Christmas On A Budget: Stocking Stuffers

Christmas On A Budget Header

Just three days left!! I am in a little bit of disbelief about this fact…this month has gone by at light speed. And while I like to get my holiday shopping done early, I for some reason always save stocking stuffers until the last minute. We don’t stuff our stockings until a couple days before Christmas, and I think that’s why I wait. I like to be able to tuck things right in! So if you’re like me, and still need to grab a few things to stuff in those stockings, take a look below at some of my favorite (and inexpensive) ideas.


There are three things that are most important to me when it comes to stocking stuffers, for both my hubs and my daughter. 1. Practicality. I’m really not a big fan of filling up a stocking with useless items just to say it’s filled. My hubs doesn’t need a bunch of stuff he doesn’t really care about, and my daughters needs more little toys like I need a kick in the shin, so I’d much rather find ‘useful’ things to tuck in there.  2. Inexpensive. I don’t know why, but I feel like if I spend a decent amount of money on something, even if it’s small, I want it wrapped and under the tree. I like the stockings to not cost as much. 3. Non-candy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about sweets during the holidays, but I don’t like the majority of a stocking to be junk food. Between baking, and Christmas parties/celebrations, we all get plenty of sweets. I try to stick to just one or two sweet treats for the stockings.

kid stocking
A sampling of what’s going in my little’s stocking.

First up, little kids. This is especially where the non-candy ideas come in.

  • Playdough
  • Socks
  • Crayon packs
  • Small notepads/sketchbooks
  • Undies (which my daughter get’s weirdly excited about!)
  • Toothbrush/paste
  • Stickers
  • Craft/collage items
  • Character cups (they have them at Target/Walmart for less than $1 – my little is getting a Frozen one this year!)
  • Tub toys
  • Jewelry (dress up, or real – your choice!)
  • Chapstick/lip balm (if you’re child is old enough of course)

Need more ideas? Hit up Pinterest or Google and do a search – you’ll be overloaded.

My top places for nabbing kids stocking stuffers? The $1 section at Target…seriously filled like half my kiddo’s stocking there. Also, dollar stores in general – especially for stickers.


Filling up my little missy’s stocking has never been a problem. It’s my hubs that’s always a killer. Finding enough practical items to fill his stocking (that he will actually want/use) is a challenge and a half. But I’ve come up with a list that hopefully you can apply to your significant other – this isn’t a male only list, just a general ‘grown-up’ list!

adult stocking
Things heading into my hubs stocking…except that lotion on the left – that’s going in mine from Santa!

  • Scratch Tickets (we never buy them regularly, so we always tuck a few in each others stockings!)
  • Notepads (I love lists so I’m always down for one, and my hubs likes to have small ones to keep on hand to take with him when he judges Magic tournaments.)
  • Chapsticks
  • Updated wallet photos
  • A fave treat or snack they don’t often get (in this case, for my hubs, it’s PopTarts. We never buy them but my hubs will have a whole box of Smores PopTarts tucked in his stocking!)
  • ‘Joke’ Boxers/Undies (I buy my hubs a pair of geek boxers EVERY YEAR for his stocking at Christmas. It’s become tradition. This year it’s Captain America.)
  • Packs of a favorite gum or mint
  • Small candles/wax melts
  • Lotion
  • Pack of nice(ish) pens (both my hubs and I like to write in pen, so this is always a good one)
  • New ornaments (in our case, geek ornaments if we happen upon any, but any ornament would do!)

And then, though this may sound obvious, I try and find something to cater to a favorite hobby. For instance, my hubs is really into Magic the Gathering, so I always toss in some booster packs from the sets he is currently playing with. As for me, I’m hoping for some of my own dice for D&D, so I can stop borrowing from our neighbor when we all get together for a session!

And there you have it – my go to stocking stuffers! Hopefully you’ll find an idea or two to apply to your own stockings to fill. I hope you have a truly excellent holiday, and enjoyed the Christmas On A Budget series. It was a blast to put together, and certainly kept me full of Christmas cheer. Though, really, I didn’t need to much help there. 😉 Do you wrap your stocking stuffers? I prefer to do a mix of both – some wrapped, some just tucked in. What do you prefer?