College gift guide: the “broke and on a budget” edition

You can’t even afford your groceries, how are you expected to give gifts this holiday season? A&E is here to help with a clever and low-cost gift guide.

Kate Drakulic

With the holidays just around the corner, there’s no better time to start thinking about your gift list. Avoid obstacles like your comical bank statement and procrastination by hitting the sales and shopping smart.

For Dad

Gifts for Dad are always tricky. We all know he’d be just as happy to receive a tie or a pair of socks as anything else, but we’re adults now and gift giving ought to be more thoughtful.

Behold, the “Pre-Programmed Digital Meat Thermometer.” A gift to you and your dad. You’ll never have to pretend to enjoy an overcooked burger again. 

What: Meat Thermometer

Where: Amazon

Cost: $8.99

For Mom

Moms are the easiest gift recipients out there. They’re just happy you’re finally home for the holidays! To stay on budget and give Mom something she’ll love, give a homemade gift. 

Pinterest is always a go-to for homemade ideas. A simple and festive gift is “Peppermint Bath Salts.” The recipe is as follows:

One cup of Epsom salt, one teaspoon of baking soda, four drops of peppermint essential oil and four drops of red food coloring.

Easy! You can get creative and layer the bath salts when you package them, or you can ball out and make two separate jars. Package the salts in a mason jar (because moms love mason jars) and tie it off with a ribbon. 

What: Peppermint Bath Salts

Where: Pinterest

Cost: Free

For Brother

The older they become, the more brothers are like dads. They’re content with ties and socks and everyone knows it. This year, spice it up by preparing ahead of time and shopping Cyber Week deals.

Amazon’s Cyber Week sale is a great place to start looking for sales. You can even filter your search to exclusively show items that are a part of the sale. A&E found a snazzy “U.S. Polo Assn. Classic Men’s Quartz Metal and Alloy Watch.” It’s sleek, it looks expensive and it’s only $15.99! 

What: U.S. Polo Assn. Watch

Where: Amazon’s Cyber Week Sale

Cost: $15.99

For Sister

For my sister’s present, it’s tempting to just buy a piece of clothing I can also wear and maybe even “accidentally” take back to school with me at the end of break.

But for this season, in the spirit of giving, here’s a gift that she’ll actually want: a Hiware Glass Teapot with a removable infuser.

Coming in at only $17.99, this is a cheap way to quell the sibling bickering, at least for a month.

What: Hiware 1000ml Glass Teapot with a removable infuser

Where: Amazon

Cost: $17.99

For that annoying cousin whom you’re obligated to give something to

Yes, we all have that one cousin who is more annoying than lovable, but in the spirit of holiday cheer, it’s probably best to just give a gift and fake it. 

Give the gift of an iTunes gift card. It’s mostly useless nowadays — in other words, it’s a great gift for someone you dislike. It’s like sarcasm in gift form, unless your cousin still pays for their music and apps. 

What: iTunes Gift Card

Where: iTunes

Cost: depends on how much you like your cousin