Twelve good, cheap Christmas gift ideas
Don't know what to get your loved ones this Christmas? Here are 12 gift ideas that should make their day without blowing your budget.
It’s Christmas soon and that means hitting the shops to buy presents!
If you're looking for good, cheap Christmas gift ideas for your friends and family, then you've come to the right place. Here are a few ideas from lovemoney.com to get you started.
Add your own using the comments box below!
Stocking filler gifts
Three for two: This widely used offer in the world of retail can fill all of your stockings on the cheap. Boots has some cracking deals including three for two gifts for kids, three for two gifts for her and three for two gifts for him. You can pick and mix to keep the whole family happy.
Cosmetic bargains: Similarly, there are a whole host of sweet-smelling, indulgent bargains available on deep discount site halfpriceprefumes.co.uk. For example, The Pink Cow Strawberry Sundae Body Scrub costs just £1.94 and a duo of funky Bourjois nail polishes will set you back just £1.99.
Sport gifts: If you’d like to give a sportier gift, check out decathalon.co.uk for low cost practical equipment, accessories and clothes. These golf balls are just £4.99. Or for cheap designer brands head to sportsdirect.com, where you can get this Nike exercise headband for £3.
Sexy gifts: Meanwhile, if you’re buying for you girlfriend, wife or - God forbid - your mistress, what could be a better stocking filler than some lingerie? Check out myla.com, bravissimo.com or glamorousamorous.com to get your hands on some super sexy items, without having to brave the high street. Oooh err!
Kitchen gifts: When it comes to kitchen gifts, don’t disregard the almighty online behemoth that is Amazon. There are some great bargains on there- particularly for chefs. For example, this garlic twist was voted the best garlic gadget by our sister site lovefood.com last year, and is still great value at just £12.95. And who could resist this Ninjabread man cookie cutter for just £7.99?
Miscellaneous bargains: Before looking for bargains on eBay, visit fat fingers - a site which sources items listed on eBay with spelling mistakes. These often have fewer bids as fewer people can find them. Perfect for bargain stocking fillers!
Gifts for free
Mixed CDs- this is a nice thoughtful present for friends and family that is really easy to make and will cost you nothing if you have a few spare blank CDs lying around. Just make a personalised playlist using existing tracks in your music library, burn onto a blank CD and create a bit of artwork for that finishing touch. It's a great way to introduce loved ones to some new music or make them smile with some of their favourite tunes.
Maximise those points! Make the most of all those reward points and vouchers you’ve saved up using loyalty schemes. They’re often worth more if you spend them online and not on the high street.
For example, redeem Tesco Clubcard Vouchers for ecoupons and you could use them to pay for jewellery, magazines, theatre shows and lots more, which you could then give as Christmas presents. Boots Advantage Card points also rack up and can help you get a few of those three for two offers.
Save the planet - community websites like Freegle, Freecycle and SnaffleUp encourage people to give away things they no longer need - anything from furniture and electrical goods to baby gear and bicycles.
Sign up and root around for something that would make a good gift. The other day I came across an old (Victorian) writing slope that would, with a bit of TLC, go down a storm with an antiques buff.
Free gifts- Cashback websites can make you money as you spend on gifts, leaving you with the chance to get another gift for free or to sneak in a little something for yourself.- at no extra cost to you with the cashback you earn. We road tested some cashback website online tools that were designed to maximise the amount you earn while you browse. See which did best in BeforeWeBuy, TopCashBack, Voucher Comparison: shopping tools put to the test.
Time vouchers- if you have friends or family that could do with your help babysitting or renovating you could offer your services with some vouchers for your time, redeemable throughout the year or within a month.
Give an experience
However, these tend to cost an arm and a leg, so why not create your own ‘experience day’ to give as a gift instead?
Build it around what your loved one enjoys doing, and go with them for some quality time together as well.
For example, culture vultures might like a backstage theatre tour (the National Theatre runs these for £8.50 per person).
Or for those that love the outdoors and beautiful architecture, what about a trip to a National Trust property?
For the men in your life break from the norm and treat them to the delights of a gentleman’s afternoon tea. It will certainly be an experience!
If you’re short of inspiration, have a look at the Visit Britain website. And if you want to include a meal out in the package, visit Toptable and see if you can get a discount at the restaurant you choose.
Impress her for less
If your significant other is into posh perfume and luxury make-up brands, see if you can get them for less.
There are several specialist comparison sites that will check perfume prices at the big retailers and tell you where you can get the one you want at the cheapest price. Try FragrancesCompared and CheapPerfumeExpert for starters.
If you’re after make-up and hair products as well, check out FeelUnique. The firm offers luxury brands at discounted prices, has free UK delivery and - because it’s based in Jersey - everything it sells is tax-free.
Similarly, if you’re buying for a fashionista, my-wardrobe.com is a great place to look for gorgeous designer clothes at rock-bottom prices. Or if you are sick of hunting around all of the shops for the perfect gift shopstyle.co.uk is a website that will save you trawling if you have something in mind. Search for a black dress for example and it will bring up all the black dresses available in all the high street, catalogue and luxury shops.
But if she is more vintage vixen than high street honey you can avoid the dank, oddly scented second-hand shops and get hold of something unique online. There are a number of great websites like rokit.co.uk and beyondretro.com.
Let’s be honest, most home-cooked gifts are not to be attempted by the time-poor or the kitchen-phobic. However, some foodie presents are really easy and cheap to make, and can make lovely gifts that say: ‘At least I bothered - and I didn’t set the kitchen on fire’.
If you’re no Jamie Oliver, what about these:
Chocolates in a mug: Buy a nice mug, fill it with chocolates (Quality Street are perfect because they’re colourful and wrapped), pop cellophane around the whole thing and tie with some ribbon.
Cookie mix jar: My pint-sized relatives really like this sort of DIY cookery kit. In a nutshell - get all the dry ingredients for making cookies and layer them in a glass jar.
Tie a pretty bow round the top and present with instructions on what they need to add, and what they need to do, to complete the recipe. It should end up looking something like this.
Recipe scrapbook: If your loved one is a fabulous cook - but you can’t face the kitchen - you could make him or her, a recipe scrapbook instead.
Creative hamper: getting a basket and filling it with thoughtful foodie bits can make a great gift. It doesn’t have to be your standard chutneys, jams and biscuits either. If you know someone who loves spicy food you could make a chilli-inspired basket full of a selection of hot sauces, some chill chocolate and chilli oil.
Photo and graphic gifts
Technology can lend a hand to make personalised gifts that don’t cost a fortune.
These days you can get your snaps turned into anything from mouse mats and mugs to chopping boards and iPhone cases.
With Photobox you can even order a personalised jigsaw as a present for your child (or your great-aunt, if you think she’d like one!) Prices start at around £9.99.
Just remember that if you’re getting photos developed as gifts, it’s often cheaper to do it online. Generally the more you print, the cheaper it gets! If you’re a new customer websites like to draw you in with a wad of free prints. Snapfish is one of the cheapest places to go and at the moment you get 20 free prints when you sign up.
For a round-up of the best places to go check out this article: the cheapest photo printing websites.
Unique arts-and-crafty gifts
You can have a lot of fun making things at home for your friends and family. What’s more is that crafting a gift yourself is often more affordable, personal and unique.
Check out Rebecca Rutt’s guide to successfully making homemade presents here.
Alternatively if you’re running out of time try getting a unique home-made gift from Folksy, an online market-place for crafty folk. It stocks everything from jewellery and homeware to book-binding and metalwork.
This article has been updated from an earlier version.
More on Christmas
Christmas on lovefood.com