It may be the happiest time of the year, but it's also the most stressful time of the year, especially for college students. They not only have finals to worry about, but also Christmas shopping with their, let's just say, extreme lack of income. It's really hard for college students to be able to afford to eat for the week let alone buy their friends and family the gifts they want to. Sorry, but unless you're making a pretty penny working at your freshman dining hall, odds are you won't be able to get your mom that brand new Keurig she's been eyeing, even though you wish you could give her the world. Have no fear broke college students! I have created this guide to help you Christmas shop on a budget, and still make your family smile Christmas morning without making your bank account cry.
1. Anything from Five Below
Five Below is God's gift to college students. It's like a high end dollar store. It has everything from clothes to room decor to workout equipment. You can buy gifts for your whole family at this store for under $30.
2. Personalized mug or wine glass
Have a coffee or wine drinker in the family? Head down to the dollar store, buy a mug or wine glass, some paint pens and get working. Personalized gifts are always a hit and by giving them something they can use everyday is not only practical, but thoughtful as well.
3. Picture frames
Not even kidding you one year for Christmas I was so poor I got my family all picture frames with pictures of me and which ever family member the gift was for in it, and they loved it! It cost me all of $5. Again, go to either the Dollar Store, Five Below, Walmart or Target, get whichever size picture frames you want, get some photo paper, and get printing! It's another personalized gift that you don't need too much creativity with!
4. Candle basket
Believe it or not, candle's don't have to cost you and arm and a leg (I'm looking at you, Yankee Candle). Better Homes is a brand that can be found at Walmart, and you can get 2 candles for less than $10. Put them in a cute little wicker basket with some tissue paper and a bow and there you go!
Can you tell that personalized is the theme here? Here is another adorable (and CHEAP) personalized gift! These are super easy to make and all you need is flour, salt, water and paint to decorate! Then get some ribbon, poke a hole at the top, and you got yourself an adorable homemade ornament.
6. Homemade body scrub
These are another easy, fun gift that you can make using everyday ingredients. You can also make fun Christmas scents like gingerbread or candy cane! There are a ton of recipes online, but here is the one I found to be the most thorough and helpful.
7. College t-shirts
No matter where you go to school, you can always find cheap t-shirts with your school's name plastered across the chest. Have your family get into the school spirit and they can be as decked out as you on game day.
This can only cost you a few dollars at the grocery store, and your family will love the effort you put into it. You can make something as simple as pasta (a box of pasta can be less than $1 sometimes), and they'll love it. Especially your mom so she doesn't have to cook one night.
You see these all over the place in stores like Hallmark or Target, so you can either buy a jar of it or make your own. Pair this with a Christmas movie on DVD and you have yourself a festive night in.
10. Fuzzy socks or Slippers
These are mostly aimed towards your friends. Who doesn't love a super comfy pair of fuzzy socks or slippers during this time of year? You can find pretty inexpensive ones too.