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Stocking Stuffers

Hello Frugal Friends,

Today is a great shopping day! I know it’s not Black Friday yet, but the sales have begun! Who are we kidding, this year (unlike years of past), the sales started October 1 and probably won’t stop until the holidays are behind us! Which means there will be lots of merchandise to tempt our meager budgets. In order to curb our urge to overspend, so that we have money at the start of 2023, we have to stay focused on our goal and buy only what we need to buy. Sticking to our budget will give us something to smile about on January 1.

During my Black Friday shopping I will be shopping for stocking stuffers. Everyone has their own way of filling stockings: Some folks have a total limit – like $50 per stocking. Others fill the stockings with items that cost under $25 and another technique is to fill it with small sized gifts.  Regardless, stockings can get expensive, so have a plan and stick with it!

At my house the stockings are a tradition. My goal is to make sure the stockings have items in them that could be useful to the receiver but I try to spend less than $5 on any item in the stocking. Generally, I aim to spend around $1 per item. If you have only 2 or 3 items, feel free to stuff the bottom of the stocking with paper to give it a fuller look.

Inexpensive stocking stuffers (in no particular order):

  • Flavored teas or coffee samples
  • Candy, gum
  • Small cans of pop
  • Sample size car cleaning supplies
  • Rubber gloves, dust clothes
  • Travel size hand sanitizer, chap stick, hand cream, etc.
  • Pampering face mask
  • Sugar scrub
  • Nail polish, manicure items
  • Perfume or cologne samples
  • Beard grooming items or creams
  • Sample sizes of different types of glues
  • Car care items
  • Air freshener for the car
  • Phone stand for the car
  • Charger cords, phone stand, earphone case cover
  • Cleaning wipes for electronics
  • Nightlight, flashlight
  • Deck of cards
  • Small puzzles
  • Assortment of color pens, markers, pencils
  • Coloring or puzzle books
  • Snack size foods like nuts, crackers, dried fruit, popcorn
  • Toothbrush (a good reminder to replace worn brushes)
  • Yo-yo
  • Play-Doh
  • Jump rope
  • Pop fidget toy
  • Comic book
  • Favorite magazine
  • Gift cards – any denomination!


The best plan for scoring the best bargains this week is to plan what you want to purchase and study the ads (which are online already) to find the best price. Use the coupon apps (like Krazy coupon lady, Ibotta, Rakuten, Shopkick) find the coupons and coupon codes that will get you the best deals, and don’t forget to read the fine print!


I hope this gets you thinking about economical ways you can fill the stockings on your list. In our next email I’ll focus on creating holiday traditions.


Have a great week and happy Thanksgiving!


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