Our All-Time Favorite Frugal Things To Stuff In A Holiday Stocking

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Buying for the holidays doesn’t have to be expensive. A thoughtful gift is much better, and usually more appreciated, than an expensive gift. That’s not to say we never give expensive gifts, but we rarely stuff them in holiday stockings – no matter how small they may be. What we like stuffing in holiday stockings are thoughtful, inexpensive gifts.

So today, I thought I’d share some of our all-time favorite frugal holiday stocking stuffers to gear up for this much-anticipated annual holiday that typically culminates in gift giving between family and friends.

Candy - frugal stocking stuffers

This was our Boston Terrier (Candy) when I was growing up in the Original Tiny House.

In this household, we love giving gifts, but we don’t love spending gobs of money just to spend money. Just in case you’re new around here, we love the holidays but we also hold frugality in high regard.

So, whether you’re looking for a gift for a co-worker for the office holiday party or you’re shopping for your husband’s stocking that’s hanging by the fireplace, we have some great ideas for you.

NOTE: No, a Boston Terrier (feature image) is not one of our favorite stocking stuffers. But since I grew up with one, I couldn’t resist this cute and cuddly holiday stock photo. Thanks, Pixabay!

And without further ado, let’s get right down to our list.

Our Favorite Frugal Holiday Stocking Stuffers


Oh, and just in case you were wondering, these are in no particular order. That’s how I like to roll around here.

Lip Balm: Now, I’m not talking cheap-o Chapstick that you pick up at the register of a gas station. I’m talking about a smooth, silky lip balm that you put some though in to. Maybe even buy a few.

We’re definitely frugal but that doesn’t mean we’re cheap. We’re completely fine with spending a few bucks on a nice lip balm for someone we care about. This is our favorite lip balm, but there are endless options out there. Have fun with it.

Specialty Soaps & Lotions: Other options for frugal stocking stuffers are specialty soaps and lotions. Just like lip balm, I’m not talking about a 12-pack of float-in-the-tub Ivory soap. I’m talking about something that smells good and feels good – something that is going to make the recipient feel like they’re taking a spa day in their own bathroom.  We don’t have a favorite of our own, but we do enjoy giving these Bath & Body Works gift sets to our friends for Christmas.

Cold Hard Cash: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our #1 all-time favorite holiday stocking stuffer – told ya this wasn’t in order. 🙂 It’s really hard to argue with giving or receiving cash. There aren’t any fees that go along with giving gift cards, and it never expires. It might get moldy, but it won’t expire!

When giving cash, we stop by our local bank and pick up some gift envelopes for FREE. They’re happy to hand them out and who isn’t happy to receive money in a bank gift envelope? It takes me right back to childhood, and nostalgia is a beautiful thing around the holidays.

Zulu water bottle - frugal stocking stuffer

My Zulu glass water bottle – with Mad Money Cat in the background.

Glass Water Bottles: What better gift for the environmentally and health conscious among us? We made the switch to all glass water bottles about a year ago and haven’t looked back. Before that, we were using a new glass each time we needed a drink.

Nowadays, we are doing a lot fewer dishes and enjoying H2O whenever our little hearts desire. And, they make for wonderful, frugal holiday stocking stuffers. They come in different sizes, too. We use these water bottles by Zulu and have never been disappointed but, like everything else, there are a plethora of options in the world.

We also enjoy Mira stainless steel travel water bottles that can keep your water cold for hours upon hours. When you’re out hiking (one of our favorite free activities) or just stuck in your car on a long trip, it’s super awesome to have cold water to wet your whistle up to 24 hours after leaving your front door.

Books, Journals, or Sketchbooks: It’s hard to go wrong with something to read or write in. These are some of our favorite stocking stuffers for people who have everything or are a little on the eccentric side. There is a book to fit every personality, and journals and sketchbooks are perfect for your most introspective and artistic friends.

One of our favorite financial books is The Simple Path to Wealth by Jim Collins – but before giving this book, you better be sure the recipient wants to read about money. 🙂 Don’t worry, financial books aren’t a requirement for gift giving purposes. You can choose ANY topic!

If you’re more interested in giving some blank sheets, try a unique journal or sketchbook like this one. You can also find these at local craft shows or art shops. So keep your eyes peeled.

coaster - holiday stocking

One of our fun coasters.

Coasters: Coasters are fun for everyone. There are unique and personal coasters to fit every personality – and they’re mostly a frugal gift …as long as you don’t buy 10 of them. We found some spectacular circus-themed coasters at a local art shop when we were furnishing our renovated basement. It’s safe to say that, whatever someone enjoys, there’s a coaster out there to suit their style.

If we hadn’t found these most awesome circus-themed coasters, Mr. MMM would’ve fallen in love with these floppy disk coasters, reminiscent of the 80s. Oh well, maybe next time.

Brainteasers for the Road: Do you know someone who likes to travel? A book of brainteasers might be the perfect holiday stocking stuffer for them. Something like this is a frugal yet awesome gift to keep them occupied on long road trips or plane rides.

Wine Toppers: Who doesn’t love a glass of wine every now and then? I know I’m not alone here. But, I also know that I don’t always finish an entire bottle of wine, despite drinking with other people. Wine toppers come in every shape and size and there is one to fit every personality – as long as that personality likes to drink wine. These can be found at any local winery gift shop or online.

Homemade Gift Certificates: If you’re strapped for cash or just want to save more of it, try this most frugal gift option – a homemade gift certificate. You can really get creative here, depending on the recipient. Make your own certificate, print it out, and wrap it up just as you would any other gift. As with any gift, presentation counts.

Do they have kids? Give them a gift certificate for free babysitting so they can enjoy a night on the town. Are they busy working adults without time to cook a homemade meal? Give them a gift certificate that entitles them to a home-cooked meal at your house on a weekend of their choosing. The possibilities are truly endless with this one.

And there you have it. These are some of our all-time favorite frugal things to stuff in a holiday stocking. Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list. With that in mind, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.

What are your favorite holiday stocking stuffers?

Holiday stocking | Stocking Stuffer | Christmas Stocking Stuffer | Frugal Holiday Stocking Stuffer | Frugal Christmas Gifts via @MadMoneyMonster

10 comments… add one
  • Mr. Groovy Nov 29, 2017, 9:36 am

    Haha! Great suggestions. I love it. But I have to admit that I love Accidental Fire’s the best. And I’m more of a tequila guy. For some reason, we don’t do stocking stuffers anymore. We just do a grab bag now. Mrs. G and I already got our contributions for this year’s festivities. We got a neck pillow/travel accessories combo and Corey Feldman’s Angelic 2 the Core CD. I’m sure the gang will be fighting like crazy for Corey’s masterpiece.

    • Mad Money Monster Dec 1, 2017, 11:46 am

      Haha…that’s so awesome! Ironically, Corey Feldman was in one of my husband’s independent films! You might enjoy it. 🙂

  • Accidental Fire Nov 28, 2017, 9:59 am

    Mini-bottles of bourbon 🙂

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 28, 2017, 5:55 pm

      OMG…how did I possibly miss that one! 🙂

  • Sarah | Smile & Conquer Nov 27, 2017, 5:09 pm

    These are all great ideas!

    I like to do stocking stuffers that are practical but a little fancier than what people would usually buy. For example, an extra cozy pair of socks, a fancy lipstick, pretty earrings, or a leather passport holder. These are all still affordable but feel special. I think the most important thing is to give things that people will use. My mom is bad for putting weird kitchen gadgets in stockings…there are only so many egg separators a girl needs!

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 27, 2017, 7:26 pm

      Egg separators…I absolutely love it 😂

  • Sarah Nov 27, 2017, 1:33 pm

    Because of its rounded ears, I think the feature image might actually be a French Bulldog 🙂

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 27, 2017, 7:25 pm

      Haha…you might be right!

  • J. Money Nov 27, 2017, 1:32 pm

    Lottery tickets! I get scratch offs for my family every year – people LOVE it.

    • Mad Money Monster Nov 27, 2017, 7:24 pm

      Ahh! Good one! We’ve gotten them but never given them. I’ll add that to the list 🙂

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