5 Gift Ideas for When You’re Really, Really Broke

You tapped out AF? Girl, I feel you. For the most part I’m pretty financially set, but am at a weird point where I won’t get paid for a few weeks so my wallet is hurting accordingly. And that’d be okay if the holidays weren’t like a week away. Gah! Now I’m scrambling to pull every trick outta my toque to spend little or no money on gifts this year. Here are the gift ideas that I’ve come up with. May the odds be ever in both our favours.

Gift a life skill

You know how to contour properly? Consider yourself blessed, because I tried it once and ended up looking bruised. Teach your gal pals how to contour themselves into Kardashian territory. Way more thoughtful than a $25 flamingo print lint roller.

Get crafty

Spent $15 to $20 on supplies that you can use to make at least 10 gifts with at once. Rookie Mag has a great DIY felt patch tutorial”make a bunch at once, customizing each one to a specific interest for each friend. Get creative and utilize whichever skill you have. If you’re a knitting master, make everybody cute gloves. If you’re a soap wizard, make everybody bath goodie bags.

Host a night in

Invite that special somebody (or your friend or your mom”they are special, too) over for dinner! Ask them to bring a bottle of wine and you can whip up a big batch of pasta. Y’all can talk and catch up, or curl up and watch a Christmas movie together. You can do this one-on-one, or invite a group of friends/family members over and frame it as a potluck. This is a much cheaper option than if you were to buy generic gifts that will likely just get forgotten¦ and a much more meaningful, memorable one too!

DIY a cookbook

Instead of spending $30+ on a fancy hardcover cookbook, here’s what you do: Get a 3-ring binder, decorate the front real cute and print out 20-ish of your favourite online recipes that you think the receiver will enjoy trying out themselves. If they aren’t super kitchen-savvy, pick the recipes accordingly.


When in doubt, do the unspeakable and give an unwanted present from your past to a new home. I’ve done this, I’m shameless, it’s fine. I usually try to be open about it if it’s somebody I’m close with”for example, my best friend Aine and I have a running joke where I give her things for Christmas that were given to me by ex-boyfriends that are really cool (a pizza ring, a vintage bomber jacket), but I don’t want to keep myself. But chances are, there’s likely something kicking around your home in perfect condition that you’ve never used and don’t need! Think scented candles, jewellery and board games.

Tags: affordable christmas gifts, Christmas gifts, Christmas shopping, gift guide, gift ideas, gifts, holiday gifts, holiday shopping

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