5 Easy Ways to Save on Stocking Stuffers

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With the holidays fast approaching, the costs can add up, particularly with stocking stuffers. I’m not a huge presents person and when someone asks me what I want it is usually a small thing. Fun fact, when I was ten I asked Santa for a map of the world. True story.

Anyway, one thing I have always loved is opening my stocking, I’m an adult and I really don’t need a stocking but as a family, we still make up stockings for everyone and it is always full of fun odds and ends.

My love of my stocking may also stem from the fact that when I was a kid the stocking was the one thing we could “open” before our parents got up. In hindsight, my parents were probably just looking for a way to sleep in. Anyway, the costs of those little odds and ends can add up quickly so here are 5 ideas to easily save on stocking stuffers.

1. Stuff it with Candy

Halloween just happened, which means there is a lot of candy out there that is packaged individually, so long as you steer clear of the pumpkin packaging, you could definitely pick up some clearance candy or use what you have left over to stuff stockings next month.

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By the way, freezing candy is a great way to store it. Beware though frozen candy tastes the best. It may take a bit of willpower to hold onto the candy until December.

2. Shop Black Friday Doorbusters

Lots of stores will have small things for $5-10 dollars as a doorbuster. Now, in my opinion, it is not worth waiting in line for a $5 doorbuster, but I’ve found over the years that there have been a handful of these items left, even when I’ve gotten there later.

Another trend I’ve noticed is that some stores will have staggered doorbusters. Macy’s in particular sticks out in my mind, where they have something at midnight, something from 10am-12pm, etc. Pick your shopping time frame and see what doorbusters are available. Just have a plan ahead of time.

3. Open the Package

This can tie into number two pretty well, lots of times those door busters will have multiple items in them. For example, a doorbuster at Ulta (a cosmetics store) was a Bare Mineral kit that included a lip gloss, eyeshadow, and makeup brush. You could definitely separate that into 2-3 different stockings and same with mini nail polish sets or toy car sets. Just because you buy something packaged a certain way doesn’t mean you have to gift it that way.

For example, a doorbuster at Ulta (a cosmetics store) was a Bare Mineral kit that included a lip gloss, eyeshadow, and makeup brush. You could definitely separate that into 2-3 different stockings and same with mini nail polish sets or toy car sets. Just because you buy something packaged a certain way doesn’t mean you have to gift it that way.

4. Upcycle

Take something you have but don’t use anymore and upcycle it into something that can be enjoyed again.

For example, if you have kids that enjoy coloring, I bet you have a ton of broken crayons, melt those puppies down to fun shapes and colors and voila! You have new crayons. Here is a good tutorial. Pick up some coloring books from the dollar store and you are golden.

5. DIY

Making some stocking stuffers on your own is really easy, especially if you have a sewing machine. But even if you don’t there are lots of things you could make. Here are some ideas either way and some links to tutorials I found. Most of which I have used myself:

  1. Travel Tissue Cover
  2. Earbud Holder
  3. Fabric weights-(for a fellow sewer/quilter or yourself)
  4. String art
  5. Knit a scarf or hat depending on your level of patience
  6. Stuffed blocks
  7. All the supplies needed for one of these DIY projects, if you are giving to someone crafty (like DIY crafty not Beastie Boys-Crafty 😉 )

Wrapping it Up with a Bow on Top

Stocking stuffers are great, but depending on the stocking the cost can really add up. Save some money by being a little creative:

  • Stuff it with candy (buy clearance Halloween candy and freeze it)
  • Shop Black Friday Doorbusters
  • Open the package and split up the contents
  • Upcycle
  • DIY

Whatever you do, make sure your spending aligns with your priorities. Happy Holidays! Good luck with stuffing those stockings! If you have any other ideas I would love to hear them, leave them in the comments below. 🙂

Life tools & resources I recommend

The Skimm (for staying informed) I've been a loyal Skimmer for over three years. The Skimm is a news source that shows up in your email first thing in the morning M-F. It gives you a 5-minute rundown of what's happening in the world and links to legitimate news sources if you want to learn more about a topic. I start every day with my coffee and The Skimm. I <3 it so much.

Winc (for Wine Delivery) I like ordering a box of different wines to try from Winc every few months. The bottles average $13 a piece and delivery is free when you get at least 4 bottles (more wine please). If you want to check out Winc, you can get a free bottle of wine using my link. I'm very pro free wine.

Checkout 51 (to save on groceries) To save money on groceries, download the Checkout51 app and sign up for free. Each week on Thursday, "new deals" come out. Go through and star the items that are on your grocery shopping list. Do your shopping and at the end use your phone to snap a picture of receipt through the app and hit submit. Once you earn $20 in rewards you can cash out and Checkout51 will send you a check.


Liz is a blogger helping people with personal finance and working for themselves. She shares her own journey to debt freedom and helps graduates dealing with above average student loan debt on her site, Less Debt More Wine. She currently resides in NC after calling Massachusetts home for nearly a decade.

  • Great tips! I like to keep my eye out all year long on clearance sections for stocking stuffers. 🙂

    • says:

      Me too, but I always have to be careful in keeping track of everything I’ve got or I fall into the trap of getting too much.

  • Melissa says:

    I’m not a creative person at all, so melting down crayons would probably result in me melting my hand, haha 😉 However, I LOVE the idea of the doorbusters and buying small, fun packages. I have a niece who is really hard to buy for, but I found out last year that a multi-make up palette (eye shadows, blush, lip stuff, etc) was the PERFECT gift. And, of course, Sephora and Ulta had really good deals on those sets during Black Friday! Win-win! 🙂

    • says:

      Thanks for the comment! That’s awesome for your niece, mine isn’t quite old enough for make up yet, but I’m sure when she is she’ll be getting doorbuster deals from ulta and sephora. For black friday, my family laughs because I look over all the adds really closely, I usually don’t go out for the big items but rather a ton of small things. As for the crayons, it doesn’t require much creativity more just some basic baking skills. Good luck with shopping this year (and crayons if you decide to give it a try) 🙂

  • Mel says:

    We Dollar Tree stocking stuffers all the way. It’s even easier when you have groups of kids together – for instance, when my cousins and I were teenagers, the dorkiest big bows for our hair became this super cute photos with all of us mugging for photos and they were just a buck each. They also have a bunch of glow stick type stuff which never stops being entertaining (seriously, I’m 30 and I still love finding a reason to wear glow necklaces).

    • I’m still into the glow sticks, too! Haha. And they have them and a ton of other awesome stocking stuffer type stuff at Target in their $1/$2 section at the front of the stores.

      • says:

        I’m definitely guilty of shopping that section at Target especially for different holiday stuff.

    • says:

      Thanks for the comment. I can’t imagine an age where glow sticks wouldn’t’ be a ton of fun.

  • Love your ideas! Stocking stuffers are one of my favorite holiday items to buy, so I really need to watch my pennies because I can get carried away. I’ve been stocking up on clearance items I see throughout the year.

    • says:

      Thanks! The clearance section is stocking stuffer gold.

  • Stockings are the Best! And you are absolutely right, they are a great way to give little, meaningful presents 🙂 My mom is notoriously good at stuffing stocks, and at 27 I still like looking in mine. Not Ashamed at all.

    • says:

      I’m glad it isn’t just me. 🙂

  • I wish I was better with DIY projects. They seem to be so neat (when other people do them). Ha! Good tips.

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