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Budget Gifts: Holiday Bucket of Fun!

Posted by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:50 AM
  • 4 Replies

Budget Gifts: Holiday Bucket of Fun!

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Photo by: Cafe Michelle L

Gifts don't have to cost a fortune! My friends and family love my Holiday Gift Buckets.  These buckets of holiday fun cost around $15 and the people on my list are always pleased.

Step One: Get a bucket, bag or container for your holiday care package. I use a 4 Qt. plain galvanized bucket from the hardware or craft store, for less than five bucks. I like to give buckets so people can use them for storage after the holiday.

Step Two: Add in PEOPLE magazine or US Weekly magazine. Guilty pleasure!

Step Three: Paperback books are a must for your gift bucket.  I have a couple of paperbacks that I am putting in a gift bucket for my sister's birthday.

Step Four: Add in candy and a favorite soda pop. My maiden name was Jones, so I love to give my family Jones Soda. I like to use candy that reminds the person of being a kid, so I use candy that most adults don't eat very often. I use Milk Duds for my holiday buckets because my family loves them.  "Retro" candy is harder to find but here are some candies I've used in my gift buckets:

  • Bottlecaps
  • Pez Dispensers
  • Licorice

Especially in these tough economic times, people are less likely to buy themselves candy or magazines!  The cost of a bucket depends on what you put in it, but here are some rough costs:

4 Qt. Galvanized Metal Bucket-$3.50

Juicy Magazine-$4.99

Paperback book-$7.99 new or $3.50 used. Gently used books can be purchased at or a number of local stores! Some of the used books look brand new!

Candy-A package of Bottlecaps is 40 cents. I usually put three bags in a gift bucket. Total of $1.20.

Pop-A can or bottle of pop shouldn't run more than $1.00.

A bucket filled with the contents above costs $18.68 if you include a new paperback book. If you have a used paperback, it's $14.19!  The magazine is pretty expensive and the book can be pricey if you buy it new. The metal bucket isn't a must for this gift! Plastic buckets or a bad are just as good.

I'd love to hear about your ideas for fun gifts that don't cost a fortune!

by on Nov. 11, 2016 at 11:50 AM
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by Member on Nov. 13, 2016 at 8:21 AM
1 mom liked this

My granddaughter is pregnant.  I just went to the dollar store and got a bunch of things for her Diaper bag.  Seame Street Baby Wipe container, Comb & Brush, Baby Pad , Diaper Disposal Bags, travel size Powder, Lotion. Washcloths, Bibs all with the Sesame Street Charactors.  Total Cost $11 with tax.  I am on the lookout for a Diaper Bag to put the items in.  I am going to check Kohl today.  I have a Son in Law whom I never know what to buy for him.  Each year I give him an older Movie from Walmart usually under $5.  Then I go to the Dollar Store and get some Microwave Popcorn Some of his favorite Candy and His Root Beer.  He loves it and i don't spend more than $10 

by on Nov. 13, 2016 at 9:09 AM

I've done the movie idea, too:  movie, popcorn, hot chocolate mix

I'm a crafty person, so quite a few gifts this year will be handmade:  Batman afghan for grandson (cost under $12 for yarn), Pretty in Pink afghan for oldest granddaughter (cost around $15 for yarn).  Two other granddaughters are into Paw Patrol, so I am making them hat/scarf/mitts sets appliqued with Paw Patrol patches (2 skeins yarn will do it all, plus material for the patches - total cost under $15 for both sets)*.  Youngest granddaughter is only a couple of months old so I found some mink fleece with a Scottie dog pattern in my stash and will add a simple border.

For someone that likes to bake, a mixing bowl filled w/a couple of wooden spoons and/or whisk and some cookie/cake/bread mix pouches (all from the dollar store) can cost $10 or less.

For the guys, fudge is a huge hit.  So are snacks like homemade chocolate covered pretzels or chex mix.  Add a new deck of cards and maybe a bottle of his favorite "game day" drink, be it beer or root beer or whatever.

Lady friends:  scented candle, bubble bath, maybe homemade bath bombs or oatmeal soap and a book are inexpensive to put together.

by on Nov. 13, 2016 at 9:12 AM

For kids that like to be artistic:  watercolor paints, colored pencils, coloring books and/or sketch pads, construction paper and stickers.  Get them from the dollar store to keep it cheap.

by on Nov. 13, 2016 at 9:47 AM

how about an ice cream sundae bucket?

4 or 5 qt pail of ice cream

chocolate syrup


whipped topping

maraschino cherries

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