{#SavingsNation} Secret Santa Challenge 2012 – $20 and Under Gift Ideas

[tweetherder]See how we gave some fabulous #gifts for under $20! #SavingsNation[/tweetherder]

This holiday season, I decided to do a fun Secret Santa Challenge with some of my fellow Savings Nation Ambassadors. With a budget of only $20 out-of-pocket (not including shipping), we used Elfster to randomly select our gift recipients. It’s great to use Elfster because it will mix up the names and email you with the person it’s selected for you. You can also ask questions to your gift recipient anonymously (like their favorite color, size, music choice, etc.).

We wanted to show you, our readers, some gift ideas that won’t break the bank. Plus, it’s a fun way for us to celebrate the holidays together even though we are all far away from each other.

I was randomly assigned Melissa of This Mommy Saves Money by Elfster as my gift recipient. I wanted to give her something that she could use throughout the year. I also wanted to make sure that it’s something that would be in her favorite color, so I anonymously asked her what her favorite color was through Elfster. She answered “blue.” Here is what I gave her that is blue:

This Liz Claiborne Handbag Holder’s suggested retail price is $10.00 at JCP and I was able to get it for only $5.00 during Black Friday. It’s gorgeous and I love using my handbag holder, so I thought she might like one, too.

Next, I bought her a 2013 Potpourri Plan-It Calendar. I use the Mom’s Plan-It Calendar (which is similar to this one) and I love it because there’s enough room to write down what’s going on for different family members or different things in your life PLUS there’s a pocket for you to store cards, reminders, etc.  In addition, it includes a magnetic weekly planning whiteboard.

I purchased this calendar at Menards. It is originally $14.99 and it was on sale for $5.99. There was also a rebate of $2.00, making it only $3.99!  It just goes to show you that you can find some great deals in a variety of stores.

Next, I found this really incredible deal:

Right now, JCP has a button promotion going on where you will receive two buttons every time you make a purchase with codes on them. You enter the code online at jcp.com/christmas to find out if you won a prize. It turns out I won a free $5 gift certificate from the button I received when I bought the handbag holder above.

I found this beautiful Liz Claiborne handbag at JCP marked down to $10 from $45. After the $5 gift certificate from the button promotion, it came out to only $5! It’s a gorgeous purse and I was tempted to keep it for myself, but I knew that it would have a good home with Melissa.

The total retail value of all of the items above would have been: $10 + $14.99 + $45 = $69.99.

In total, I spent $13.99: $5 for the handbag holder, $3.99 for the calendar, and $5 for the handbag.  I saved over 80% off of the retail value!  I love being able to give a lot more for a lot less!

The gift I received was a Nivea soothing lip care, Carmex lip balm, and a $10 CVS gift card (which will go far with their deals). Thanks to my Secret Santa, Briana from Bargain Briana, for the goodies!

Check out what our fellow Savings Nation Ambassadors gave and received for this Secret Santa Challenge:

Let us know what ideas you have for giving gifts for $20 or under!

Don’t forget to sign up for a Savings Nation workshop to learn how to save money on holiday shopping, grocery shopping, drugstore shopping, and more.

Thank you for reading A Savings WOW! and don’t forget to check out our check out our Coupon Database for lots of money-saving coupons!

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Coupons provided by Savings.com

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.


  1. laurie nykaza says

    I’m always looking for a deal at the holidays because I have so many people to buy for and money can be tight! Promotion’s do help and I try to use coupons too.

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