cheap gift ideas for christmas
Gift shopping doesn't always have to cost a fortune, sometimes the best things in life are free. Source: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/North America/Getty Images via AFP

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — and more so when you check out these cheap gift ideas for Christmas that’ll wow your friends and family.

While it’s known as the most wonderful time of the year, the Christmas gift-shopping experience can be not so … pleasant — especially if you’re a cash-strapped student.

Do a quick Google search and you’ll notice an exhaustive list of gift ideas for those on a budget. While it may fit your financial position, many do not fit what your friends and families want. A smart mug? Lame. Socks? Practical, but oh so boring.

This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a gift that’s cheap and meaningful. With a little bit of creativity, effort and planning, you’ll be able to find the perfect gift for your friends and family alike.

Plus, not everything has to be bought either. If time is on your side, there are plenty of DIY and cheap gift ideas for Christmas that you can make and call your own. 

gift ideas for christmas

Get your loved ones an unforgettable gift under US$15. Source: Isabel Infantes/AFP


Check out these cheap gift ideas for Christmas that you, a broke student, can whip up this festive season: 

For the homebodies: 

True introverts love staying home. They want nothing more than to cosy up on the couch with things that add to their space as the cold weather — or sweltering heat if you’re in Australia or New Zealand — rolls around.

Admit it, who doesn’t like things that can give your home a little extra comfort and warmth? Other than candles and a weighted blanket, your home-loving friend will thank you for these personalised gift ideas for Christmas: 

  • 12” screen magnifier: The perfect gift for movie buffs. Not only does it double the size of your screen, but this screen magnifier is also foldable too so they can watch movies anywhere and everywhere. Get it on Amazon today at a discounted US$13.95.  
  • DIY leather plant hangers: A free gift idea that requires a bit of time, effort and creativity. If your loved one is a plant parent, learn to DIY a leather plant hanger for them! Follow Martha Stewart’s step-by-step guide on how to make one. 

For food lovers:

We all know someone who’s both a gourmand and loves to cook or bake. This holiday season, give the foodies in your life a thoughtful gift that’ll blow them away. 

  • Microwavable bacon grill: Cooking bacon can be greasy (literally). Gift your loved one this microwavable bacon grill (US$10.32) which allows you to cook four to six strips of bacon. Designed to keep bacon elevated so fat drips off, your family and friends alike will thank you for making their breakfast a healthier one. 
  • Two-in-one microwave mat and cover: This US$13.99 multipurpose device is perfect for those who love to cook everything simultaneously. The mat can also be used as a dishwashing mat while the cover can also be used to wash fruits and vegetables. 
  • First-time cook starter kits: Get a mason jar, put in rice, garlic, egg and scallions for a fried rice starter kit. You can tweak it to the favourite meals of your not-so-kitchen-savvy friends.

For those who aren’t gift people:

gift ideas for christmas

Give your friends who are missing home a taste of their favourite home-cooked meal. Source: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

While there are those who love gifts, there are others who don’t have preferences or just aren’t gift people. It’s a challenge to buy for them but the following cheap gift ideas for Christmas fuse ingenuity and a budget conscience that may just crack a smile from the recipient:

  • Cook their favourite home-cooked meal: As they say, “The simplest way to the heart is through food.” If you have friends who are away from their family this holiday season, cook up their favourite meal from back home! You’d be surprised how meaningful it will be for them to be able to get a taste of home. Check out this website for recipes around the world
  • Create a Spotify playlist: Let them know you’re thinking of them from anywhere in the world with a curated Spotify playlist. Just throw in your favourite songs, songs that remind you of them or even some new song recommendations!
  • Feng shui consults: Is your friend a big fan of feng shui? Gift them a feng shui consult — one questions costs just US$5.