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Christmas Gifts for Under Five Dollars

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by Jade Jackson (subscribe)
Author of Drunk Love Sober Death and Compass. I'm also a podcaster. Find all my work here >>
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Quality five dollar gifts for anyone
It's easy to fall into the Christmas trap set by retailers, and spend beyond your budget. However, it's still possible to get a decent present, for under $5; perfect for secret Santa gifts. All of the following items were available in-store at the time of writing, and include the recommended retail price (i.e. not weekly specials).

10L Hiking Backpack, Decathlon - $4.50
Despite the small size and price, these backpacks should be on everyone's list. They come in a variety of colours, feature a main section and a zippered front pocket, and there's an astonishing amount you can fit in these tiny bags. They're also lightweight and come with a ten-year guarantee.

Decathlon 10L backpack, Decathlon 4.50 backpack, cheap hiking backpack, cheap Christmas present, image by Jade Jackson
You can fit an astonishing amount in these hiking backpacks from Decathlon. Image by Jade Jackson.

Thongs, Decathlon - $5.00
Sturdy, lightweight, and are made from 70% recycled materials. A summer staple that won't break the budget.

Decathlon thongs, cheap thongs, cheap flip flops, cheap beach shoes, image by Jade jackson
Everyone could always use a pair of thongs. Image by Jade Jackson.

500 piece jigsaw puzzle, $1.00 - Big W
There's not much you can buy for $1 these days, but Big W has 500 piece jigsaw puzzles for $1 which come in assorted designs.

500 piece jigsaw puzzle, puzzle, jigsaw, Big W, image by Jade Jackson, cheap Christmas gifts, cheap Kris Kringle, cheap Christmas presents, Kris Kringle, Christmas
Buy a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle from Big W for just $1. Image by Jade Jackson.

Slim drink bottle, Daiso - $2.80
Round drink bottles are so passé, if you want to live in the future, then a slim, flat, square drink bottle is just what you need. Fits neatly in a handbag, or a laptop bag. I've seen a brand name version sell for over ten times as much.

Slim drink bottle, flat drink bottle, easy to carry drink bottle, square drink bottle, image by Jade jackson
Flat drink bottles fit better in bags. Image by Jade Jackson.

Neck cushion (for the car, or plane), Daiso - $2.80
The perfect gift for the long holiday drive ahead. Features an elastic strap to securely mount on the headrest. It's firm and is covered in mesh so it doesn't get too hot. Could also be used on a plane and is more compact than a traditional neck-pillow.

It should be noted that most goods at Daiso are only $2.80 and they stock everything from lunch boxes, to phone cases, to make-up. All imported directly from Japan. Lots of hidden gems.

Neck pillow, travel pillow, cheap travel pillow, Daiso, image by Jade Jackson
A comfortable neck pillow that's also compact. Image by Jade Jackson.

Magnetic Fishing Set, $5 - Kmart
Wooden toys are all the rage again and Kmart has a huge range. This fishing set will teach kids about magnetic poles, along with patience, dexterity and what happens when you take all the fish out of the sea.

Magnetic Fishing Set, Kmart, cheap wooden kids toys, Kris Kringle for kids, cheap Christmas presents, cheap toys for kids, image by Jade Jackson
Fun and educational and still only $5. Find it at Kmart. Image by Jade Jackson.

City Garbage Truck, $5.00 - Kmart
Quality $5 toys for kids are getting hard to come by but thankfully Kmart still delivers with a selection of light and sound vehicles including a Garbage Truck, Police Car, Fire Engine and Helicopter, best part, batteries are included.

City Garbage Truck Toy, Kmart, Cheap toys, cheap toy cars, image by Jade Jackson
Light and sound vehicles kids love. Image by Jade Jackson.

10 in 1 Wallet Multi Tool & LED Torch, Kmart - $2.00
Simple but useful. Includes a bottle opener, screwdriver, box opener, measurement tool, orange peeler and can even help with directions; all this plus five more functions that conveniently fits into your wallet. A keyring sized mini torch is also included. If ten functions is not enough, there's the 13 function mini tool for $4.50.

10 function multi tool, Kmart, cheap Christmas gifts, five dollar gifts, Kris Kringle gifts, Christmas, tool
10-1 Wallet Multi Tool and Torch, $2.00 at Kmart. Image used courtesy of Kmart.

Air-vent phone holder, Kmart - $4.00
Avoid double demerits and huge fines with this easy to use car phone holder. Takes seconds to install, (just clips onto the air vent) and you can easily slip your phone in one-handed. If you've got voice activation set up, then you can still ask for directions or listen to podcasts without even touching your phone.

Calendar, Typo - $5.00
I bought one of these last year and each month includes a discount voucher so not only can you organise your life, you'll save on stationary and other goodies throughout the year. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Last year's discounts included 20% off notebooks and 30% off any three full priced items. Comes in assorted designs.

Book ends, IKEA - $3.99
Never underestimate the practicality of bookends. Forget the suffering and anguish of books falling over, or off your shelf because nothing is holding them up. Includes a charcoal grey and an aqua blue coloured design, discreetly keeps your books upright, neat and tidy. Like the quality design, it disappears from view and does its job perfectly.

IKEA book ends, cheap book ends, quality book ends, image by jade jackson
As if by magic, book ends keep books upright and in place. Image by Jade Jackson.

Kavalkad 24cm non-stick frying pan, IKEA - $4.99
I've used IKEA frying pans for many years and when looked after, they have outlasted more expensive ones. This 24cm frying pan is the perfect size for 8 sausages or four eggs, or a creamy carbonara sauce for two. It can even be used for vegan food.

IKEA frypan, cheap IKEA frypan, value frypan, quality cheap frypan, image by Jade Jackson
Just because it's cheap, doesn't mean it's poor quality. Image by Jade Jackson.

Fiskbo photo frame (10cm X 15cm), IKEA - $1.49 each
Buy three photo frames, in a selection of colours including white, aqua blue, pastel pink, fushia or black and still have enough change left from $5 to fill them with your own prints, for the ultimate personalised gift. Prints from Kmart start at just 10c each for next day printing (10cm X 15cm size) or 15c for 1 hour printing.

Rabbit ice cream mould, MiniSo - $3.99
These will be a super hit in summer. Simply fill any liquid such as juice, fruit tea or ginger beer and place in the freezer for the ultimate refreshment. Reusable, great for the environment and virtually pays for itself after one use with the money you save on ice-creams. There is also a We Bare Bears version and Target has a pink and blue $2 Icy Pole Mould .

Gift a movie, game, song or book, Itunes - From $0.99
Within any item on iTunes, tap the square box with an upwards pointing arrow and you can gift any song, movie, book or game to anyone in Australia with an iTunes account. Songs start from $2.19, books start from 99c and movies start from $4.99 (look for the Great Movies at Great Prices section) and once your recipient has downloaded their gift, it's theirs forever. Choosing something specific shows you have put more thought into it than just handing over a gift card and with movie of the week rentals (30 days to watch) at just 99c (including a bunch of documentaries) you could essentially gift a book, a movie, and a game for under $5; providing weeks of entertainment.

Itunes movies, Great Movies Great Prices, cheap itunes movies, digital download movies, itunes, apple
Own a digital movie, legally for five dollars. Screenshot courtesy of itunes.

Of course, there's always chocolate. Grab a large block of Cadbury's (350gm) or a family share pack of M & M's from Woolworths for only $5.00.

Cadbury chocolate block, chocolate on sale, M & M's, Woolworths Cadbury chocolate, image by Jade Jackson, Christmas gifts under five dollars
There's always chocolate. Image by Jade Jackson.

Click on the following links to find these goods in-store, at the following retailers.

You don't have to waste money on junk this christmas, nor do you have to go into debt. Reduce the need for regifting by giving useful and quality presents, that will last without spending a fortune.

Have you found your own $5 present worth sharing? Comment below:
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Why? Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive, shop smarter with these value gifts.
When: Available during standard retail hours.
Phone: See individual store location links.
Where: Various department stores including Decathlon, Big W, Kmart, Bunnings and Daiso.
Cost: No more than $5
Your Comment
Congrats Jade, the king of budget shopping deals ... like the idea of a gift to charity and I ensure that by shopping at op shops
by Kate Blake (score: 3|1436) 899 days ago
Congratulations winning first place.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12626) 899 days ago
Well done, Jade, you've done exceptionally well this Christmas!
by Elaine (score: 3|8193) 909 days ago
Fantastic ideas! Thank you for this great article!
by Paula McManus (score: 3|3673) 909 days ago
Jade - some great and witty ideas. i too am a fan of Daiso.
by May Cross (score: 3|7895) 908 days ago
Or rather than rampant consumerism, gift to charity......
by amisr (score: 1|10) 908 days ago
All credible ideas! Loved it!
by Michael Genrich (score: 3|1751) 909 days ago
Great article. Help for all the secret Santas out there.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4206) 582 days ago
Some great ideas,just ordered some backpacks from Decathlon
by mhawk (score: 1|44) 908 days ago
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