Cheap Gift Ideas For The Broke College Student

You’re in college, and yes, you are most likely receiving some financial support from your parents because you are embarrassingly broke. The Holidays are just around the corner, but you barely have any cash to get gifts for family members, significant others, and friends. If you think about it, having to buy a nice gift for each of your parents, siblings, and a picky girlfriend can really break the bank (let alone if you even have more than $200 to your name). There is a solution to all of the holiday stress when you learn to understand that Christmas isn’t about all of the crap you give or receive, but instead about the thoughtfulness behind the gift itself. Truly genuine and special gifts are easy to find while spending little, to no money. Check out these cheap gift ideas.

Get Crafty

Channel you’re inner 8-year-old, assemble some glue sticks and construction paper, and create a masterpiece! Make a collage with pictures of you and the family, decorate picture frames for your mom, or create a PowerPoint with videos and photos that everyone can sit and watch on Christmas day. Homemade soap bars and candles are cheap and fun to make as well. Or ever better, turn Christmas into your personalized comedy hour and make T-shirts for everyone with “I Love” and a large picture of your face! Getting crafty and creative is way more fun than aimlessly roaming the shopping malls.

AG Autumn Leaves Picture Frame 005

Coordinate Secret Santa

This is great for really big families. You only have to buy one gift for one person, so the stress and spending is significantly decreased. Have everyone choose a name out of a hat, buy whomever they’ve chosen a really special gift, and have fun guessing who your Secret Santa is! When you think about it, no one really needs a ton of mediocre gifts. It would be much cooler to receive one thoughtful, awesome gift – Quality, not quantity.


Plan An Event

Which do you think is better – a gift or an experience? I’m guessing you probably prefer the latter. Instead of spending money on things, why not do something fun together? Pitch in for tickets to a show or sporting event, or keep it simple and buy everyone tickets to the movies. You could even spend zero dollars and put together a game night for everyone, (accompanied by lots of wine and eggnog of course).



This is easy. If food is your forte, then show off your skills! Make mini pumpkin bread loaves for everyone, cookies, apple pie, or even cook a big dinner if you’re up to it. Cooking is extremely rewarding, and you know that everyone will enjoy what you make, (unless you really, really suck at cooking…).


College Garb

If your friends and family don’t already have an entire closet full of clothing that represents your school, then help them become fans by giving them stuff from the campus bookstore! Buy t-shirts, hates, gloves, flags, cups, stickers, pens – anything! If you prefer to buy all of your gifts, then this is the most accessible option.


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