ideas needed for a cheap christmas presents

(61 Posts)
butane123 Thu 08-Nov-12 15:52:18

well as the title says really struggling at the minute and looking for cheap gift ideas for my 5 year old .really worried im not going to be able to get him anything as after rent and council tax were left with not much still waiting for wtc to be sorted out hoping its done pretty soon and that they wil backpay in the meantime im planning ahead so any cheap presents that would be suitable for him please let me no last year xmas was awful we was on benefits and couldnt afford much thought this year would be different but just incase its not all sorted i need a plan so any ideas please tell me smile
were reusing last years xmas decs and tree so we have them its mainly gifts were struggling with everything hes asked for is not cheap lol all ben 10 and hot wheels


Nat38 Thu 08-Nov-12 16:03:43

Have you heard of Freecycle??hmm Google it & see what you think!! I love it-1 for getting rid of things easily & for free & 2 for getting things for free!!gringrin
Perhaps you could ask for a few things to help you out??winksmile
Good lucksmile

3bunnies Thu 08-Nov-12 16:19:48

Also look in charity shops, go to ones in the nicest parts of town, people tend to donate at their nearest shop. Often you get things new or nearly new. Remember things like gloves etc are more exciting when Father Christmas gives them. Look on the bargains thread too, there are loads of ideas and tips there.

mignonette Thu 08-Nov-12 16:43:53

Get a big jar or other container and fill it with these-

Little plastic toy animals/figures/packets of collectable stickers then surround them with sweets and other edible treats. Buy a few things each week and by Christmas you'll have a fabulous jar of excitement that he can put in his room and forage through at will. Discount stores are great for little cars/toys/ crayons/packets of art stuff and stickers....

Wrap it up with ribbon and paper.

Look online to http://www. They have great discounts such as a set of 3 rastamouse books for £4:99, 10 Moshi Monster books for £9:99, Lego pirate brickmaster book and 160 bricks halfprice for £9:99. Divide the book sets up into lots of parcels as that is what is exciting, not so much the contents.

The Big toy shed site has Hot Wheels Colour Shifters Piranha Attack Playset for £18:99 if that's any help

But keep a close eye on Argos and other retailers as they will all price competitively in the run up to Christmas.

also, our local newspaper runs a scheme whereby local people are asked to buy gifts and donate them. Local organisations then hand them out to families who have found themselves financially challenged. Can you see if your area has a local scheme like this? I know it can be hard to have to ask for this but please try, people want to help.

Does he like art? If so, you could build up a really interesting and bright art set by buying little bits each week- paper in different colours and types, crayons, felts, glitter, scissors, glue and collage bits. Find a container or box to arrange them in. Poundland has really decent art and craft supplies and don't discount independent art stores- they often discount ends of lines and have lots of little bits and pieces.

Look on Ebay for toys and look for local sellers who you can collect from. Gumtree is a good source too.

Don't forget cool little things for school that need not cost the earth- pencil cases, lunch boxes, gloves and socks, all these things can be sourced on sale at the moment- Paperchase aren't the cheapest but they do good sale discounts. And sets of things can be broken up and wrapped individually.

butane123 Thu 08-Nov-12 17:41:31

thanks for replying everyone some really fab ideas .
definately give me something to be getting on with

not sure if ours runs a scheme like that could look into it i just feel very embarrased at the moment about it all .

yes he does like art thats a fab idea was thinking something like that myself like a big art hamper type thing .

thanks xx

3bunnies Thu 08-Nov-12 19:47:28

Right, just saw on bargain thread that Argos 3 for 2 is back on until tuesday. Is only in store, but you can reserve online tonight and collect tomorrow. There are some hot wheels and ben 10 stuff there, some are already reduced to 5-10 pounds, so for 10-15 pounds you could get 3 main presents of his favourites. Not sure if you can combine the offers, but they were offering a 5 pound voucher if you bring in an old unwanted toy or toys (doesn't matter what condition it is). You should be able to use that to bring the cost down further. If you have nectar points you can use them to pay too. On 3 for 2 it is generally best to get 3 things which cost the same, or at least make sure that your cheapest item isn't much cheaper than your second cheapest. Really hope that you can manage to find him a bargain. Home bargains also had a ben 10 dvd for 3 pounds.

mignonette Thu 08-Nov-12 20:07:32

Matalan, Blockbusters, Asda all have really inexpensive DVD's- a few pounds for titles that have been out a few months. Just been to TK Maxx and they have lovely kids toiletries, gloves, nightwear with cartoonm characters etc, toys and art stuff for good prices.

ELC have gorgeous life like plastic animals that vary from £3 to £7 each. The jungle and safari and dinosaurs are so realistic and have great potential for imaginative play. Again, buy one a fortnight and you'll have the beginnings of a collection for him. Little kids like collections of things so wrap up individual little cars/trucks so he has loads of small gifts to open. That'll be magical for him and you-he doesn't know nor care about price. He'll just be lost in the excitement.

Don't forget to look out for dressing up outfits on sale after halloween. They aren't all monster ones- I've seen Superhero costumes and masks on sale in places like tesco/Asda.

mignonette Thu 08-Nov-12 20:13:21

Another idea- Does he go to grandparents/aunts etc for sleepovers? If yes, look for a little backpack and in it put a pair of new PJ's, a toothbrush with cartoon picture on it, a little pair of slippers or socks, a new cuddly or little animal and wrap them all up. Tell him Santa sent him his 'Big Boy' sleepover kit - i did this with my two and they loved it.
PJ's only £3-5 from Asda/TK Maxx/Tesco/Primark etc. Slippers the same. Backpacks in cartoon designs are often on sale now kids have gone back to school.

If you have a £land nearby they have great books/art stuff/dvds/sweets and today ours had 'hexbugs' not the real thing but I got ds one last year and he LOVED it, so I grabbed him and dd one each for stockings today.

Facebook selling pages are fantastic, ben 10 and hotwheels are very popular so pop wanted ads on, someones bound to be shifting something.

ENormaSnob Thu 08-Nov-12 20:33:32

Home bargains
Pound shop

All have cheap stuff thats great for kids at Christmas.

Check eBay, car boots, nct sales and charity shops too.

Chottie Thu 08-Nov-12 20:38:37

Please don't feel embarrassed about looking into local gift schemes. There are lots of people who don't have children to buy for at Christmas, so enjoy being a 'secret santa' to someone else's.

JoInScotland Thu 08-Nov-12 21:25:04

I found sidewalk chalk for 65p at the charity shop, as well as a little stand with egg timer to time your toothbrushing for £1 or so, a net that is meant for the tidal pool but DS has fallen in love with and plays with everyday for £1, a diary for 99p that was in his stocking and he likes looking in it, and we have written everyone's birthdays in it...... if you get a few bits and pieces each week until Christmas, you'll have some nice stocking fillers and can put together an art set, as someone else mentioned.

There's cheap hotwheels toys on the tkmaxx site at the moment. £17 for a set thats normally £35, plus some from £10 -£12 too.

butane123 Fri 09-Nov-12 09:16:30

hello everyone
thanks for all the wonderful ideas partner got paid today and have around £10 this week to get a few bits so going to nip into town and see what i can get
will report back later .
have googled local gift schemes and there doesnt seem to be any not that i can see anyway
thanks again for all the ideas xx

stressedHEmum Fri 09-Nov-12 09:36:46

If you have a printer, print out a pile of colouring pages from somewhere like dltk or activity village, bind or staple them together into a colouring book. Buy some crayons/coloured pencils and parcel them together. You an do this with dot-to-dot and mazes as well. Then he would have a bunch of little activity books.

make some gingerbread men/cookies and put them in a tin with a bow on top. Give him his own personal Christmas cookies that he can eat at will.

buy a kids Christmas mug and fill it with a sachet of hot chocolate, a peppermint candy cane, a handful of mini marshmallows and a fun sized bag of chocolate buttons in a cellophane bag tied up with some ribbon. Snowman soup.

Charity shops are good places for kids books and dvds.

You could record yourself reading some of his favourite stories so that he can listen to them whenever he wants.

Can you knit? it's really quick and easy to knit a hat or a scarf. If you can sew, you could make a crayon storage roll ( a bit like a make up brush roll except for crayons)

Festive feety pyjamas from primark are cheap and have the added bonus of keeping kids warm in the winter.

Our Asda has a half price sale on some kids clothes and dressing up stuff at the moment.

legalalien Fri 09-Nov-12 10:01:31

Hmm, I got rid of a lot of our stuff earlier in the year but I will see if I can persuade ds to part with the ben10 guessing game which I have just found under the other board games and which he hasn't shown any interest in a long time - will keep you posted. I have tasked a couple of my good mates with seeing whether they have anything in good recyclable condition - their ds's are a similar age so may well have some no longer loved ben10/ hot wheels / stuff for five year olds knocking around.....

legalalien Fri 09-Nov-12 10:04:11

By the way mignonette, the sleepover kit is a great idea. Shame I missed my window of opportunity!

butane123 Sat 10-Nov-12 11:11:47

hi everyone i went to town yesterday had about 8 pound to spend after we got electric gas and paid what we needed to out

managed to get with that

jenga from b and m £1.50

4 story books from the charity shop £0.80p

ben 10 dvd £2.99 from home bargains

crayons and a colouring book £2.00

going to ring working tax credits again on monday hopefully they are a bit further on with the claim .thanks for all the ideas .
stressedHEmum thanks for all them brilliant ideas

legal alien thats really kind of you wouldnt expect that


butterfingerz Sat 10-Nov-12 11:41:30

Keep checking those charity shops, and definitely sign up for freecycle, you'd be suprised what people throw away! Especially at this time of year, people want to declutter to make room for new stuff.

Is there any carboots near you? They will be busy with people selling stuff this time of year to try and raise cash for xmas.

butane123 Sat 10-Nov-12 11:43:51

yes i will do and i think ive signed up with that now will have another look on there soon.

yes i think there is will google it in a minute and have a look xx

butterfingerz Sat 10-Nov-12 11:48:47

Supermarkets are always full of cheap kids dvds at about £3 each, our local Sainsburys has lots of xmas themed ones at the moment.

Look at their childrens clothes in the 'sale' area, they have a rapid turnover of clothes so you can often pick up stuff for half price. Ours had loads of 'thomas' stuff at 50% off.

Do a cheap stocking (go to wilkos or poundland) and fill with cheap xmas sweets and chocolate, silly toys (bouncy balls, toy cars), bubble bath.

Wilkinsons are great for cheap stuff at xmas... I love wilkos all year round mind!

butane123 Sat 10-Nov-12 12:15:13

thanks will keep my out for some in the supermarkets he does love new dvds

i was thinking of getting him some pjs and socks things like that .

yes was going to do that just been looking as i no we have a lot of stockings so wont have to buy a new one so thats a bonus lol .

i did want to do a xmas eve basket but not sure at the moment but no he would love it some one near to me is selling reindeer food at 75p a bag so was going to get that for xmas eve for him

i love wilkinsons to smile xx

PatTheHammer Sat 10-Nov-12 12:27:18

Was going to recommend Home and Bargins too if you have one. Loads of cheap branded kids toys including Playmobil,Polly Pocket, hello kitty and Ben 10. Board games, art stuff, dressing up and cheap kids DVDs. They also had spiderman pyjamas for £5.

mignonette Sat 10-Nov-12 14:31:27

When DS was little we did a reindeer snack tray. My DH waited until children were in bed then chopped up a carrot into little chewed up bits and scattered them around the fireplace and hall. We crumbled up a biscuit and made a mess with it.

Next morning, the kids were both thrilled and appalled at the 'mess' the reindeer had made, spilling their carrots everywhere. Our 'naughty reindeer' reaction to having to 'clear it all up and why was a herd of reindeer in our living room' thrilled them even more. They talked about if for a long time.....

racingheart Sat 10-Nov-12 14:35:32

Wilkos has fantastic art and craft stuff from £1. So do 99p stores. They even have large canvases sometimes, or those wooden animals you build and paint yourself.

You can request Hot Wheels and Ben 10 stuff on Freecycle. Make sure you sign up to smart areas you can travel to, as well as your local branch, as they tend to have lots more on offer, and could well be doing a clearout now in time for next Christmas.

racingheart Sat 10-Nov-12 14:36:59

Primark has gorgeous PJs for £5. 99p stores have lovely scarves, hats, gloves, and lots of Christmassy stuff.

mignonette Sat 10-Nov-12 14:45:04

Saw Hot Wheels in a local discount store- single cars for £3 each. Also net strings of Marbles (overdue for a comeback), large Alien figures, Disney, Action Heroes bubbles, plastic zoo/farm animal sets, Transformers and similar toys' drawing/pencil/pencil case sets- all for 99p-£1 each.

All great for stocking fillers. I used to buy a couple of childrens comics/magazines and put them in stockings too. Some markets have stalls selling last months magazines for 80p-£1 a copy.

izzywizzyisbizzy Sat 10-Nov-12 15:26:33

go on the christmas bargains thread and keep a very close eye,

butane123 Sat 10-Nov-12 18:06:58

thats a really good idea about the comics and magazines will have a look around see if i can find any smile

trying to find the christmas bargains thread can someone send me a link please xx

mignonette Sat 10-Nov-12 18:34:47
butane123 Sat 10-Nov-12 18:41:17

thank you x

butane123 Sun 11-Nov-12 12:04:58

hiya ive just been thinking i no you can make home made gifts well does any body no how to make your own playdough ? x

Here you go.

I put glitter and vanilla / cinnamon in mine at Christmas to make it extra special

butane123 Sun 11-Nov-12 12:50:04

ooh thanks smile sounds good that i love the smell of vanilla lol xx

Violet77 Sun 11-Nov-12 17:45:22

You could make him a cat mat to pay with or a farm mat with a few plastic animals. They are very easy to do. Can be hand sewn or even drawn on plastic.

Google hand made toys, loads of ideas for not much money. Sock monkeys etc, anyone can make.

Have to second charity shops, i got loads of games, marble run, cars, trucks etc for my little one for a pound or two each.

Violet77 Sun 11-Nov-12 17:46:01

A car mat!!!!

butane123 Mon 12-Nov-12 14:12:42

thanks for the ideas violet will have a look on google and see what i think i may be able to make lol never made anything before smile

car mat sounds fab will definately look into that x

thanks x

Violet77 Mon 12-Nov-12 17:17:32

Good luck, you can make your town.

Actuallylookingok Mon 12-Nov-12 17:21:36

Saw a fabulous idea in tescos mag via martins money tips i think. You fill a large box with inflated balloons and wrap it. Prob suitable for younger kids but my 5 yo ds would love it!

inmyheadimthequeen Mon 12-Nov-12 17:39:20

I've PM'd you

russiandolly Mon 12-Nov-12 19:21:38

Could someone let me know how I send a PM please?!

Thank you.

inmyheadimthequeen Mon 12-Nov-12 19:31:34

russiandolly, you will see these options on the bar at the top of the post: add message/report/message poster - press the 'message poster' one then type your message in the box that appears and press send. The poster will get an email to say they have a PM and/or they can check their messages in the 'inbox' which is at the very top of the page (logout/inbox). HTH.

russiandolly Mon 12-Nov-12 19:36:13

Thank you v much.

russiandolly Mon 12-Nov-12 19:45:17

Butane, I have sent you a PM (I hope).

blackeyedsusan Mon 12-Nov-12 21:44:11

morrisons do a small pack of pencil crayons for 15p

asda had cheap felt tips. (something like 26p?)

wilkos do colouring books far cheaper than a printer could.

tesco and asda do wind up bath toys that were a pound I think.

butane123 Tue 13-Nov-12 11:16:21

thanks for the replys everyone

butane123 Wed 14-Nov-12 09:57:30

had no joy on freecycle so anybody have any cheap websites they no of .dp gets paid again friday so will no what i can spare then .quite thankful he gets paid weekly would be so much worse if he didnt .also signed up to start saving with park savings for next year so this never ever happens again xx

LaLa07 Wed 14-Nov-12 12:32:49

Get hold of a huge cardboard box, fill it full of blown up balloons and then wrap it up. When he opens it he will love it and he can then (with help) spend the rest of the day occupied making a castle or den or similar out of the box.

butane123 Thu 15-Nov-12 11:12:59

that sounds really good lala hed love that xx

elvisaintdead Thu 15-Nov-12 21:50:46

lots of the ideas have been said but I find great bargains on bigger items at car boot, especially near the end when people just want to get rid so as not to have to take stuff home. Got DS2 some skates from a car boot last year, good condition and cost £5, also got DD an ironing board and iron (toy obv) and dolly highchair all for £4, gave them a clean up and they were fine. Wilkos and poundland good for stocking fillers and craft bits. Also get plai T-shirts and buy iron on patches or transfers on ebay to make your own ben 10, star wars etc T-shirts for a fraction of the price....

sweetkitty Thu 15-Nov-12 21:55:41

Look out for schools and churches having Christmas Fayres, people donate their own books and toys. I've had great bargains at ours.

butane123 Fri 16-Nov-12 09:09:09

my ds school is having a christmas fayre next week

on the other hand this week we wont be able to get anything my partners wages have gone in this morning and theyve gone with charges and direct debits im so worried now about food and everything else .spoke to working tax again yesterday they saying they need more information and have sent us another form out !!.just spoke to the bank they wont refund the charges as they did this for us a few weeks ago and wont do it again.and the direct debit was council tax,talk talk have still took there money even though we dont have it on a direct debit and we had to get a loan of cash convertors at the begining whilst we were waiting for wages to come through we cancelled the direct debit and theyve took there worried about how im going to get through the week now was relying on that to pay sons trip,school dinners and get food its total nightmare :/ xx

pussycatsruleok Fri 16-Nov-12 18:57:32

whats park savings? be careful, remember Farepack where subscribers lost their savings when it went bust.

mignonette Fri 16-Nov-12 19:06:24


There's another thread on here about making up a Hot Chocolate Hamper. You might like this as it need not cost the earth and you can buy the different items week by week.

Buy a suitable wide, shallow drinking mug/cup (plenty of places sell inexpensive child-appealing mugs or cups then get some little sachets of different flavours and types of drinking chocolate. You can add the chocolate stirrers; lumps or balls of chocolate on a stick that melt into the drink, some marshmallows, chocolate buttons or other mini chocolates for dunking/decorating, some chocolate flakes for sprinkling, some of those striped chocolate wafer sticks and package it all together.

Art shops/Poundland sells acetate-stiff plastic that can be used to make templates of cartoon heads, logo's, little animal designs which you then place over the top of the drink and scatter chocolate flakes/cocoa/ thick cream over it. The cut out design produces a shape on the drink surface like barista's do.

Your son would adore this I am sure.

mignonette Fri 16-Nov-12 19:09:20

It might be better to open a little savings account with a building society or the post office. Make sure it 'locks' the money in so you have to give at least a month's notice to withdraw the money. You'll get interest on it and it will 1) be safer than Park type schemes, and 2) you'll be able to use the savings to take advantage of money off deals. Park items are more expensive and you have to buy from there. You'll not be able to take advantage of a cheaper price in another store for the item you want to buy.

Please avoid 'Park' and other similar schemes if you possibly can.

butane123 Fri 16-Nov-12 19:57:39

hiya oh yes might be best to steer away from them then i havent actually payed anything yet so im not obligated to it .was thinking of a credit union think you can save with them cant you .might be a better option thanks smile will look into post office savings aswell and the building society

mignonette .thats sounds brilliant i think he'd love it will have a look if i can find it .thanks

drummerswife Fri 16-Nov-12 20:18:21

poundworld have some great bits in i got
a really nice teddy shaped tin which i'm putting chocolates in for my dd
pack of 3 toy story/disney princess glasses which i'm going to wrap individually with sweets in for nephews/nieces
some great books/colouring books/sticker books
grafix puzzles [quite chunky ideal for toddlers]

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 16-Nov-12 20:34:47

Credit union is really good, you would have to make an appointment to take money out so it's not easy access.

Playdough is a good idea. Cheap crafty stuff and a few dvds. Do you have a games console? The cash for games pawn type shops are really good for second hand games. My nan bought the dc a wii game and a ds game for under a tenner for both.

I promise dc do not remember the amount of stuff they get all they really remember is the lead up and doing things like baking cookies for santa, going for walks at night to see all the lights. Don't bother buying reindeer food it's easy and cheep to make it's oats glitter and a carrot. Your ds will remember spreading the food outside for the reindeers and making cookies for santa or whatever traditions you want to do a lot more then a huge pile of plastic tat. A good present could be a a trip to somewhere in January when your WTC have come through. Your ds won't know if it's not already paid for and I bet he would be so excited counting down the days to the 15th say to go to the zoo.

When DS 1 was 6 I put a jar of cookie mix like this in his stocking labelled Mrs Clause's Special Cookie Recipe. He was utterly thrilled and it had only cost me a few pence for the ingredients. He no longer believes in Santa but still asks each year if Mrs Clause will be putting a little something in his stocking... Homemade playdough is ridiculously easy - this candy cane playdough is a nice festive version but I am quite excited about the glittery version upthread too!
Try Pinterest (there is a thread on MN somewhere where people have posted their pinterest boards) for inspiration of simple but lovely things to make. There are just loads of things you can make yourself. Last year I was flush with inspiration from pinterest but not with cash to buy fabric etc so I just used clothes the boys had outgrown and made back-packs, wallets, pencil cases, bean bags, soft toys, crayon rolls, etc - effectively they were free but the boys were thrilled with them.
Good luck - at your son's age he will be delighted with whatever you give him I should think!

Snazzyfeelingfestive Fri 16-Nov-12 22:42:38

Just looked at Ben 10 stuff and Argos have a few things , one is 7.49 and another 12.33 but with these you also get a free DVD if you buy online which would be another present and bump up the value for money a bit. I have seen lots of cheap Ben 10 bits in toyshops too, may not be exactly the things he's asked for but at least it would be the right theme.

butane123 Sun 18-Nov-12 15:46:06

thank you for all the fab replys they are all really helpfull thanks xx

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