Easy Christmas Gift Ideas for Cash-Strapped Students

By on November 21st, 2015


Christmas isn’t an easy time for anybody, let alone cash-strapped students. But what if you could still give your loved ones warm, thoughtful and meaningful gifts without breaking the bank?

Here are 11 Christmas gift ideas that cost little over a tenner to pull off. Best of all, many of them are bound to make the recipient smile much more than any commercial gift ever would.

1, A Mixtape (or mixed CD)

The classic – a compilation of the recipients favourite songs, or songs that remind you of them, that they can keep in one place. Burn it to a CD complete with self-made cover art and printed tracklist, or keep it digital with help from everyonesmixtape.com

 2, Homemade Recipe/Snacks

Homemade snacks are the perfect way to show someone you care, and you can make them as naughty or nutritious as you like. This super easy and healthy granola can be stored in a beautiful mason jar for weeks, whilst these festive cookies look adorable when tied up with string.

Alternatively, you can make your own homemade condiments such as jam, chutney or piccalilli in bulk batches, which works out just a couple of quid per gift.

3, Your time.

Create your own coupon book and allow your recipients to trade them in for segments of your time. This could be lending a helping hand or running favours, or it could be offering up your skills, such as cooking, teaching them to play an instrument or DIY work. Whatever you’ve got to offer, the person is sure to be glad of the help…and the company.

 4, Photo Memento

Let’s face it – who doesn’t love a cute photo memory? Social Print Studio is a great way to recreate your favourite online snaps in physical form, and even lets you print them in cute polaroid style for a hint of nostalgia.

Use a bundle of them to create a collage, album or scrapbook, or even dot a load of them in different locations to create a fun photo-trail.

5, Homemade Bath Scrub

With all the stresses at this time of year, you’re sure to know somebody who would appreciate a soothing bath. Homemade bath scrubs are inexpensive, super-easy to make and are usually better for the skin than fancy shop-bought versions as they contain only natural ingredients. Try one of these from Treehugger, and store in a pretty mason jar with optional ribbon.

6, A Potted Plant

The days after the festive period can be a little grim, with miserable weather and very bare-looking walls. Brighten up somebody’s environment with a simple potted plant, which will not only help to add some cheer into their interior but also bring about many health benefits.

Bonus points if you can find one that flowers in winter.

7, Journal/Notebook with a Personal Message

Keeping a journal regularly has been proven to improve awareness, boost memory and promote gratitude and well-being. Why not pick one from the ton of cool designs that are out there and add your own personal message at the beginning?

For those who want to get into journaling but aren’t particularly fond of the pen, get them this One Line a day journal from Chronicle Books.

8, Fancy Coffee/Tea

For the caffeine lovers or dedicated creatives, treating them to a stock of their favourite coffee or tea blend is sure to be all they need. Browse the many types of roasts from Starbucks or buy a bag from their local indie coffee shop. Or, for tea lovers, Teapigs and Liverpool’s Leaf will always go down well.

9, One month of Netflix

Chances are money will be tight for your friend too, and nothing beats curling up with a good movie or TV show during January. A month’s worth of Netflix costs just £6 but opens up your friend to endless hours of blissful viewing. Sub it for a month of Amazon Prime if they’ve already got their Netflix needs sorted.

 10, 90s Nostalgia

These days you can buy just about anything 90s or 00s on Amazon for little over a penny. Get your recipient a whole load of Goosebumps books, or remind them of their nine-year old responsibilities with a tamagotchi. Or even buy them a Now That’s What I call Music CD of the year they were born, or went to school. The nostalgic possibilities are endless.

11, Knowledge/Encouragement

Is there a particular skill your loved one is always saying they want to master? Why not buy them an inexpensive book on how to get started, along with a personal note inside to give motivation. They’ll likely be grateful of the encouragement and can start their new year how they mean to go on.

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