It’s December, and you’re panicking. You have what seems like a million deadlines, a host of different Christmas meals to attend and you haven’t booked your ticket home yet… the stress is real! And then it suddenly dawns on you: it’s officially time to think about what on Earth you are going to buy everyone for Christmas. But instead of trawling around Next looking for socks for your dad, why not sit back, relax and read this guide to find the best Christmas presents on a student budget.

An old favourite, the Boots 3 for 2 will be your lifesaver this Christmas. Everyone loves receiving toiletries, and your sister never has to know that you got hers for free. You can end up saving yourself a lot of money and getting a load of presents in one go… perfect! And if you want stocking fillers, look no further than The Body Shop’s competitively priced bath bombs in all sorts of Christmassy scents. For £1.50 each, they truly are a steal!

Poundland hauls have picked up momentum on YouTube lately, and whilst you may frown at the thought of buying your loved ones’ gifts from a discount store, they can actually be the perfect solution when your money is tight! You could fill a stocking for a loved one with a few things they like such as a cute mug, a couple of DVDs (it’s amazing what you can find in there!), a little notebook, branded toiletries and their favourite chocolate. This means you will save money and still be able to give your mum a host of respectable gifts.

In the past few years both Poundland and Poundworld have stepped up the quality of their goods, and you can even find Rimmel lipsticks and nail varnishes (among other brands) in there for – yes, you guessed it – £1! They also stock cute kitchenware, including baking equipment that is top quality and looks a lot more expensive than it is. It’s also a great place to pick up advent calendars and selection boxes much cheaper than anywhere else, as well as those much-needed cheap and cheerful Christmas decorations to brighten up your student home. In short, Poundland is your friend this Christmas!

Don’t forget about your student discount too! By either your student card, or making a UniDays account – all you need is to verify you have a valid university email address – you can get up to 20% off in places like H&M, New Look, Topshop and Accessorize. Even better, you can use your discount online too from the comfort of your own home – most likely with a hot drink and your pjs on! Get your dad the perfect shirt from ASOS with your student discount with as little fuss as possible, and even a novelty present from the gift section too. Stick on moustaches? Beer pong? He’ll never know he needed them until he unwraps them on Christmas morning!

If you’ve got a Disney fan in the family, Primark are going all out this year on their Disney-themed pyjamas, Christmas decorations and homeware bits. And the best thing about it? You won’t have to spend more than £20! For the gamer in the family, check out CEX, Game and Trade Nation for second hand games, or competitive prices on new games which will soothe your pocket ever-so-slightly.

If you truly are on the bread line, why not try making a more sentimental gift? You could put together a photo album with a bit of help from the craft section in Wilko, or even bake a Christmas cake for your grandma! These things cost very little but will mean a lot to the person receiving them. Another idea would be to buy a mug – you can get them from Wilko/ Tesco/ Primark for as little as a £1 – add a sachet of their favourite hot chocolate, and maybe some marshmallows and a Freddo or two, and then you’ve got the perfect winter warmer gift; well thought out, but inexpensive!


Rosie Wright

Student Contributor

Age: 23
Hometown: Grimsby 
University: Manchester
Course: German
Most prized possession: My childhood teddy 
Most irritating habit: Apologising for everything
Favourite life hack: Dry shampoo
Whats next?: Hopefully a career in broadcast journalism or communications 🙂