Friday, December 13th, 2013

Cash-Poor Students: 5 Cheap, Last-Minute Gift Ideas for $10 or Less

During the holiday season, always remember: dollar stores can be your best friend.

During the holiday season, always remember: dollar stores can be your best friend.

Cash-poor? Still haven’t gotten something for everyone on your list? No worries. Here are some simple, home-made gift ideas you can give this holiday season—all for $10 or less!

1) Snap, Print, Frame!

If you’re looking for an inexpensive gift for your parents, the easiest solution is to get out your phone or digital camera and snap a picture of yourself in a real college pose. Take a picture of yourself in your dorm room or somewhere distinctive on campus, then print and tuck the picture in an inexpensive frame. Don’t overthink it: your local dollar store has frames that can be purchased for a couple of dollars, and there are plenty of photo stores that will print a single picture for a toonie or less.

2) Bake, Box, Wrap!

Bake a batch of muffins, cupcakes or cookies—chocolate chip, sugar and gingerbread are the festive staples—and buy some inexpensive tins or boxes and festive crinkle cut paper. Put an assortment of baked goodies in each tin and give them to study buddies, RAs or tutors.

3) Load, Tuck, Give!

Don’t underestimate how much someone will appreciate a gift card from the local coffee joint or fast-food place.  A $10 gift card can translate into five free cups of coffee or a guilt-free burger. Tuck it inside a Christmas card and you’ve given a gift that will be appreciated—and gratefully used!

4) Ho, Ho, Ho!

Keep it simple and purchase a holiday-themed gift for people on your list. For under $10, you can purchase anything from reindeer salt and pepper shakers to snowman coffee mugs to snowflake wineglass charms. Ornaments featuring a person’s favorite sports team, cartoon character, animal or charity offer a personal touch to a gift that they’ll re-use every holiday season to come.

5) Burn, Label, Send!

Make a playlist of songs that have a sentimental meaning to your family or friends and burn them a CD. Or if you’re a real music aficionado, find some funky, cool holiday songs and make a holiday mix. For a more multi-purpose solution, load the songs onto a USB stick that can be transferred to the person’s laptop, leaving them with musical memories and a few gigs of additional external storage.

Linda Galeazzi
Author: Linda Galeazzi
Linda Galeazzi has been an online writer and proof reader for several years.
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