The $100 Holiday Challenge: Can you spend just $100 on gifts this holiday season?

The $100 holiday challenge: Can you spend just $100 on gifts this holiday season?

The $100 holiday challenge: Can you spend just $100 on gifts this holiday season?

With Halloween over, the daylight hours getting shorter and a crisp cool in the air, I’m suddenly hyper-aware that the holidays are just around the corner. If you could see my face it would look like the “scream” emoji. I know that pretty soon the Christmas carols will be blaring from every shop in town and my fellow type-As and I will be in full panic mode.

Last year I tried a $100 handmade holiday challenge. I tried (and failed) to handmade everyone’s holiday gift for just 100 buck-a-roos. I failed the challenge for a few reasons– the biggest reason was that my grandmother passed away last December and really, hand making gifts seemed less important than spending time with my mom. I also didn’t allow myself enough time to MAKE ALL THE GIFTS! This year I’m taking a healthier approach. I’m still limiting myself to just $100 dollars, but I’m giving myself more time and I’m allowing myself to simply buy gifts too.

So how am I going to make or buy almost 20 gifts for just $100? Strategy, people. Strategy. I know that if I divide the money equally I will have a little over 5 dollars per person (or pet) to spend. That’s not a lot to work with. (It’s a stunningly small number when compared to the average estimated $781 dollars that Americans will spend on holiday gifts this year.) I also know that some gifts will be completely free, while others will go over the $5 estimate.

For the challenge I won’t count supplies that I already own. The $100 includes anything purchased. I will be using coupons and George (my husband) and I have agreed to not get each other anything this year. (A tad boring, yes, but we’d rather put that money toward our ultimate goal of home ownership.) For people, like my co-workers, I plan on simply making some sort of baked goods which will cost significantly less than purchasing something.

My holiday gift list consists of:

  1. Mom
  2. Dad
  3. Dog
  4. Sister
  5. Sister’s cat
  6. Sister’s boyfriend
  7. Mother-in-law
  8. Father-in-law
  9. Brother-in-law
  10. Sister-in-law
  11. Niece
  12. Kid Cousin
  13. Kid Cousin
  14. Gift exchange
  15. Friend
  16. Friend
  17. Friend’s kid
  18. Co-workers

Can I do it? I don’t know, but I am sure as hell going to try. It’s going to be a challenge. I’ll update you along the way, of course. Will you join me in the $100 holiday challenge?!


17 thoughts on “The $100 Holiday Challenge: Can you spend just $100 on gifts this holiday season?

  1. empressjuju

    Ooh, I love this! I’m planning homemade marshmallows, hot cocoa mix, and mugs painted with porcelain paint. Guess I’ll have to go thrifting for mugs!

  2. Mother Hen

    I would love to think that I could purchase for my five children, my six grandchildren, my husband’s two daughter’s their spouses and two grandchildren and add four spouses under a certain amount but then on top of it, most have to be mailed. I sure would like to read up on about your suggestions.

  3. Essie

    Years ago, my family decided to never buy Christmas gifts for each other because it’s too expensive and not what Christmas should be about. It’s so much cheaper that way, also relieves a ton of stress. We have a big dinner so everyone gets together at least once a year and we do volunteer work. So the only money I will spend for the holidays will be the ingredients to make corn bread stuffing and sweet potato pies.

  4. Emily

    I don’t think I could stay within $100 but I remember one thrifty boss I had and what she did one year for all of her staff ( total #14). She divided up a aloe vera plant into 14 different pieces then she placed each piece in a root stimulator solution. When each piece rooted she placed each one in very small planters with decorative bows and gave each staff member one. We LOVED them.

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  6. Stephanie R

    Vanilla extract is so easy to make with good quality vanilla beans, cheap vodka, and lovely bottles to package it in once it is ready. If you have nice house plants there still may be time to re-pot cuttings and give as gifts.

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