Skip to Content

17 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas and Discounts

17 Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas and Discounts

How to do Christmas Gifts on a Budget

Spending thousands on gifts might not be in the budget, you might not be creative, crafty or even have the time to make gifts, so what can you do?

Here is a list of gift ideas that you can either buy with a discount or are quick and simple to make.

This post does contain some affiliate links for products and services I use. Read my full disclosure here.

Gifts To Buy

Before you even start shopping, register for the cashback programs.

You sign up, download the app and add the button to Chrome, then whenever you’re shopping it will pop up to tell you how much cash you can get back.

Click to activate the offer then shop away.

Our favourite cashback programs are CashRewardsShopback and Honey

You can sign up for all of them but only activate one at a time.

Next, make sure you are signed up for all the reward programs for everywhere you’re shopping to take advantage of getting points, freebies etc.

Check out our list here.

Also, plan your shopping. If you’re great with a credit card and have a budget, maximise your reward points with it this time of year.

ONLY do this if you’ll be able to pay it off.

You do not want to end up with a huge debt after Christmas you can’t afford to pay off.

Set your budget for gifts and stick to it.

Get Discounts on Everything

Before you start shopping there are things you can do to get discounts on everything.

Check out how to stack discounts so you can save more.

As well as how to get a discount on everything.

These 9 frugal habits save thousands.

And lastly, keep checking out the freebies page to see what you can get for free to give as a gift.

Experiences

We love experiences in our family, whether it be paintball or an event such as a recent trip to Oz Comic Con, experiences create incredible memories and are thoroughly enjoyed.

Plus, they don’t need to be expensive.

1. Groupon

I’m a huge advocate for experience-based gifts because we all have so much stuff and time with my kids is important to me.

One year for someone’s birthday I got a bunch of experiences through Groupon including a float tank voucher, an escape room experience and similar things for $20 to $30 per experience!

They were stoked and it was well within my budget.

This year, I am looking at the trampoline places, a Ninja Warrior gym experience, massage vouchers and a few similar things.

2. Experience Sites

There are a few experience sites, they aren’t typically frugal but if you get gift cards when on sale or look for opportunities for cash back, you can get some great deals.

My best tip for this is to buy gift cards when they are discounts, use them in the Black Friday sales and make sure you have cash-back apps activated too.

This is how I get the best discounts through experience sites.

Gift Boxes and Subscriptions

You need to really know what someone wants or loves before doing a subscription.

Not all subscriptions need to be for the whole year or even that expensive. Some offer an upfront discount.

3. Subscriptions

Subscription boxes usually work out cheaper for items than buying them individually.

You can subscribe for yourself throughout the year and use some of the items for gifts or look for discounts for subscriptions for your friends and family.

Alcohol

With alcohol, always check if the person actually drinks or only gift it if you know for sure.

Some people don’t drink for religious reasons, others for health reasons and some due to alcoholism.

While it is appreciated by those who do drink, this is a gift to be given with caution.

4. Wine, Beer, Cocktails etc

A popular gift at any time, you can get cocktail mixes, craft beers, wine and other alcoholic options as hampers or individual items.

VINOMOFO has up to 70% off RRP regularly plus incredible sales at other times.

Good Pair Days is a wine subscription service which can be personalized and comes with a $200 gift when you sign up.

Other Gift Bargains

5. Tea

I’m a tea drinker so this is one I love. T2 has a selection of teas which are divine and often have great discounts.

Plus if you join their loyalty program you get 10% off your first purchase.

6. Books

Amazon is my favourite place to get books because it’s usually cheapest and I have Prime so it is delivered the next day.

Check out 23 books that will change your life for some book ideas.

I have gifted my favourite books at times and they have become favourites of others.

Be sure to look at Big W and similar though as they have newly released books well below RRP.

Their clearances can be amazing for gifts too.

7. Perfume

This is something I love getting and have received 3 beautiful fragrances in the last year.

We look for sales throughout the year and sometimes get the gift packs as they can often be a good deal.

8. Practical Items

I love things I wanted to buy but haven’t or that will save me money in the long term.

We created a Google Doc to use throughout the year.

Everyone has access and can update what we want so it is easy to buy presents.

Pinterest boards work well for this too.

Having what we wanted listed (and my wants are usually practical) makes it easy.

It’s also something I can share with others, such as the grandparents when they ask.

9. Craft Pack

My kids love doing all sorts of crafts.

Collect various items such as paints, glitter, stickers etc and put them all in a big shoe box (you can ask shoe stores if they have spares) and decorate it.

Many craft items can be bought cheaply at cheap shops or even op shops.

Kmart and Big W often have massive clearances throughout the year so stock up then too.

10. Photo Gifts

My parents asked for a USB with photos of my kids and I because I am hopeless at printing or sending pics.

Another option is to put photos on wood which my Mum did one year and my kids have them hanging in their room.

Make Gifts

Gifts which are homemade can be extremely lovely and thoughtful.

They don’t all need to take a long time to make either. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Food

Food gifts are often the easiest for people to do.

You can be as simple or as fancy as you like.

Be sure to check allergies or dietary requirements for anyone you are gifting to and stick to their needs strictly.

11. Baked Goods

Brownies, cake, biscuits, breads, scones, slices or any other baked good goes down well.

Make a basket of treats or do a few things on a plate.

If you bake a few options you can easily get a few presents out of an afternoon of baking.

12. No Cook Food Gifts

Recipes in a jar can be anything from a slice and cookie through to spiced rice, curry and other mixes.

Create herb mixes from your own garden if you have them or dry chillies.

Have a look at 9 things to grow to save money for some ideas on what to grow and what to give.

13. Jams and Sauces

Jam is easy to make in the microwave if you want to.

Alternatively, lemon curd, fruit sauces and similar are all popular and don’t take long to make. 

Find recipes for this in my ebook 26 Ingredients.

Non-Food DIY Gifts

Whether you’re crafty or not, there are things you can make with a little effort which are affordable.

14. Body Products

Bath bombs, body scrubs, bath salts and other body products are easy to make, often with things you have in your pantry.

Used coffee grounds mixed with oil and sugar can make the best body scrub.

Do a quick search for some recipes for gifts, package them in jars and you can have a lovely gift for less than a beauty hamper in the shops.

15. Make Cushions

A cushion is a great first sewing project for anyone. We have a tutorial here.

My kids loved making their own cushions and you can even personalise them like this one.

16. Jewellery

With loads of tutorials online you can make your own jewellery with a few tools.

Beads, wires and crystals, gemstones or leather are all popular options.

17. Coupon Book

As lame as it sounds to some, creating a gift card or coupon book to be redeemed for different things can be really appreciated.

My kids did it one year for me and yes, they followed through with the coupons they made.

Plus as an added bonus, they still do some of those things years later just because they enjoyed them. 

What gifts are you giving or do you want this year?

For more ways to make and save money follow us on social media:

The Thrifty Issue Facebook Page
The Thrifty Issue Facebook Group
The Thrifty Issue Instagram

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.