How to have a simplified Christmas

Ultimate Thrifty Gift Giving Ideas

This article may contain compensated links. Read the full disclosure.

Gift giving can be expensive, especially if you have a big family, with birthdays and other various special occasions through the year. It does not take long for it all to add up and hurt the bank balance.

Thankfully there are plenty of ways to save a few dollars along the way with these thrifty gift giving ideas:


1. RECYCLE PACKAGING – Gift bags, tissue paper, ribbon and other bits and bobs can often be reused for future gifts. Just try not to give them back to the person who gave them in the first place if you can remember (even though they probably won’t either) and it has it’s limits. Torn up wrapping paper stuck on like patch work is going a tad too far on the thrifty savings. Unless that’s your thing.

2. DIY – Always a fabulous money saver and that extra but person making handmade and DIY gifts for loved ones. Most people love a bit of DIY as it shows the effort that has gone in.

3. SHOP SALES – Think ahead throughout the year and you could pick up some mega bargains along the way to save big for the people you are gifting. Some gifts are good to have on standby for a range of people to save that last minute rush to the store, spending more than necessary.

4. RE-GIFT – Again you need to be a little careful here. The last thing you want to do is re gift to the person who gave to you. But re-gifting can be a great way to be super thrifty and declutter your house at the same time.

5. EXPERIENCES – Instead of spending a wad of cash on a gift that may end up being a dust collector, consider giving the gift of an experience. Depending on the receiver, this could be anything from a 3 course cooked meal, babysitting for a night or a day out at the beach. Experiences don’t have to cost much but the memories being made are priceless.

6. DISCOUNT GIFT CARDS – There are plenty of ways to score discounted gift cards for various department and speciality stores. Often there are online deals to save perhaps 5% or you can score gift vouchers close to expiry for cheap on websites such as eBay. These can be used to either buy gifts at a bit of a saving or give as gifts, with the value being more than you paid.

7. FOOD – Are you a master in the kitchen? You know what they say about the way to a man’s heart is through their stomach! Some people love food gifts so maybe whip up their favourite dessert or some tasty treats for a cheap but made with love style gift.

Gift giving does not have to cost a fortune. There are thrifty gift ideas to suit everyone on your gift list, keeping both the receiver and your bank balance happy.

Check out my gift guides for every occasion:

Do you have any other thrifty gift tips to share? Would love to hear them. 

29 thoughts on “Ultimate Thrifty Gift Giving Ideas”

  1. Sonia Life Love Hiccups

    I love these ideas Holly and I am such a huge fan of receiving something hand made. Something that has been made especially for me and given with love and I love to give someone else that kind of gift too. have a fabulous weekend hun xx

    1. Thanks Sonia. It’s far more sentimental knowing they took time to plan & create rather than just buy something nice. Enjoy your weekend too x

  2. Jennie @ Little Girl Designs

    I love making handmade items, treats for people, and giving experiences. Hope you have a wonderful weekend! So glad I found your blog! :)

  3. These are some great gift ideas! Thanks so much for sharing them with us. I’m visiting from the Home Matters Party. Have a great weekend!

  4. Leesha @ Living Contently

    These are great tips! I’m always looking for how I can be more frugal when it comes to gift giving. Thanks for the ideas!

  5. Kristen from The Road to Domestication

    I love giving food! Surprise surprise LOL Thanks for joining us at the #HomeMattersParty – we hope to see you again next week! Feel free to bring a friend with you :) Happy Friday! #TGIF

  6. Thanks Leslie. Sounds like you have the food gifts mastered. This is one I need to do more of because nothing says made with love like something yummy.

  7. Tash @ Gift Grapevine

    Great tips Holly – I’m especially a fan of re-using gift wrap and bags plus buying gifts when I see them on sale to pop into my gift cupboard. I often get my tornadoes to make cards. Their artwork is always appreciated and it saves money on buying a card. Same goes for wrapping paper – as much as I love beautiful gift wrap, they can do a lovely job with some butchers paper and paints!

    1. That’s a great idea getting the kids to make cards and decorate the paper. I often use plain old brown paper rolls if I’m out of suitable sizes to recycle and that’s easy to decorate too. My 2 year old isn’t quite at the card making stage but I can’t wait to teach her all that crafty stuff! :)

  8. We reuse gift bags. I have tons stored from Xmas that can be used this year. Love the idea of giving gift experiences. We plan to give vouchers also this year but home made ones so for example, a voucher for a nights babysitting from us they can cash in when they want!

  9. Planning ahead and shopping sales early for presents is how I save on most of my gift giving. I am also a fan of food gifts you can cook something amazing for penny’s on the dollar. Great list of thrifty gifts!

  10. Awesome tips! I’m always big on keeping gift bags and tissue paper and using it again, and making cupcakes for a gift is my back pocket idea!

    1. Nice, cupcakes are the best! It’s great to hear so many others reusing gift wrapping and bags too. The environment thanks us hehe :)

  11. Jen aka Muminthemadhouse

    What a fab frugal gift ideas. Thank you for joining in with #FabulouslyFrugal this week. Please do come back on Sunday to see if you have been features and join in again.

  12. #3 and #7 every time I’m after a thrifty gift. I have things I add to a gift container that sits in the cupboard. It also houses gifts I can give to the kids if they’ve done something extra nice or good. My dad love Pavlova and mum is an Apple pie fan. They get great pleasure out of these food gifts.

    1. Sounds like you have gift giving pretty well mastered. Love that your kids get special treats like that sometimes. They must love it :)

  13. Susan batzloff

    Thanks for the tips! I always buy gifts when I see them, only problem is I forget where I ‘ve hidden them!

    1. Susan, I discovered a Christmas present I had for my daughter in the cupboard all wrapped and ready the other day from the Christmas just gone lol all good as it will be perfect for the new arrivals first Christmas this year instead ;)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *