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Great Gifts on a Budget

As college students who don’t always have a lot of extra spending money, time, or access to our favorite stores at home, we often are clueless about what to buy our friends or boyfriends during the holiday season. Despite how well you know them, it’s often hard to shop for the people closest to you.  The following gifts are sure ways to please your friends or significant other while not breaking the bank!
For Your Friends

1.  Picture Frames or Collages ($10-$25)
A girl can never have enough pictures in her room! Picture frames and collages filled up with family, friends, and memories that will last a life time make a dorm room, apartment or house at college feel like home! Head over to hobby lobby, print out a few pictures from Walgreen’s and get creative! (Photo Credit: lumberjocks

2. Manicure gift card ($15-$30)
Getting a manicure is something that your friend will love but would likely not do on their own especially away at school! This is a great gift for your closest friends who don’t necessarily need any more “things” but deserve special treatment! Splitting the cost of a gift with friends for someone is also a great idea since some salons can be pricey. 

3. Care Package ($10-$20)
For your best friends from home who are away at different schools, surprise care packages are a great way to show you care. Fill up the package with the little things like their favorite candy, nail polish, the latest Cosmo and anything else you know they’ll love! (Photo Credit: Amelia's Creations)
4. Jewelry ($5 - $20)
Whether it’s a stylish pair of earrings from Juniper, cute necklaces you pick up from Forever 21 or Charming Charlie’s or a fun bracelet you spot at Target, inexpensive jewelry is a great gift to give your friends to spice up their weekend outfits. No one wants to have to worry about losing Grandma’s pearls or the Tiffany bracelet they promised they would take care of in the middle of Brick Street, so this gift will surely be appreciated!

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For Your Boy

1. Date Night, Your Treat! ($20 - $30)
Let’s face it, boys love food and will never turn down an offer to go out to lunch or dinner! Whether it’s Fiesta Charra, SoHi, or even Chipotle, there are countless affordable options in Oxford that always result in a good time and great food! (Photo Credit: restaurant.com)
2. Sports Apparel ($15 - $30)
With the college football and NFL season under way, buy your boy a hat or t-shirt so he can root on his favorite team! Not only will you win points for “caring” about sports, this gift is something he will really use. 

3. Alcohol ($15 - $25)
As girls, we rarely have to pay for alcohol and I’m always shocked to hear just how much boys spend every weekend. Surprise your boyfriend or that good guy friend who is always so generous to you with a bottle of his favorite liquor or if he’s more of a beer guy, bringing him something other than Natty will certainly be welcome! This must be an age-appropriate gift, of course. (Photo Credit: bevmo.com)
4. Movie/DVD ($15-25)        
Whether it’s a season of their favorite TV show or the latest movie they raved about, buying your boy a movie is always a good last minute option.  The best part is you can definitely work in a date night/cuddle session!

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Fabulous Free Gifts

Some of the most memorable gifts I have received from friends cost nothing but were personal, unique and thoughtful.  

1. Mix CD
Though it might bring you back to your middle school days, making someone a mixed CD is still a great option! Who doesn’t love having a new set of 14 songs to pop in their car cd player or upload to their iPod?

2. Write a Letter
It’s hard to stay in touch with friends from home but writing a letter is a great way to show you care and catch up.

3. Baked Goods
While away at school, one of the things I miss the most is my mom’s homemade cookies, brownies, and pretty much any dessert.  Making your friends cookies or baked goods before a stressful week of exams or surprising them with a cupcake or two is always a great way to make their day! (Photo Credit: My Kitchen Journey)

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