Stumped on what to buy for someone on your holiday shopping list? Don’t feel you’re getting much value and budget options from retailers? The holidays don’t have to be all about who can spend or give the most. This year, my partner and I decided to change the way we did our holiday gift shopping. Instead of buying a few gifts and trying to somewhat match each other on total spend, we came up with a more transparent way to do things. We each agreed to a maximum $10 spending budget where all the items had to be purchased from a bargain shop. Why? Although we like getting gifts, we felt spending a non-trivial sum of money led to not only a potential waste if the recipient didn’t like or use the gift. It also created some pressure on finding ‘the perfect’ gift rather than a gift where the purpose was much simpler: to provide functional use and enjoyment, be it for minutes or years. Here is a list of 10 gift ideas which most bargain shops should sell for under $1.
1. Advent calendar
What better way to count down the December days then an advent calendar containing tasty little chocolates?
2. Mobile device accessories
One can never have too many mobile device charger cables, $1 snags another one.
3. Selfie stick
If you haven’t spent more than $10 already for one, you can get one for $1 now (Android and Apple compatible).
4. Neck pillow
Great for long-haul flights where you need something better than a thin airline pillow. A well-appreciated gift to add to anyone’s travel accessories.
You can never have too many sunglasses. Gone are the days of needing to spend $20+ for a pair of decent shades. You can easily get a pair of UV protecting sunny specs for $1 and they come in dozens of styles. What’s not to love about that?
6. Foot care set
Peppermint lotion plus a few other foot care accessories all for the low price of $1. You’ll most likely buy at least one pampering set each year for someone and they will be 90% likely to pass it on to someone else and not use it anyway so why not save $20 and buy something for $1 instead?
7. Necklaces & earrings
Jewelry gifts are hit and miss. It’s easier for you or your partner to stomach a miss when it costs you $1 for a necklace or a pair of earrings rather than buying something unwanted that costs a lot more.
8. Travel board games
Find travel-sized board games that are similar to all-time hits. Most end up keeping board games for eternity so someone in your family is guaranteed to use it at some point!
9. Socks and gloves
You don’t need designer labels to keep your hands and feet toasty in the winter. Anyone living in a cold climate will appreciate these goods as most socks and gloves seem to have minds of their own and randomly go missing. Show respect for sensibility and save yourself on sock or glove purchases by limiting your budget to $1 for these items.
Don’t pay more for plastic then you can get away with. Believe it or not, $1 goes pretty far in getting a cool toy or toy set if you can figure out the types of things your gift recipient is into. I recommend something like a sheriff kit complete with badge, suction bullets, handcuffs and more (sure to please the little law enforcer in all of us).
Buying many lower cost gifts allows you to spread out your cash and get a variety of different items rather than just a handful. Also, gift receivers will appreciate opening more gifts. It’s always fun unwrapping another holiday surprise!
Happy bargain shopping all! If you’ve got any other great bargain ideas for $1 please share!