I love gift-giving. For a while, I was more of a receiver, awaiting Care Bears and For Real Friends for years on end when I rushed down the stairs on Christmas morning. Since growing up, I have found so much love in giving the perfect gift to the people I care about. My dilemma this year, however, is that I'm super broke. The first semester of college without a job has been very experiential in terms of budgeting and finding ways to pinch pennies. How do I get someone the perfect gift if I can only afford the soggy grass outside my dorm room?
By investigating every website on the internet.
I have complied a list of my favorite websites to find reasonably-priced gifts for my friends and family. Most should have Cyber Monday promotions, as well, and even just toying with cute stocking stuffers will be enough. It's the thought that counts, right?
I first stumbled upon this website through a Facebook ad, because the internet watches my every move. Some of their products are a little meme-y (see the Harambe Christmas shirts), but using their search bar and best seller lists, I have found so many adorable things! Whether it's a matter of showing off your political pride or donning a makeup bag adorned in pugs, this is your place. And they seem to run deals all the time!
I bet you've heard of this one before, but Fab.com is one of the best places to find unique and adorable gifts. While it is slightly more expensive, they have a selection of college-friendly gifts to get your pals...or put on your Christmas list for mom and dad.
This website has saved my butt a couple times when I'm at a loss for what to get my boyfriend. This has everything you can think of for nerds and story-tellers and everyone in between. They are also having a ton of promotions for the holiday season, and I might have gone down the rabbit hole looking for Newt Scamander-related stuff instead of writing this article.
Duh. This isn't news to anyone, but Etsy is the closest thing to heaven we will ever experience as a human race. You can find almost anything there, with the right searching skills. I have found my best and most personal gifts on this website, and the best part is that you're supporting independent artists and creators.
Another love of my life. Redbubble has tons of stickers (hello, beautiful laptop), as well as T-shirts, totes, home decor items and more! Again, this is a hub for independent artists and creators, and it's easy to find things that your friends will love and cherish. Sales are all the rage, and they have a sticker deal that's kind of like the five for $27 thing at Victoria's Secret...but arguably way better.
Groupon ROCKS. You can give the gift of experiences and memories, as well as things and stuff. The best part? It's cheaper for you and still thrilling for the receiver of the gift. Groupon has new offers everyday, and whether it's a discounted facial or a zip-lining adventure, there's bound to be something for everyone.
This will be the most adorable option on this list. I am still a fan of stuffed animals, and these adorable round bundles of love will bring utmost comfort during the holiday season. They are even based off of community designs and drawings! Their mini Squishables are around $20 and are cuter than anyone's best selfie.
This website (another deal-runner) prints your photos and Instagrams on beautiful paper. They make books, calendars and cards for all of your needs. This is a great place to look for your pack-rat friends who never want to forget anything, or just anyone who could use some cute photos up in their dorm rooms!
Serengetee carries shirts, backpacks and a bunch of other cute stuff that is made with fabrics from developing countries all over the world. A percentage of their proceeds go to those local artisans, and you even get a little passport that tells you about the fabric of your items! Their items aren't the cheapest, but for someone special, they will know you made a difference through this gift.
This one is my personal favorite. My mom got me one of these last year for my birthday, and they are so cute and so meaningful. Each bracelet donates a portion of sales to a special charity. Again, not the absolute cheapest, but between all the Cyber Monday sales and other penny pinching skills, you may be able to drop a few extra dollars. This one celebrates the National Alliance on Mental Illness!
There you have it! Other gift-giving tips are grabbing some tees at your school's book store or sports apparel store. I've been buying boxed cards, as well, instead of individual ones, to save a couple bucks and still send out some sweet sentiments to the important people in my life. Baking cookies is also an option, and you know Pinterest awaits. Happy holidays!