For anyone for a larger family, buying Christmas presents can become expensive. The average American will spend $860 on Christmas gifts alone this year. If you do not have the time or energy to DIY all your gifts, we put together a list of frugal gift ideas for every age group that you could be buying for.
Baby/Toddlers (6 and Younger)
Crayola Bathtub Finger Paint Soap: $1.42 a tube at Wal-Mart – bathtub finger paint soap makes an excellent gift for several reasons. Every young child is going to love painting the tub (and themselves) with the paint, which is available in four different colors: green, blue, yellow, and red. Not only is it fun finger paint, but it’s also soap. The kids will be able to “paint themselves clean”, which the parents will love.
Coloring Books/Activity Books: $1.00 at most dollar stores ($2.00 if you include a pack of crayons) – coloring/activity books are a fun present for every young child. Coloring books will keep the child engaged and also help develop motors kills, plus the parents will love to display their child’s unusual artwork.
Young Children (7 – 12)
Yo-Yo: less than $5.00 from Amazon.com – yo-yos are a classic children’s toy that kids still love today. Kids will spend hours playing with their new yo-yo as they try and master several different yo-yo “tricks”. There are hundreds of colorful yo-yos to choose from.
Foam footballs/basketballs: $5.00 from Wal-Mart – foam footballs, soccer balls, basketballs, etc. are excellent for getting the kids out in the yard playing and not sitting in front of the TV. Foam balls are also much safer when the kids are playing inside.
Kids (13 – 18)
Bluetooth Headphones: $15 – $20 from Amazon.com – just about every teenage spends countless hours playing on their phone, tablet, or computer, so get them a present they can use with them. Don’t think you have to spend $100 buying a good pair of Bluetooth headphones. For less than $20, you can buy them a pair they will love (and their parents will love the silence).
Gift cards: prices varies on your frugalness – because teens know what they want better than we do, buy them an iTunes gift card or one to their favorite store. If you don’t know what stores they love, you can purchase a preloaded card that can be used at just about any store. These are a simple, cheap, and safe present idea; it seems more personable than giving cash, and you if you are savvy, you can get gasoline rewards when you purchase them.
College-Age (19 – 23)
Coffee French Press: $15 from BedBathandBeyond – college students live on coffee, why not give them a gift that they will use. French presses won’t take up much space in a dorm room and make excellent (and strong) coffee for those all-night study sessions.
Business Card Holder: $4 on Amazon.com – this is a gift almost no college student would ever think of, but it can be critical. College is a time that students should be making key contacts for their future. Giving them a nice business card holder will not only give them a place to keep those business cards crisp and clean but could also give them the motivate to go out and make those connections.
Young Adults (24 – 35)
Investments: price varies depending on investment – we know it doesn’t sound like the most exciting present, but anyone this age understands the value of a dollar. One of the best gifts you can give them is a boost in their investment journey. You don’t have to shovel out $500+ to make an investment for your loved ones. With peer-to-peer lending sites, you can begin investing for someone for as little as $25. If you’re unfamiliar with peer-to-peer lending, there are several “how-to” articles to get you started.
Potted plant: $20 or less at Home Depot – potted plants are an excellent gift to rejuvenate someone’s porch, living room, or kitchen. Plants like bamboo or cactus are cheap, caring, and low-maintenance Christmas gifts to give any young adult or recent college graduate.
Adults (36 – 60)
Interesting Bottle Stoppers: $15 or less – there are a million unique bottle stoppers that you can buy on the Internet that will work perfectly for your loved ones. If you’re buying a stopper for someone from a different state, buy him or her a stopper in the shape of their home state; it’s a cheap and thoughtful gift they will love.
Board Games: typically $10 or less – board games are a Christmas present that can get the whole family playing together. You can buy classic board games that the whole family knows and loves like Monopoly, Risk, or Clue.
Older Adults (61+)
Digital Picture Frame: $20 – $25 from Amazon.com – digital picture frames are easy to setup and can hold a dozen of high-quality images. While some digital picture frames can cost $100 or more, you can find plenty of decent frames for $25 or less. You can have to go ahead and load all your precious family memories, so they have an instant gift to put up in their home.
Blanket or quilt: $5 – $15 from just about anywhere – blankets or quilts are excellent “go to” options for any elderly person you are buying gifts for. If you want to make the gift more personable, you guy have a blanket printed with a special photo or memory on it. If you want an even cheaper option, you can make the blanket or quilt yourself.