Inexpensive Gift Ideas


Do you have a few people on your list that have you stumped?

Wouldn’t you like to give a gift that says, “hey, I really thought about what you would like.” (without spending a fortune?)

Here’s some ideas for creating your own custom Christmas gift baskets.

Get inexpensive baskets at your local dollar store, or Factory Card Outlet.

While you’re at the dollar store, see if you can find one ornament to go in each basket. Or a lot of places sell tubs of ornaments at cheap prices. When I go this route, I do try to find an ornament that is special. That is a little more time consuming – and a little more expensive.

You’ll want lots of pretty tissues paper to fill in the baskets and colored plastic wrap to wrap the baskets, especially if you’re including food.

Homemade cookies, treats and truffles are always appreciated. You can put together any combination of things like the popular people chow, covered popcorns, cookies, truffles… You can find hundreds of Chocolate Recipes in this gift to you –

Seasonal kitchen towels are always a good fill in. They get worn after a while. Almost everyone could use some new ones.

Candles are always a good fill in item too. You can get so many wonderful smelling candles. Just don’t buy really cheap candles. They don’t burn well, they release so much soot, and their contents are questionable. Or there are those flameless candles.

Christmas Décor Basket

Put together a couple of pretty ornaments, some towels, maybe a serving plate, and a couple of Christmas scented candles.

Coffee Lovers Basket

Everyone is a coffee lover these days it seems. Make a gift basket with a couple of coffee mugs, some Starbucks, or another quality coffee, and maybe some chocolate dipped spoons, or some homemade cookies. Coffee lovers always need a good travel mug, and maybe a thermos, or thermal pot.

Breakfast Lovers Basket

How about a breakfast gift basket? Include pancake mix,* good quality pure maple syrup, other syrup flavors, precooked bacon, maybe even a griddle. You can include coffees or teas too, depending on how big you want to make it. Banana bread would be nice too.

* When mixing your own pancake mix, mix together the dry ingredients and print out a copy of the recipe to include in the basket

Hair Fanatics Basket

Hair care basket-If you know a young woman who doesn’t have a flat iron yet, or maybe needs a new one -put together a flat iron, heat protectant, and maybe the Pantene Expressions Shampoo and Conditioner for their hair color. You can also add scrunchies and/or a good blow dry brush.

Pampered Fingernails Basket

A quality manicure set, base coat, a couple nail polishes, top coat, cuticle cream, good hand lotion, and some emery boards. If you have a kiosk in your mall selling those nail care blocks, those are a great thing. I’ve had mine for years – and it was a gift. That one is sort of expensive though. Never buy at the first price they give you. If you go to walk away, they always lower the price. Keep at it until you are sure you are at the best price they will give you.

Pedicure Gift Basket

A pumice stone or one of those pedi egg things, some great smelling exfoliating cream, foot cream, cuticle cream.

Body Luxury Gift Basket

A great smelling moisturizing body wash, a couple of those bath puff things, a good moisturizing lotion for the cold winter weather, like Jergens Ultra Healing, and maybe a candle. Yes, you can buy ready made sets, but the stuff is usually low quality, and really – how many people really take baths?

Holiday Chocolate Basket

Get 2 inexpensive mugs, some assorted flavored hot chocolates or coffees, some mint chocolate candy canes, and some holiday candies, cookies, or truffles that you made yourself.

Cookie Towers

Have you seen the price of the cookie gift towers? If you are a cookie baker, put together your own creations!

Wine and Cheese Basket

Wine, cheese, crackers, truffles, and a couple of wine glasses would make a classy basket. One year I got a cheese cutter and a domed serving dish for cheese and crackers. I had it for many years! Be careful with cheese though – most needs to be refrigerated.

Lunch Basket

Know someone who always takes their lunch to work? How about a small cooler instead of a basket? And maybe some plastic containers filled with goodies that they can reuse? Don’t forget a new BPA free water bottle!


English: Plateful of Christmas Cookies

Cookie Bakers Basket

How about a cookie making kit? A cookie shooter or cookie cutters, flour, baking soda, baking powder, a good pure vanilla extract, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. And who can’t use new cookie sheets? I got my cookie shooter for Christmas over 30 years ago, and I still use it.

Golfers Basket

Golf balls, tees, new clean hand towels, and maybe a bottle of St. John’s Wart for their bad mood? How about some trick balls?

Fisherman’s Gift Basket

Hooks and lures. A filet knife. Extra fishing line always comes in handy too.

Gardener’s Gift Basket

Seeds, gloves, and new tools

Car Fanatics Gift Basket

Wax, tire cleaner, and those special micro-fiber drying cloths.

New Driver Gift Basket

Battery cables, tire gauge, flashlight, an extra set of wiper blades, that emergency tire filler stuff, gloves, a blanket, water bottles, and a first aid kit. I’ve heard of people using a candle for light and heat, but you would really have to be careful with that one! I’ve also heard that Twinkies never go bad. Maybe throw in a box for laughs.

Movie Lovers Gift Basket

A couple of movies, some popcorn, and movies candy like Milk Duds and Raisenettes. Or you could do pizza and a movie. Get a gift certificate from their favorite pizza place. Or tuck in a NetFlix subscription.

Readers Gift Basket

A couple of books, a reading light, a special bookmark, and maybe some cookies. Yes, people still like real books where they are not looking at a screen…


Teenagers still love black lights. Yes, they still love that stuff. Colored light bulbs, strobe lights, lava lamps. Tuck in an iTunes gift card. The girls still love those glow necklaces too. And they all love chocolate! People Chow is a great hit.

Personalize Ready Made Gift Baskets

Gift sets are nice, but sort of blah. How much thought did that take? Take the gift set out of the box and put it in a pretty basket. Add some candles, a good book or movie that they can relax with, or a warm cozy sweater or bathrobe, or even a pretty scarf and glove set.

Cold Fighting Basket

Lets see, hat, scarf, gloves, vitamin C, green tea, Echinacea, throat lozenges, and chicken soup.

Ornament Exchanges

Instead of everyone trying to buys gifts for everyone, especially in a large family – an ornament exchange is a great idea. It’s a lot of fun. But even a single ornament can be made more special with just a little pretty basket, and maybe some homemade cookies or candy. You can make anything a little more special.

Hot Kid Trend of the Year Baskets

Kids seem to love themes. You can find a DVD, coloring books, and a stuffed animal in the theme that they are into this year. Don’t forget, kids love to dress up any time of year. Costumes don’t have to be reserved for Halloween.

My daughter was always into dogs. So any package that had dogs, or dog related items was a hit. Most girls are into princess type things. Boys are usually into Superheros, Dinosaurs, and trucks and cars. Just ask their mother what character is their favorite this year and take it from there. Star Wars is huge this year.

Budding Artist Gift Basket

Art supplies are always a big hit for kids. Papers, sketchpads, colored pencils, markers, crayons, coloring books. We had gotten a few of those prepackaged artist sets over the years that sat and never got used. Get the stuff that they really will use, and you might be rewarded with some pictures for your refrigerator! If you ever want their mother to speak to you again, I would stay away from glues and glitters

An older child might like a t-shirt making kit. Avery makes some iron on sheets that they can print up on their printer and iron on to a t-shirt. There are all those pens and inks you can use on fabric at the craft shops. You can even include plain t-shirts in assorted colors.


I’m sorry to tell you, but teachers get enough apple stuff to last them a life time. Candy too. If you really like the apple theme, how about a couple of real apples, some port wine cheese, and some wheat thins? You could add some green tea, or some relaxation candles. There’s not a teacher that I know of that wouldn’t like these thoughtful gifts.

Stocking Stuffers

Go to Bath and Body Works or and pick up small hand lotions, shower gels, lip balms… They have a bunch of little stuff that doesn’t cost a lot.

You can add restaurant gift certificates, any gift cards, and any homemade goodies to any baskets. I’ve given gift subscriptions to magazines and people loved them for a long time to come. Some I just kept renewing for years because people loved it. Women still love Better Homes and Gardens, and kids still love Highlights.

Does that get your creative juices flowing?

OK, my eyes are glazing over. I hope this helps!





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