Filling Stockings on a Budget

Within only the next few days, Christmas will be upon us. Santa will be making his rounds, and for many of us, “Santa” has no idea what to place in stockings. Whether he’s strapped for cash or just doesn’t know what to get, why not help out ‘ol Saint Nick by providing him with some easy, yet much-needed stocking stuffer advice?

From children, to adults, to the person who already owns absolutely everything, help make Christmastime more enjoyable by planning ahead… even if only by a few days.

"the stockings were hung by stand" By LizMarie_AK

“the stockings were hung by the…tv stand” By LizMarie_AK

To stuff the perfect stocking:

  • Shopping smart. When it comes to stocking stuffers, one of the best budget-friendly locations is the dollar store. It’s true that you may not want to purchase your meat or dairy from their aisles, but theses stores are great for gum, candy, lip gloss, or whatever other small items you’re looking for. You can often purchase practical items as well; notepads, kitchen utensils, or coloring books for the car.
    When taking this method, a stocking (even a large one) can be stuffed full for less than $10. (Check out more tips from the Washington Post.)
  • Going practical. Let’s face it: the stocking generally isn’t the most exciting aspect of Christmas. Instead of filling it with over-the-top goodies, use it as a chance to sneak in boring gifts, such as a hairbrush or notepads. That way the “boring” gift is still received, but without putting too much attention on each item.
  • Staying realistic. Before heading to the store, take a solid look at each stocking you have to fill. Chances are you’ll need less space than you think. To avoid overbuying, test for space, or purchase smaller items to fill a stocking. This can help save on funds as well.
  • Budgeting. If you have X dollars to spend for a stocking, but have a more expensive item in mind, it’s time to stretch those funds. Fill a stocking with socks (open a package for optimum stuffing), gloves, or an ice scraper – all of which can be found for less than $5 each. Then, if picking up a CD, sentimental pen, or necklace, the cheaper items will offset this thoughtful and personal gift.

Filling stockings is a fun part of Christmas, but one that can often push our budgets over the limit. To avoid empty stockings (or wallets) this holiday season, follow these easy steps and enjoy the best of what holiday shopping – on a small scale – has to offer.

Post by Bethaney Wallace, a freelance writer for St. Patrick’s Guild

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