Gifts that won’t break the bank

by Amanda YanchuryStaff Writer

The holidays are coming up, and for those of us who favored the snooze button over 3 a.m. deals on Black Friday, that means one thing, gift shopping. It happens every year: the debate about what to get that special someone.

In these tough economic times, college students are even more strapped for cash than usual. Here’s a look at five great gift ideas for less than $25.

1. Bath & Body Works Holiday Deals – Signature Collection (Buy 3 Get 2 Free or Buy 2 Get 1 Free Sale).

Great for: That woman in your life who’s hard to shop for, the aunt who already has everything or your teenage cousin.

Price: $24 will get you three.

Available at: or in stores.

One thing is for sure: stick to the basics, and you can’t go wrong. Unlike pre-packaged gift sets, Bath and Body has a reputable name-everyone knows their products are quality, and you can’t go wrong with the scents.

2. (STARBUCKS)RED Blend Coffee by Starbucks Coffee.

Great for: The philanthropist or coffee-lover – or both!

Price: $11.95 for a 1lb. bag

Available at: or in most stores.

This gift is a good price and helps a good cause. For each bag sold, $1 of the proceeds goes directly toward the Red Global Fund to help fight the worldwide AIDS epidemic. Stay warm and help save the world-what more could you want from a gift?

3. Make Your Own Chocolate Kit (Eco-Friendly!)

Great for: The eco-conscious person in your life or any chocolate lover!

Price: $14.99

Available at:

This kit contains everything you need to make your own chocolate, including detailed instructions.

It provides a perfect opportunity to work with children who will surely be mystified by this process. The product contains all-natural materials, and all packaging materials are recycled.

This gift is one of the many included in the “Under $25” gift section of the Web site, where you’ll find affordable, green gift ideas for people in all walks of life!

4. Geneva Platinum Men’s Rectangle Face Fashion Watch

Great for: Ideal for your brother, boyfriend or father.

Price: $13.86

Available at:

Overstock and other discount retailers are great resources for shoppers on a budget. Overstock has an entire holiday shopping section where all gifts are $25 or under.

5. RaygunShirts “Des Moines! The Greatest City in the World” t-shirt.

Great for: Your opinionated buddy or roommate who enjoys to make a statement.

Price: Most shirts are $18

Available at:

A shirt from the newly renamed RaygunShirts makes a great gift. Formerly known as Smash, the company was started by an alumnus of Simpson College. The shirts are affordable and everyone loves them, plus it keeps business local. Most shirts come in unisex sizes and are cheap to ship

These are just a few gifts to get you started. Pay attention for holiday deals, and don’t be afraid to use the Internet to shop!

If none of these appeal to you, remember, the best gift you can give someone is your time. Set up a coffee date with friends or make plans to watch a football game with a family member.

The memories you create might be worth more than any material gift.

Happy shopping!