Christmas is coming (yay!), and secret Santa has become part and parcel of festive student life. If you are wondering how to manage on a student budget we are here to help. Here are our top ten ideas for cheap Christmas gifts for friends.


  1. The mug

The classic secret Santa gift. Yes, we know it’s not that creative or original, but we love the humble mug gift for these reasons – because tea is great and when it’s in a nice mug it tastes even better, because mugs break so you need spares, because no one buys mugs for themselves, and because some of them have funny jokes on and it will make you laugh every time you have a drink.


  1. The socks

Again, an oldie but a goodie. Be a good secret Santa and give your friend the gift of warm feet this winter. Or glittery feet – we like those too.


  1. The cinema ticket

Everyone loves a trip to the cinema, and vouchers are a great present. Ok, so it’s probably not strictly under a tenner as you might want to get one for yourself too (you don’t want to make them go on their own), but we think it’s still within the rules.


  1. The plant

Everyone loves a house plant, and you can get some great ones for really cheap. If you’ve been really organised you could have propagated one of your own over the summer, and then it would have been free!


  1. The soap

Washing hands has taken on a whole new meaning in recent years so make it fun by buying your friend a jazzy bar of soap that won’t dry their winter hands out.



  1. The homemade biscuits

The sweetest of gifts – nothing says happy Christmas quite like some homemade sweet treats. Go for some ginger and cinnamon spiced biscuits for traditional Christmas cheer.


  1. The reusable cup

After some lockdown time out, reusable coffee cups are back and trendier than ever. There are all the colours and all the styles now. Tesco does this cute one for £5, but if you have a discount store like TK Max or Home Sense nearby then there are always bargains to be found in there.


  1. The book

Books are great presents. Choose one by your favourite author or go for a book of poetry or inspirational quotes. Book shops are generally overflowing with new titles at Christmas, so there’s plenty to choose from. If you have a charity bookshop nearby then you will be able to spend far less than £10 too.


  1. The charity shop gem

Head into a charity shop with £10 in your hand and you’ll feel like the world is your oyster. Have a good rummage and you’re bound to come up with an absolute gem of a gift for your fellow student.


  1. The voucher

No, not for a shop – for an adventure. Create a homemade voucher that promises an experience. You could promise to cook dinner, or go for a picnic, you could take your friend to a free museum or buy a £10 train ticket to a new place. Your friend will be touched by the thought.


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