6 Clever Last Minute Budget Friendly Gift Ideas

If you’re looking for some last minute gift ideas, we’ve got a budget friendly, clever list that will get you in the holiday spirit without the overwhelm. Christmas is one of those holidays where we just keep everything extremely simple. And, that’s why we’re keeping the gifts affordable because no one loves a frugal household as much as I.

last minute gift ideas

Last Minute Budget Friendly Gift Ideas

Maybe you thought that you weren’t going to host Christmas this year and then, changed your mind at the last minute. I do this often. Some of us are cutting our holiday shopping to the very last day and honestly you can find the most clever gift ideas at your local Walgreens or gas stations. Don’t worry friends. We’ve got you covered. These aren’t just your ordinary gift wrapping products, they’re neat, fun and easy to wrap.

Where to shop for clever gifts this holiday season

I’m a frugal mama no matter what holiday season it is and, I’ve always been one to teach my children that Christmas is not about the materialistic things. The celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth is far more important. It’s the gift of life. Being a cozy minimalist, I tend to enjoy the simple things like baking, singing songs, curling up on the couch with a warm blanket, some hot cocoa/coffee and a good children’s book.

  • look at your local gas stations for lottery tickets, gas cards and even traditional chex mix (hey, we’re doing things last minute)
  • Target can be overwhelming, so here’s my budget friendly gift ideas- Go early in the morning to beat the rush. Or, later in the evening on a weekday. This frees up time and allows you to take your time while shopping. But remember we’re working on a budget so keep the app on your phone for deals of the week, points and savings. They offer a wonderful selection in the Starbucks area for the coffee lover in your life. Gift cards are your best friends this time of year
  • Trader Joes’ or Farmers Market style grocery stores have the best gifts, just for fun items and who doesn’t love a cheese platter?

The Most Clever Gift Ideas For Last Minute Budget Friendly Mama’s

  • REGIFT – This is the absolute best way to find a last minute gift for someone that doesn’t cost you much at all. You may have to go buy some wrapping paper or perhaps you have some left over from last year (there’s more budget friendly ways to gift wrap down below) but, go shopping in your own homes. I’m sure you have something that serves purpose and maybe it’s still in the original package. REGIFT.
  • BAKE A PIE – Remember that this is a last minute gift, so run to the grocery store and pick up any one of Marie Callendar’s Pot Pies or Dessert Pies to give to someone this holiday season. Food is one of the most clever ways to create a last minute, budget friendly gift idea for a neighbor, someone you love, and even co-workers. If you don’t want to leave it in the original package, simply remove the pie and wrap with foil, tie a red ribbon around it. For a baked pot pie simply bake in the oven, let cool and then wrap the same way!

Fun, Affordable Gift Ideas

A lot of people are really struggling with money this year so get them something that will help in a big way:

  • Gas Cards – This here is such a clever gift idea if someone you love owns a vehicle and could use some extra gas money. If they don’t have a car, consider an Uber gift card.
  • Lottery Tickets – Um hello! Who doesn’t want a chance to win big. The most clever gift ideas are the old fashioned lottery tickets. Buy a nice Christmas card or little box and slap some fun scratch offs in there for a chance to win 1 million dollars! Pro Lottery Tip : get the $10 scratch off tickets that are up for the second chance promotions. That way they have another chance to win!

Clever Gift Ideas For The Last Minute Holiday Lovers

Shadow boxes and albums are always a favorite gift of mine to give but that depends on the person. I’ll throw this in as a BONUS, not included in my top 6 clever gift ideas because this one doesn’t pertain to everyone.

  • Print off your phone pics at Walgreens – You can do this fast and easy at Walgreens website (the turn around time is typically quick), grab a shadow box from your local craft store and put together a lovely memory album for someone you love.
  • Print A Poem – If you love poetry as much as I do then the inspirational quotes and poems online are endless. Super budget friendly and clever. Simply search the internet for your favorite sayings, download to save onto your computer or phone and then print. Place the print (even if it’s on plain paper) in a frame and voila. If you don’t have a home printer, CVS and Walgreens are your best friends.

Creative Last Minute Affordable Gift Ideas

  • Body Scrubs – These can be whipped up in a matter of moments and you can put them in any old mason jar you probably already have in your cupboards. Follow my coffee scrub recipe for a quick DIY beauty gift. If you don’t have jars at home, the Dollar Tree usually has some canisters that you can use to put these in. Here’s other body scrub ideas.

When you’re in a hurry, don’t stress! These budget friendly gift ideas are not only clever but really fun, and certainly not going to break the bank! I love regifting or, making a simple DIY because it’s unique and much more appreciated. You thought with love and that’s what is important here. Wrapping it sometimes means more than the actual gift item. Hello. Wrapping ideas coming right at ya!

budget friendly gift wrapping ideas

I like to assume everyone has brown paper bags but the truth is, we don’t! I don’t use them in our home, but I do keep old paper bags from the stores. If you can find some paper bags and cut them turning inside out to wrap your gift you won’t have to spend nearly as much money. The twine can be found at Dollar Tree or any home craft store. Stick a piece of natural greenery in there and BAM!!

How To Wrap A Gift

  • Cut your brown paper bag so that it fits the item just so
  • Tuck the paper diagonally so that your gift has a classy appeal
  • Tape the tucked sides down
  • Cut a long piece of twine and center over the wrapping paper length wise and width way
  • Tie in a bow
  • Tuck some natural pine, holly or a cone on the gift to give it a simple nature vibe

You can also use plain white printer paper to wrap your gift with. If you have some fabric that can be repurposed, consider wrapping with that.

Target, Home Goods, TJmaxx and Marshalls often have this style of twine in the Christmas section which is really perfect for dressing up your gifts.

Another fun way to dress up the gift is to tape the poem, song lyrics, even a sheet from an old book on the outside. If you’re doing a gift card or lottery tickets consider something festive like this!

Happy Holidays Mama’s

More Gift Ideas:

  • DIY Florarium handmade natural gift succulents
  • a houseplant from your local grocery store

For the DIY florarium or terrarium, simply find a glass jar to place your plants inside.

You’ll Need:

  • Soil
  • Rocks (optional)
  • Succulents or propagated plants or a mix of both
  • Water
  • Clear glass jar (I’ve even used these) Just leave the lid off
  • a spoon or fingers to settle them into the soil

Take 1/4 of the soil and fill the jar. Place the plants accordingly, set them snug in their place. Use the rocks to level out the area and hold them in position or just for a neat look. Pack with more soil if necessary. Water to give it a good bath and then watch them grow in natural sunlight. I kept ours on a humid lanai and they love the moisture.

Dab cinnamon in there if you get bugs.

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