Saving Money’s Cheap, Lazy & AMAZING Holiday Gift Guide

Holiday Gift Guide
Written by Michelle Bryan

Every holiday season features many of the same gifts: the latest in toys, fashion, and electronics. Those items aren’t cheap, and often aren’t easy to get your hands on.

For the last minute shopper, here’s our ultimate guide full of holiday gifts you can get while avoiding the mall and without making a huge dent in your bank account.

Gift ideas for husbands and boyfriends

Game Boy iPhone case

Since so many men in your life play on their Xbox or PlayStation, they can now celebrate the roots of handheld gaming. People who have received this gift have noted that every time they take a selfie, it looks like they have a Game Boy in their hand.

Cost: $11.99

How to Stay Alive in The Woods

Help the outdoors man you love prepare for whatever 2019 brings them with How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter, and Self-Preservation Anywhere.

Cost: $17.99

Gift ideas for wives and girlfriends

Flannel PJ’s

Because you can’t go wrong with some cozy sleepwear, especially 100 percent cotton.

Cost: $32.99

Bath bombs

The second-best kind of six pack is this cheap bath bomb set. Help her take a night for herself and relax.

Cost: $15

Gift ideas for Dad

Paddle on air

Paddling down a river or creek or even in an ocean is lots of fun. Know what isn’t? Hauling a heavy and unwieldy canoe or kayak from your car to the water and back. So don’t. Your dad will love his Intex Explorer K2 Kayak. It’s inflatable, comes with lightweight paddles and a high-output air pump, and seats two people, so it could be a nice date for your parents.

Cost: $65

Air Fried Chicken Wings and Onion Rings for Days

Air fryers are hot right now (no pun intended). We recommend this GoWISE USA 3.7-Quart Programmable Air Fryer. Air fryers are great because you use less oil, which is good for your health and your wallet.

Cost: $55.99

Gift ideas for Mom

Zen Garden

For your mother, who’s the backbone of the family, the holidays can be pretty stressful. This Desk Zen Garden is a miniature version of a full sized Japanese Zen Garden to place on her desk when she needs to regroup after the month of family, friends, and gift-giving.

Cost: $14.99

Breakfast Sandwich Maker

We’re sure your mom is busy, so get her a gift that will save her some time in the morning – a Proctor Silex Breakfast Sandwich Maker. Throw in an English muffin, an egg, and some cheese, and you’re done in five minutes.

Cost: $19

Gift ideas for your brother

Beard Oil

Beards are a big deal, especially when they’re at peak length after “Movember.” That’s why they need careful grooming this time of year. Hence the oil, which came as a surprise to the staff. We didn’t know it existed. This site offers a beard rejuvenating oil for $14, and a beard “arousal oil” for $15.

Superhero night light

Can nightlights be cool? If you have a brother who’s a Batman fan, he’ll love this 3D Optical Illusion Night Light, and it can rotate among seven colors.

Cost: $19.98

Gift ideas for your sister

Yearly planner

If you think your sister really needs to get it together, we recommend you get her the no bad days design 12-month planner. This isn’t your average planner — it’s also an art gallery, a cheerleader, a top secret document, and a personal assistant.

Cost: $20

Cat Tea Cup

Even if you’re a dog person, you have to admit that this 14 o.z. Glass Tea Cup with a Lid & Strainer is adorable. It’s also available in many different colors.

Cost: $22.99

Gift ideas for kids

For Your Little Entrepreneur

Kids love food trucks and what better way to teach your child about money management and even business than with this Melissa & Doug Food Truck Indoor Playhouse.

Gift ideas for pets

Pet Cave

Every animal deserves a comfortable sleeping place. This “cave” has a top that zippers on and off, is 5 inches thick, and the cover can be washed and dried. It has a 25-inch diameter, so it’s good for many sizes of dogs and cats. Right now the cost is only $20.

Pet Grooming Tool and Brush

This gift is more practical. It will make your pet comfortable, though — and happy. This gift might make you comfortable too, by ridding your home of all that dog or cat hair that’s been accumulating. It comes with a deshedding tool and stainless comb.

Cost: $17

‘Tis the season for (self)-giving

It’s not only the season for giving to others. Clearly, it’s also time to give to yourself, especially if you’re a parent. T. Rowe Price says that 60 percent of parents shop for themselves during the holidays, with 37 percent spending more on themselves than on their kids.

Parents are also saving up big time. Most — 82 percent — wait until the holidays to make big purchases, instead of buying them throughout the year. They’re saving more, and saving earlier: almost half — 48 percent — start saving immediately after the holiday season ends.

Like expected, most of them are also taking advantage of big savings. Last year on Black Friday, 52 percent of parents shopped online (46 percent in-store), and 44 percent made purchases on Cyber Monday. But plastic still reigns: 59 percent of parents used credit cards to make purchases last year, and 90 percent of those parents pay off their holiday spending within six months.

Even with all the budgeting and planning, parents are still overspending. The survey says 58 percent of parents spend more than they should have over the holidays, while two-thirds say they spend more than $1,000 on holiday-related things. There’s a small minority of 11 percent that spend more than $5,000.

It’s probably because of they want to completely please their kids. Most parents — 58 percent — want to get everything on their kid’s wish list. And 66 percent of kids expect their parents to get them anything they want. Naturally, that mindset will last them all the way to college.

About the author

Michelle Bryan