Budgets for holiday gifts can be tight this season. But that doesn't mean you can't give your loved ones a meaningful token of affection. Our list of frugal gifting ideas under $10 have items that say a lot but cost little. Most of these are available online at websites like Blair.com and Amazon.com.
Reading and entertainment: Visit in the Hacienda Crossings Shopping Center to pick up bookmarks, artsy journals made of handmade paper, puzzle books, cell phone holsters, bumper stickers with clever one-liners and other ingenious items that are useful, yet don't burn a hole in the wallet. If your friend is a book-lover, you could get them paperbacks in mint condition from a second-hand bookshop or a thrift store. You can also check out , a story with a lot of fun little items for the art lover in your family.
Home decor: Add a sparkle to the homes of your loved ones with gifts like a hand-painted glass candle holder with a pack of scented candles, chrome-plated napkin holders, coasters or a set of room freshener bottles in warm winter fragrances. If the person has a green thumb, consider buying flowering plants, a pot with assorted herbs or useful garden decorating items like stained glass aqua globes that can keep houseplants watered for up to two weeks at a time. There's also ceramic bird feeders. in the Hacienda Crossings Shopping Center also has a large selection of these items. Also try and TJMaxx.
Kitchen items: So, Black Friday sales are over and maybe you missed getting that fancy hand blender you planned to give to your friend who's setting up her apartment. But you can still give her (or him) something memorable for the kitchen. Ditch the gadget. Think green. Go for a handmade reusable shopping bag or encourage her to reuse plastic bags by giving her a chic stainless steel plastic bag holder. Bamboo products like steamers and stylish VerTerra dinnerware made from biodegradable materials are great for one-time use, picnics and barbeques. You could also give her useful kitchen items like tray organizers and dish racks.
Bath and Body: There's a range of products to choose for pampering the body. Bath and Body Works has affordable gift sets under $10, including lip gloss, moisturizers and body mists, as well as shave and shower gels. Supermarket chains like and drug stores like Walgreens have some great deals, too. Select three or four of your favorite body and bath items, pack them creatively in a basket, throw in some ribbons or dried flowers, and voila, you've got yourself a pretty gift without breaking the bank.
Food: Holidays are the perfect time to sit around the fire or the barbeque pit (as soon as the rain lets up) with family and friends and chomp on goodies while exchanging stories. Incidentally, there are several food items that can make for enjoyable yet thrifty gifts. Gourmet coffee, herbal tea or cocoa mix from an online site like Door County Coffee or bottles of sparkling cider are some great choices. You could also opt for food gift sets like chocolate chip cookies set, a box of jumbo cashews, cupcake mix kits available at most major department stores or online at sites like DesignerGifts.com.
Hobby stores: People with hobbies or defined areas of interests open up a lot of options for meaningful gift giving. For example, for a person with an interest in makeup and hair, you could gift a professional makeup brush. For an amateur artist, you could choose a sable-hair paintbrush. For a hobby cook, a recipe book. Gardening gloves for an avid gardener and an inexpensive stopwatch or pedometer that performs basic functions for somebody who is just beginning to take up running as a hobby.
Tools: For hands-on people, the best gifts would be something they can take apart and put back together again, or something that will help them do that. For your do-it-yourself friends, get project items like glue guns, inexpensive retractable knives or even a screwdriver bit set from Amazon.com. Watch their faces light up at the thought of using those for their next project.
Travel items: If you have friends or family members who you seem to meet only during the holidays because the rest of the year they're jet setting around the world, you might consider giving them something they could carry easily in a suitcase. Invest in a comfy travel pillow, a foldable reading lamp or a nifty travel blanket and pillow set. Good quality travel water bottles, small quilted bags for storing shaving sets or bathroom items, personalized chrome-plated luggage tags and passport and travel document holders could also be bought for under $10 on websites like Amazon.com.
Office: Let's face it: unless you work from home, the office cubicle is the place where you spend most of the day. Help your loved ones personalize their "second home" by gifting them a creatively wrapped box packed with calendars, pens, desk games like basketball hoops and stress relieving toys. You could also gift them a unique coffee mug or use your skill with paints to gift a hand-painted mug. , a bookstore or online sites like OfficePlayground.com and ThinkGeek.com have a number of choices for brightening up the clutter of the office desk.
Knickknacks for the liquor cabinet: Got a friend who can't stop talking about his wine collection? Get him something for his prized liquor cabinet. Several stores and websites offer tasteful chrome-plated bottle stoppers and creative wine bottle holders for less than $10. Or you could go vintage, with a recycled wine bag from Wine Bag Lady or a Vera Bradley wine wrap set for $11.25. Other options are a box of liquor filled chocolates from CandyWarehouse.com or sober dark chocolate sans the liquor from See's Candies.