chocolate covered pretzels

These are an easy homemade option. Grab a bag of pretzels from Dollar Tree for $1.25 and some melting chocolate and you’re good to go!

You can make white, dark or milk chocolate pretzels and decorate with festive sprinkles (if the budget allows).

25. Socks!

This is a go-to frugal gift of mine. I’ve never had anyone complain about getting cozy Christmas socks.

These socks are so cute and festive for under $4 a pair.

26. Sugar scrub

This is the perfect body exfoliant and a great homemade gift! Sugar scrubs are super easy to make and only require a few ingredients.

You can even make sugar scrubs that are Christmas scented like sugar plum, gingerbread, and orange.

For money saving purposes, here’s a simple sugar scrub recipe.

27. Small house plant

A small herb plant or succulent costs under $5 at Walmart and can be enjoyed for years to come.

28. Homemade Soup

I cannot think of anything more comforting during the winter time than a nice hot bowl of homemade soup.

If you want to gift jars of soup that will last – vegetable soups, chicken soups, and meat-based soups are safe to can using a pressure canner. 

29. Scented candle

30. Small painting

This is a great gift to make yourself or find for cheap at a garage sale.

31. Kitchen towels

I LOVE receiving kitchen towels as a gift because it helps me to use less disposal paper products! 

Plus, you can get super cute festive kitchen towels at Dollar Tree and thrift stores all the time.

32. Homemade fudge

33. Picture frame with a nice memory

This is a very thoughtful gift you can put together for almost nothing.

Walgreens has free photo deals all the time and you can purchase cute frames at Dollar Tree.

34. Christmas Popcorn tin

Have you seen the popcorn tins at Walmart with the cute puppies or Santa Claus pictures on them? They usually have butter, caramel, and cheese popcorn flavors.

This is a great gift for the whole family to share on Christmas Day at around $6 a tin. I have been gifting them for years.

35. Candied nuts

There’s nothing more festive for Christmas than fresh candied pecans or almonds. Making these takes minimal effort with ingredients you probably already have at home.

36. Slippers or slipper socks

You’ll have to know shoe sizes for this one, but everyone can use an extra pair of cozy slippers in the winter!

37. Umbrellas

This gift is a bit unique, but can be used by everyone!

38. Hand lotion

Lotions make perfect gifts keep in your purse, at work, or in the car all year round.

I have found small hand lotions on clearance at Walmart for under $1. You can also grab Dove lotion or many different scented lotions at Dollar tree.

39. Peppermint/chocolate bark

Another homemade gift that is sure to delight! 

If you’re short on time, Dollar Tree sells cute boxes of peppermint bark for just $1.25.

40. Calendars

There are tons of companies, realtors, and nonprofits that give away calendars for free. 

I received a calendar from the Humane society that was puppy themed, and you better believe I am going to regift it! 

41. Homemade spice mix

This one is so easy and might even be free if you have the spices and a jar.

Check Pinterest for tons of spice mix recipes and free printable labels.

42. Compact mirror

Another great purse gift you can get for super cheap.

You can also get a mirror that comes with makeup like eyeshadow or blush.

43. Plushies/stuffed animals

44. Book of stamps

This gift is great if your family member has a pen pal or has an event coming up where they will have to send out thank you cards.

45. Drink coasters

A perfect gift for all of the amazing Christmas beverages we drink!

46. Christmas Chex Mix

47. Oven mitts or pot holders

Dollar Tree has amazing options for these.

48. Nail polish

49. Hanging wall sign

These wall signs make such cute home décor! You can gift signs that are Christmas themed or customized for each family member.

50. Dry erase board

Walmart has dry erase boards with a marker for under $4 that are magnetic.

I put mine in the fridge and use it for writing grocery lists, to-do lists, and tracking daily tasks.

51. Tea

For this gift, I like present it one of these ways:

  1. Put a few tea bags in a mug
  2. Put festive tea bags in a plastic bag and tie with a ribbon
  3. Gift a full box of tea


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