I’ve been working in an office setting my entire adult life and I’ve been through many holiday potlucks and Secret Santa exchanges. Every year it makes my heart smile to find a thoughtful gift on my desk right before the Christmas holiday. If you’re like me, last minute gifts are always a thing. It’s only right to return the favor and exchange gifts with the people you pretty much spend your entire day with. We celebrate birthdays, share meals, and watch each other’s kids grow through picture frames.

But how exactly do you find the right gifts for your office family while saving room on your paycheck for the bills? Here’s the thing, I’ll never go broke buying gifts for ANYONE. To be honest, some years, I’ll grab something and others, I just had to opt-out. I’m more worried about maintaining my finances than saving face at the office. They know how much I make. They’ll understand. In this post, I’ll share a few affordable last-minute gift ideas I’ve come up with that won’t bust the seems in your pockets this year.

Stack of sticky notes

Keep it practical

Don’t burst your brain cells trying to figure out what each person should get. You work in an office. Look into grabbing some practical office-related items that you know your coworkers will use daily. Who doesn’t love a good smooth writing pen or some fancy sticky notes?!

Do it yourself

Think about what you’re really good at doing and create your own custom gifts at a low cost with materials you may already have at home. Whether you’re an expert at knitting scarves, making hand made soap, or painting mason jars, I’m sure your fellow coworkers would enjoy it. A gift always means a little more when you pour yourself into it.

woman holding a box of baked goods

Food is always a gift

Baked goods are always a hit when it comes to gift-giving. I love receiving fresh cookies, fudge, and brownies around the holidays…well any day of the year really. As long you can actually bake and don’t allow pets in the kitchen (side-eye), you’re good to go! Wrap up some Christmas cookies and throw a bow on it! You just saved a ton of money by turning on your oven.

Orrrr you can always show up with a fresh box of donuts for the office. Not everyone is gifted with a golden spoon in the kitchen. Sometimes you’ve just got to leave the baking to the pros. Donuts are always a people pleaser in the break room. Ask me how I know.

Turn cheap into classy

There have been many holiday exchanges where I’ve created small gift baskets for my coworkers for little to nothing. Take advantage of Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Target’s dollar section this year. You can easily throw a few items together and wrap them up in a basket or large coffee mug and bam! Here’s a few ideas I’ve tried in the past:

  • Manicure set- nail file, a bottle of nail polish, a few cotton balls,
  • Coffee/tea kit- Coffee mug, a few bags of tea or coffee pods, honey, stirrer
  • Spa kit- bath bomb, loofa, bubble bath, Epsom salt

I hope these ideas were helpful to you! I’d love to hear some of your last-minute gift-giving ideas. Please share them in the comment section below!

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