Stockings are one of those overlooked gift categories that can quickly lead to overspending. You might think, “Oh, I’ll just pick up some candy and be done.” Then you go to fill the stockings the night before and find you don’t have enough items so you or hubs run to the first open store you can find to pick up some last minute bags of candy. Don’t let this be you. First of all, have you seen the price of candy lately?! Not to mention, it is likely the only store you’ll find open on Christmas Eve is a 7/11 where bagged candy is going to cost you double the already outrageous price. In addition, there is also the stress and overspending that come from not having a plan. It is as important to plan your stockings as it is to plan your other holiday gifts. To help you out, here’s a list of 15 frugal tips and ideas for kid stockings so you can achieve maximum savings this year.
Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission. Read the full disclosure here.
Frugal Stocking Stuffers (for kids)
You can buy a multipack of Playdoh (I have found brand new packs in thrift stores before) and then separate them between all of your children’s stockings.
Small Craft Kits
Get adorable craft kits at Michaels for $1.00 per kit. Save even more by purchasing these with coupons or on clearance.
Kids love jewelry and you can easily make kid-friendly items for them using wooden or plastic beads. The possibilities with this stocking stuffer are endless.
Finger puppets are so cute and easy to make. The best thing about them is that they don’t take up a ton of room so storage after the holidays is a breeze.
Make Your Own Candy
Save on the candy by making you own. Just be sure to wrap it in some way before adding it to the stocking. You do not want to have to clean a big, sticky mess out of the stocking later.
Scarves are a quick, easy gift to make. Even if you don’t knit or crochet, you still have options for DIY-ing your scarves using fleece, old t-shirts, or your choice of a ton of other fabrics and mediums.
This is another gift that you can make. Don’t be scared due to a lack of knitting skills. There are patterns to make hats out of all kinds of materials (some are even no-sew).
Do you remember when we talked about buying gift cards in bulk to save money? Well, stockings are a great place to give them. A smaller amount, like a $5.00 ITunes gift card, doesn’t seem out of place in a stocking.
Books are an awesome and versatile gift that can be catered to the recipient. Check thrift stores and used book stores to get great deals on book for your kids. In many cases you will be able to get them for $1-$2 each, meaning huge savings for your budget!
These are another great example of a gift you can buy in a set inexpensively and then split between multiple stockings. If you’re feeling ambitious (and have the tools and materials necessary) you can also make you own.
Bonus Tips for Saving
Use clearance deals to your advantage.
Keep an eye out for items during the holidays (and year-round) to achieve awesome savings.
Don’t be afraid to put larger gifts in stockings.
This means it takes fewer gifts to fill up the stocking. If it fits, it’s fair game to go in.
You can also save on stocking stuffers by downsizing your stockings.
If you can’t afford to go out and buy smaller stockings, make your existing stockings take less to fill up while still looking full. To do this, stuff the “toe” part of the stocking with Polyfill and then sew closed.
Cut back on the amount of candy you put in the stockings.
You will save money by opting for mostly gifts because, again, candy is expensive! Also, most candy is small meaning it takes a lot more to fill up the stocking. Besides, do you really want to add it to the Christmas candy from last year still sitting in your cabinet?
Plan you stockings.
I touched on this earlier but it bears repeating. Each stocking should get a spot on your written budget and you should also come up with concrete ideas for what you want to put in them. Remember, if it is a gift you are spending money on for the holidays then it has to be included in your budget.
Don’t forget to sign up for our 31 Days newsletter for free printables and exclusive tutorials! *Update* All of the freebies for this list have now been added to the VIP Library. Sign up for free here!
Avoid that holiday sprint to fill stockings and don’t let shopping or crafting for them sneak up on you. Plan and budget your stockings just as you would your regular holiday gifts. Use the tips above to get you started. Tomorrow I’m giving you tips and ideas for your spouse’s stocking. Be sure to come back and check that out for more awesome ways to save.
See where I’m linking up!
Missed the introduction to this series? Find out more about #write31day