Now, when I say "budget friendly" I mean for budgets like me, for folks who make under 20k a year (I make about 19k a year, but this year made less because of not having many speaking gigs. If you want to know how to get me to your organization, school, or space drop me a comment or note!). As a result, my gift giving is very modest yet fabulous! I've given myself a budget of $20 for family and close friend with $10 wiggly room depending on the gift and if I can give one gift for a group of people/couple vs. individual gifts.
There are a TON of lists on the interwebs with some great ideas. I want to be clear that this list is NOT going to center donating to certain charities. That's because my family and friends are often the recipients of those charitible services and if I have the ability I'm going to give them something I know they want and will make them feel seen. Some may not agree with this approach, but for me and my working class homies, it means something when your homie remembers that one thing you said you loved passing by earlier this summer and you made sure you got them it because you love them.
Here are some of my favorites I'm giving this year:
ELF Nail Polish Cube $10
Now, $10 for 14 nail polishes is my kind of gift! Either give this as one gift to one person, or split them up and get some small baskets or gift bags and give 2 or more colors to a group of people who are into painting their nails! I've done both of these in the past when it comes to gift packs like this and it's worked great! I can also go to the dollar stores and find fun baskets, foot soaks, cotton balls, and the like to include for a fun and festive basket. ELF is also sold at Target for the same cost as online ($1-$3 for most items). I really dig their brushes and fun nail care gift sets too! Use code CS1030 to get $5 off your order.
I'm getting this for almost all the adults in my life who drink wine! It's a great gift for dinner parties or folks who are wine afficinados. I'm getting one for my cornpops and his wife, my homegirl, and aunt and uncle and that's all they are getting (my cornpops will get a few other items). I like that this company is small and offers one cent shipping on orders over $50.
I've often said writing letters is a dying art form. I enjoy sending love letters in the mail. But, even if I don't have time for that, there's always something I have to mail: a payment, postcard, birthday or other card. And with the cost of stamps increasing, gifting a book of stamps is a great option. The Latin Legends are forever stamps (meaning no longer how much more the cost of stamps increases they will still be good). This year's new images I think are beautiful are Earthscapes, Major League Baseball All Stars, Innovative Choreographers, and Love stamps.
Now, this is one of the ONLY reasons I even leave my home to go to the Rite Aid or CVS in my community on "Black Friday": to get name brand candy. I'm talking ghiradelli and Ferrero Rocher candy which is usually around $6-$10 depending on the item. On Black Friday they are at least 50% off.
Black in men's sizes too.
Best Buy has one of the best selections for movies under $4. For example, Do The Right Thing is always a good buy. They also have packs of 3 or 4 films based on themes like this Romantic Comedy bundle (which I have one homegirl who would appreciate all of these) for $2 and all the Harry Potter films under $4 each. Others under $4 include Colombiana, The Boondock Saints, and the Twilight series. They also have seasons for various TV shows for under $8 such as Nurse Jackie and Bones.
Like this capsule pill container which I have one of my own and carry with me all the time for under $5. Rubik's Cubes are always good for the person who loves games, brainteasers, and the like. Temporary Lip Tattoos look like so much fun and now that they are half off at Sephora I'm getting one for myself and the femmes in my life and are on sale for $7! The Jack Black Comfort & Joy Shave & Lip Duo has been a hit with my boy cousins each year and is on sale for $10 (originally $15). Finally, my nephew is getting this mustchifier!
Thrift Store Finds
So far I've found a brand new in original packaging Pier 1 Imports candle set in a gorgeous red color for less than $4 and I'm gifting this to a homegirl of mine. I also found a perfect condition book of Women Who Run With Wolves to give to my mentee this year. Also found was a new with tags 3 piece outfit of an orange vest, plaid shirt and khaki's for my nephew who looks so good in orange!
I'm getting these sunglasses for one of my homegirls who is so fashion forward and can pull them off! They are less than $6 at Forever21.
If you have children in your life you may like to read over my list of books featuring same gender families and families of Color specifically. I've gotten many of these for my nephew but I'll probably get him another that I have yet to find. This year he's also getting La Historia De Los Colores/The Story of Colors by Subcommandante Marcos of the Zapatistas. It was on the list I wrote but I didn't get access to the book until after I joined PaperBackSwap.com in an attempt to get books for free that I know loved ones will want. This has saved a TON of money for me and is how I got La Historia De Los Colores for free too!
I tried to set one up for my cornpops a while ago but didn't know how to do it properly or have citations so they were not confirmed. This year I'm knowing what I'm doing and I'm going to make a wikipedia entry for the folks I know and love who are doing amazing things! This is a free gift, however it does require knowledge of how to use and post on Wikipedia and internet connection and computer. If you have access to a public library you can get this done there too.
I've been updating my personal pages (go check them out and tell me what you think). If you don't know already, it's pretty affordable to purchase a web address. Often connecting these to a wordpress or other free theme can result in a great website for someone in your life who is doing amazing work or needs the publicity.
Some of my favorite discount websites to visit include:
- Overstock.com (where I get my cornpops favorite colonge in a gift set that lasts him each year)
- ShopExit9.com for kitschy items