Three Affordable, Last Minute Gift Ideas

I’m one of those people who likes to get my Christmas shopping done early. I make a list and check it twice. Or four or five times. And I check people off as I go, noting when I’ve purchased, orders and even wrapped gifts. I even have an app for that. (aff) But inevitably, there are one or two people who I forget to include until the last minute. When that happens and my time to shop online sales has run out, there’s a frantic scurry to do some in-store shopping. So when Walmart asked me to share some last-minute gift ideas, I knew I’d have no problem doing that.


Here are three ideas for last minute gifts that are both affordable and really thoughtful.

Warm & cozy teacher gift idea

Bad mommy alert: My daughter’s teacher is usually one of the people I shop for at the last minute. I usually have to give myself a little time to come up with something creative.


Well, when I went to Walmart headquarters a few months back, I came home with some double walled plastic mason jar mugs from Aladdin, and we have been using them like crazy for everything from coffee to smoothies. At just under $5, I knew it would make a great gift. But not alone. I added an awesome plush chevron print blanket for just $4.96 and filled it with delectable Lindor chocolate truffles for $3. Later, I decided to add a $10 Starbucks gift card.


I simply put the gift card and chocolates inside the mug, then wrapped it all up in the blanket. Together, they’re the perfect warm and cozy gift, and it took all of 5 minutes to put together. My daughter delivered it to her teacher today, so I hope she loves it!

Wrap a gift in a gift

We are very particular about gift wrap around here, and we’ve been reusing the same gift bags and boxes for years. We even reuse quality, thick wrapping paper. But I always like to mix it up by wrapping some things unconventionally.


I had this purse to give my niece as a gift, but I didn’t want to put it in a gift bag. Instead, I spent $4.97 on a great blue and white patterned scarf similar to this one and used it to “wrap” the purse. Simple and pretty, and she gets two gifts in one!


Scarves really make awesome gift wrap, particularly for items that are oddly shaped. How you wrap it will depend largely upon the size of your gift, but I’d opt for the largest scarf you can find to give you some breathing room. Bonus Tip: Tea towels and light blankets are also awesome for this purpose.

Useful stocking stuffers

We do Christmas stockings each year, but I’ve never been a fan of the “throw anything that fits into the stocking” mentality. We used to be, once upon a time, and we learned the hard way that most of those small gifts were completely useless and turned into clutter in short order. So now, my only rule for stocking stuffers is that they need to be either edible or useful. For my kids, that usually amounts to things like soap, deodorant and candy. Boring, I know, but they use them. This time, I stuck with the theme, but at least took into consideration things they actually requested.


My stepson recently made the basketball team at school, so I grabbed a three-pack of And 1 performance socks for just $4.97 (and he did ask for basketball socks this Christmas), along with a headband, both of which he’ll get a lot of use from during the next few months. My daughter, on the other hand, has been asking for a spinning electric toothbrush for years. Why she wants one, I have no idea, but since the Arm & Hammer Spinbrush is on sale for $4.88, I decided this was finally the year to fulfill her request.

At the end of the day, we’re all happy. I’m not giving useless gifts that will be thrown by the wayside, and they get stocking stuffers they actually want.

What are your “rules” for stocking stuffers? And how do you handle last-minute gift giving? I’d love to hear your tips!

DISCLOSURE: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

By jennae

Hi! I'm Jennae Petersen and I'm the eco diva who had the bright idea to share my journey toward green living with the blogosphere. Some of you may know me as the founder of Green Your Decor, my blog about eco-friendly home decor, as a Walmart Mom, from Twitter or from my organic cotton t-shirt line Differently Clothing. Stick around for a while!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.