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Last Minute Frugal Gifts Under $20

Our holiday gift guide [1] series continues! This week we are highlighting last minute frugal gift ideas from readers! They were submitted years ago, but are still some of the best last minute gift ideas.

Time is ticking on your holiday shopping! In case you don’t have time to order from the 10 Amazing Frugal Gift Ideas Under $20 [2] or hand make something from the 37 Homemade Frugal Gift Ideas Under $20 [3], here’s your chance to gift a great, yet frugal gift.

These special tips for the procrastinators out there! I’m generally a procrastinator too, so it’s important not only to find the perfect gift, but to be able to do so without spending a fortune.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

  1. Lottery Tickets. I always find people love getting lottery scratch-offs. It’s perfect because people usually don’t buy it for themselves but always appreciate a chance to win something. It works for both sexes and can be manipulated to fit any spending limit. – Howard
  2. Board Games. We’ve always been a fan of board games, both learning and just fun type games to share with our kids and adult friends. This year, we’ve made lists of board games we own and exchanged them with other families: we’ll make sure every family in the exchange gets a new or new-to-them game this year, be it store bought or sourced elsewhere. – aunt mommy
  3. Magazine Subscription. I picked up a magazine from a bookstore, wrapped it in a flat gift bag and purchased the subscription (which was only $10), for my dad who is terribly hard to buy for. A gift for each month! – Dee
  4. Donation. A $20 donation to a worthwhile non-profit! Organizations are struggling these days with the economy so now’s a good time to give. – Will
  5. Gas. I have given out gas cards before. It’s a good stocking stuffer and is greatly appreciated. So many love the fact that a tank of gas (or portion of) is paid for by me (especially the younger cousins and friends) who are not that financially independent. A $20 card these days goes a long way. – Aman
  6. Movie Tickets. Can’t beat the pair of movie tickets at Costco. Add their favorite candy to get to $20. – Diane
  7. Cash. Well I know this sounds too simple, I give everyone a $20 bill. Gift cards, too many restrictions. Cards, too much, I hand write notes and slip a $20 bill for them. People appreciate hand written notes more. – Bobby
  8. Plants. Every year, I like to give the girls at work a living gift. For instance, last year, I happened upon evergreen shrubs clearance priced right before our Christmas gift exchange. This year, I’ve already found the nicest poinsettias, and they are even grown locally! – Sara
  9. Entertainment book. I purchased a $20 entertainment coupon book for my frugal mother-in-law! Hundreds of dollars in savings in this one book and it supports my children’s elementary school as a fundraiser! – Kristine
  10. Flannel sheets. So we can turn the thermostat down a little bit! – Julie
  11. Trees. I have been donating money to the Arbor Day Foundation [4] for years now. With your donation ($10 minimum), they send you cards that you can send to two people letting them know that a tree has been planted in their name. They make great (and frugal) gifts for the environmentalists on your list, or the people who don’t really want anything or who would rather you give the money to charities. It’s a great gift for individuals and the planet. – Stephanie
  12. Shoes. I bought my dad a pair of shoes from Kohl’s on clearance for $15, originally $50. So that should be nice. – Chris
  13. Craft project. I was also at a party, and instead of lots of items for the children, I brought a ton of stickers (from a factory outlet) and some blank cards and we made Christmas cards. -Valerie
  14. Bingo. This year my family has decided to play bingo for prizes instead of exchange gifts. Each person will bring one of their favorite items that cost between $5-$10. The item has to be something that will be consumed. So people will bring their favorite soap, favorite drink, favorite candy, etc. All the items will be set out on a table and the winner of each round of bingo will get to select their prize from all the items. A very fun experience that is inexpensive and doesn’t add more clutter to our house. – Jamie G.
  15. Stocks. I am thinking to gift a single stock of $15. – Phoenix2life
  16. Dinner. Buy a certificate from Restaurant.com [5] and dine out with a friend. -Wealthy Immigrant

More Holiday Gift Ideas