Personal Finance

10 Christmas gifts that won’t break the bank

Christmas can be costly but there are plenty of gift ideas that won’t break the bank, and are still thoughtful crowd-pleasers.
10 Christmas gifts that won’t break the bank

Christmas can be costly. There's the food, the decorations, the travel...and, of course, the presents. Aussies are planning to spend an average of $893 this Christmas period, according to research from Of that, gifts make up around $400.

But if you want to bring that figure down, there are plenty of gift ideas that won't break the bank, but are still thoughtful crowd-pleasers.

Let's run through a few.

1. Reusable cutlery and crockery: $10 - $30

Aussies are opening their eyes to the single-use plastic problem, which surprisingly, has a simple solution: reusable things.

But while a lot of us know single-use plastic is bad for the environment, some still don't have their hands on reusable items like coffee cups, straws or even bags. And even if we do have them, you can never have too many.

So this Christmas, why not gift your family and friends a reusable coffee cup? You can get one from The Iconic for under $30, or from Frank Green for under $40.

Or what about some beeswax wraps, so your friends can cut down on their plastic food covering? Myer stocks a three-piece beeswax wrap from Ladelle for $29.95.

You can pick up metal straws from Kmart, and a cutlery set for work from Cotton On.

2. A DIY picnic kit: $45

If 2021 taught us anything, it's to never underestimate the power of a good picnic. Having a picnic with friends is a great way to enjoy the sunshine - and the freedom of being outside.

So, with that in mind, you could create a DIY picnic kit for a friend.

You don't need to weave the picnic basket yourself, but purchasing a regular basket from Target, and filling it with a picnic blanket, a few wine glasses and some cushions is an awesome starter pack for your friend's next picnic.

All in all, you're up for around $45.

3. Essential oils or candles: $10 - $50

The holidays are often stressful in and of themselves, but add a global pandemic and various restrictions to the's a testing time.

According to various studies, lavender essential oils have been found to be effective in reducing conditions like anxiety, restlessness, nervousness and disturbed sleep. So, why not gift your loved ones some calming lavender essential oils?

If you're not sure that's their thing, you could opt for a pack of different oils, like this three-pack from The Iconic. Alternatively, if you don't think they have an oil diffuser, you could opt for a candle. These can range from around $10 to around $50 (or more) depending on where you go.

4. An adventure jar: $5

If you're tired of your partner asking you what the plans are for the weekend, you could DIY an adventure idea jar, or a date night box.

This is super simple. All you need to do is purchase a jar, which you can do from Kmart. Then, grab a pen and paper, and start writing some fun things to do on a sheet of paper. Tear off each individual idea, fold it up and put it in the jar. This way, whenever you and your friends or loved ones are struggling for ideas over the holiday season, you can pick one out of the jar.

If you don't want to DIY, Etsy have some affordable pre-made date night boxes.

5. DIY self-care hamper: $20 - $40

Again, 2021 has been tough, and it's really highlighted the need to take time out and care of ourselves - and each other. And what better way to show your friends you care than with a self-care hamper.

This is an easy fix to DIY. You can purchase some bath salts from Chemist Warehouse (around $13), a bath bomb from The Body Shop ($9), some body lotion from Sephora ($6) and a face mask from Mecca ($9).

You can dress up an old shoe box with some tissue paper (for the inside) and wrapping paper (for the outside), and voila!

All in all, this would cost you around $40. However, you can add (or subtract) items depending on your budget.

6. Travel french press: $12 - $40

Everyone's got a coffee-loving friend in their group. And with work kitchens out of bounds due to COVID restrictions, your coffee-loving friend may be spending a lot of money on store-bought coffees to get through.

So, why not gift them a travel press? Some travel presses double as reusable coffee cups, while others are just the press alone.

7. Cocktail kits

Who doesn't love a cocktail?! While the actual alcohol itself can be costly, the condiments that make a great cocktail are often pretty affordable.

You can purchase pre-made infusion mixers for around $20. Or, you can DIY your own. All you'll need to do is look up the best garnishes for a particular cocktail, purchase them, and pack them up in a glass bottle.

Remember, you can always use Pinterest for some inspiration on how to DIY your Christmas gifts.

8. A veggie garden starter kit: $10 - $18

Got a friend or loved one who wants to grow a green thumb, but not sure how? This could be the perfect gift.

Studies show that gardening has surprising health benefits: it reduces stress, build self-esteem and is good for your heart.

So, why not gift a vegetable garden starter kit? Bunnings stocks these for $18. You'll need to add seed raising mix, so either let your friend know or add that to the bundle.

If you're not keen on the veggie garden, Bunnings also stocks a huge variety of plants and pots. And these have massive benefits too: in fact, a study found that in Japan, workers who took three minutes to look at and care for a desk plant were less stressed than they were at the beginning of the trial.

9. A good book: $10 - $40

Good books are crowd-pleasers, but the key is to make sure they're good - and that the recipient actually enjoys reading.

You're generally safe with a book from the New York Times' Bestsellers list. But, if you're not confident in picking a novel, you can opt for a new cookbook, a self-help book, or even a coffee table book.

10. Cook something: Free

Who doesn't love food - especially at Christmas?! Some old-fashioned rocky road, or gingerbread cookies around this time of year definitely won't go astray. Make it look gift-y by putting it in a glass jar, and wrapping some ribbon around it.

It's a bonus if you can make something with the ingredients you already have - so you don't have to spend a thing!

Published on 2021-11-25T00:00+11:00

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