Holiday Shopping on a Student Budget


We know how expensive the holidays can get. Between the dinners, events and gifts that you are expected to purchase, you may begin to feel overwhelmed with the idea of how your budget will survive this break. We have compiled a list of shopping hacks and budget-friendly DIY’s to help ease this experience for you and make your budget last:

Take advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday. This year, Black Friday falls on November 26, and Cyber Monday is on November 29. If you’ve never taken advantage of either of these national sales, you are missing out on discounts as high as 75%! Check out these websites for best deals anticipated this year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Sign up for Student Discount Memberships! Websites like UniDays offer exclusive discounts for college students. Check out this platform to save money on gifts like electronics, clothing, and more.

Keep an eye out for discount codes posted online. If you don’t find what you’re looking for with your student discount, try Honey and RetailMeNot!

Consider buying second-hand. Cookeville is home to many popular thrifting and consignment stores where you may find some really unique gifts for great prices. Not only will your wallet thank you, but so will the environment! Remember to clean the goods you purchase at these shops before you wrap them!

DIY gifts. Homemade gifts are often the most cherished around the holidays, and are guaranteed to save you some cash! You can keep it simple by framing a sweet photo, or try one of these more challenging DIYs:

  • Spa in a Jar: Mix epsom salt and lavender in a glass jar, and seal it tightly.
  • Customized Coasters: Place a printed photo onto a plain coaster and seal it with Mod Podge glue.
  • Christmas Ornament: This 3-ingredient recipe yields cinnamon scented ornaments, sure to freshen up any tree!
  • Holiday Brew: Place a special, holiday K-cup in a new mug for a caffeinated treat.
  • Cookie Mix in a Jar: Pre-mix the dry ingredients of your favorite, seasonal baked good and pour the mix into a jar with the recipe attached on cardstock.

Look for inexpensive wrapping paper. After all your gifts are ready to be wrapped, you won’t want to go overboard and spend the rest of your budget at this last, crucial step. Use plain gift bags and wrappings from the dollar store, and dress up your gifts with a simple ribbon!

With these six hacks, your budget is sure to last through winter break, and you’ll have unique gifts to surprise your friends and family with!