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Stocking stuffers on a budget.

Remember how our Christmas always tends to look a little…underfinanced? It looks like that again this year. So once again, I’m putting my thinking cap on and coming up with creative ways to make Christmas morning cheap magical. I always stress about the gifts under the tree, until I stop and realize how insanely expensive it can get to stuff 3 stockings (the Nerd and I generally only do something small for each other, if anything, and we never do stockings). This year, I am determined to make those stockings gloriously stuffed for a very, very low price tag. And because I’m putting off mopping the floors I like you guys so much, I’m sharing my ideas with you.

  • Two words: Dollar. Store. My favorites are the packs of multiples: bubbles, cars, other small toys – anything that can be divided up between the kids.
  • Favorite way-too-expensive-for-regular-grocery-runs items. My kids love pomegranate, but they aren’t a regular since they’re like $2 each and require a lot of prep work. I’m kind of a wash and eat girl when it comes to the girls’ snacks. Bonus: big pieces of fruit fill lots of empty stocking space for very little cash. (Alternative: junk food you don’t normally let them have. Punkin gets really excited about white bread. Weird.)
  • Stuff they need anyway: toothbrushes, socks, sparkle underpants, hair elastics, pencils, shampoo, you get the idea. My kids get excited over EVERYTHING, so I can totally get away with this. Going to the dentist is practically a holiday for them because they get new toothpaste and a bouncy ball.

    English: Lysol products on a Costco store shelf.

    Look! It’s a bottle of brightly colored, super fun cleaning solution! Merry Christmas! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Freebie coupons: family movie night, ice cream date with Daddy, play date with a friend of their choice, you pick what we eat for dinner, etc.
  • Discount bins: Please, for the love of your bank account, peruse discount bins everywhere. I hit up the back to school clearance at the end of September and snagged stocking stuffers for 50 cents a piece.
  • Homemade stuff: Pinterest has so. many. ideas for cheap homemade gifts. [This is where the Nerd rolls his eyes until he sees the finished product and eats the amazing recipe I just pinned.] I have lots of ideas for homemade/cheap gifts pinned already, including some I’m working on for Punkin. If you aren’t following me yet, you can by clicking the Pinterest link on the top of the column to the right.
  • Random things you need but they’ll get excited over anyway: I bought a packet of yellow sponges for Smush. She’s obsessed with the color yellow, and got so excited in the grocery store cleaning aisle the other day, I’m totally throwing in a package for her. Bonus: she actually cleans things with them. Because they’re yellow. Winning.

If you have other cheap – I mean frugal – holiday ideas, please share them with me! I’m lacking in the creativity department and I love recommendations from others. I’m kind of obsessed with Christmas so we tack on new traditions and ideas every year for our little family. Happy bargain hunting!

About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

3 responses »

  1. One thing I make are homemade crackers (the English traditional kind that you pull apart to reveal a fun prize inside…they come with proverbs and fortunes but u can put Scripture in them or even those coupons u were talking about. This really stuffs a stocking! You take a toilet paper roll and wrap it two inches longer on each end and tie the ends with ribbon. If u pull them apart really fast it “cracks” open and the stuff goes flying into the air….my kids flip over them!

  2. Our stockings contain a lot of office supplies. This is partly because I get tired of everybody taking my Scotch tape and not returning it. Rubber bands, paper clips, pencils, pens. Not great for little kids, but very useful for tweens, teens and adults.

    I am not on Pinterest, but I am desperate for an easy, and I mean E A S Y craft for me to make for my youngest daughter, who has asked for “something made by your own hand” and didn’t ask for anything else. She is a troublemaker.


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