Momma Told Me: Gifts For The Whole Family For Less Than $40

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Gifts For The Whole Family For Less Than $40

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #CollectiveBias
Take the challenge and find gifts for the entire family on a budget of just $40 #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
Growing up holiday shopping was always certain to 1.) begin as early as Januray when taking advantage of post-holiday sales, and 2.) involve a very strict budget. Looking back I don't think it's because Momma was cheap, I rather think she enjoyed keeping herself to such guardrails. The thrill of shopping with a price cap in mind was a sort of game for her, and the lower she could drive the price on amazing finds the more fun she would have.

Naturally, shopping on a budget is a good idea regardless of your means or income- The holidays are filled with wonderful opportunities to spend money. There are Sugar Plum Fairy shows, your neice's school fundraiser, those red buckets outside every grocery store door, fabulous ugly sweaters to buy, hostess gifts to be given, delicious food to indulge in, snow chains for tires to be bought, and so much more. So, in the spirit of Momma's little budget game, and in the interest of padding my wallet for unexpected holiday events, I headed to my local 99 Cents Only Store.
Holiday decorations began hitting our 99's shelves immediately after Halloween had passed, but the 99 is full of wonderful gift ideas and home decor items every day of the year. Of course the elves at the 99 have conveniently gathered some of their favorite picks in an aisle adjacent to the holiday decor, for the convenience of shoppers. In that magical aisle you'll find gift sets, Disney brand toys, winter wear, stockings stuffed with pet treats, and so much more. It's definitely a great place to start when you want to grab a few high quality gifts on a budget. Of course you can also get creative and take advantage of the 99's everyday inventory to make your own gift baskets, too!
Take the challenge and find gifts for the entire family on a budget of just $40! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
For the purpose of my experiment I set my budget at $40, and my goal to buy gifts for an entire family- a family consisting of at minimum a mother, father, son, daughter, and pet. I'll admit the hardest part about this challenge wasn't staying in budget, it was choosing only 1 or 2 items for each person on my list. I found so many wonderful gift options for every single category! I could only imagine if I was really going all out and spending $20 a person- what a wonderfully generous holiday that would bring!
#DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
While I wandered the aisles it was impossible not to add a few extra decorations, entertaining supplies, and wrapping paper/bows into my cart.  I didn't count them on my bottom line, but the convenience of being able to pick up fresh fruit for my upcoming party, as well as adorable gift bags, while doing my holiday gift shopping was truly priceless. Shopping the 99 is always like a fun scavenger hunt, in the sense that new deals are always being added and can be found around every corner (toy mountain case in point)- but the physical store layout is also quite clean and easy to navigate. This means I can wander simply to shop, or get in and grab what I need and get out, at any time.
Affordable holiday gifts on a budget at the 99. #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
It's hard to miss the selection of toys and gift sets for children- The office supply aisle has a wide variety of coloring and art gift packs, while the seasonal aisle features some of the hottest characters and brands for kids. My store also had a secondary feature for seasonal specialty toy selections in the form of a giant mountain next to the produce department. For a long time I wrestled between grabbing a 4' Basketball Hoop Set or the Boxing Bag and Gloves Set shown above. Both were priced at jut $3.99!
The 99 has toys for every age group from toddler to teen- there were many licensed dolls for girls including My Little Pony and Disney's Descendants as well as Disney's Inside Out plush characters, Star Wars action figures, and more. For tweens there were many creative kits from building your own stuffed animal to jewelry making and craft kits. For the picky teenager in your life you'll find character clutch wallets, cosmetics gift sets and plenty of tech gadgets like Bluetooth emoji headphones. I picked up a graphic clutch wallet for just $1.99 that my 13 year-old niece would absolutely love!
Shopping for men in any store is generally tough- they can be so hard to pin down. However, I immediately spotted a Basketball Hoop Trash Bin ($1.99) when I entered the door and knew exactly what I wanted to gift for the man of the house. The 99 has an entire aisle dedicated to snacks that would be perfect for any sports fan's game time festivities. I grabbed a few favorites such as Slim Jim, Lay's Stax chips, a Rockstar energy drink, Cracker Jacks, and a new pair of lounge pants to complete my sports fan gift basket gift.
Make a sports fan gift basket for under $10 at 99 Cents Only Stores! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
Making gift baskets at the 99 is always fun and affordable. I'd pay $4-$8 for a good gift basket at many other stores. The 99 is full of decorative bins and tubs that are not only durable and affordable but can double as a functional item long after the gift has been received. Once you have your 'basket' chosen all that's left is to decide on a theme and shop the thousands of deals at the 99 to fill it!
While my mission was to gift an entire family under $40, it was impossible for other things not to 'fall' into my cart. There is inspiration around every corner at the 99, especially if you follow them on social media such as Facebook and Instagram where they are constantly sharing their shoppers ideas and finds. I spotted some cute glass mugs, sparkly winder decal stickers, pipe cleaners, and light up necklaces and had an instant stroke of brilliance. This year at our holiday gatherings I would host an Ugly Sweater Drink Table.
Create an ugly weater drink station for holiday gatherings at the 99! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
The Ugly Sweater Drink Station is quite an easy concept, really- pull out all of those old mismatched glasses (or buy new ones at the 99), grab some holiday decals, pom poms, ornaments, light up holiday jewelry and more from your 99 and let guests go wild making the ugliest sweater glass they can. Not only is it fun to see guests walking around with their ugly sweater glass creation in hand, it's a great holiday tradition all ages can get involved in. My favorite drink for my ugly sweater mug also happens to be sold at the 99- Sparkling ICE, which happens to come in some great festive colors!
Another thing that wasn't on my gift list, but had to come home with me was a D.I.Y Paw Print Ornament kit for just $1.99 at my local 99 Cents Only Store. This little kit required no mixing and had enough pre-made dough to make 3 ornaments (1 for each of our pets). It was the perfect task to time out from wrapping gifts and really quite painless (unless you were the unsuspecting pet having your paw pressed into clay). There was a pretty big stock of these at our 99, and I just might go back and grab more for gifts for the neighbors!
Pet Ornament Kit for just $1.99 at 99 Cents Only Stores! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
I just love how our handmade clay ornaments turned out- and they took far less time than traditional salt dough, and even cost less than most dough ornament recipe ingredients combined! It's little discoveries like these that make shopping at the 99 such a fun adventure, and keep me walking through the door multiple times a week. You just never know what you'll find at the 99!
Now would be a purrfect time to share what I picked up for the pet on my fictional family's list- There were many items in the 99 pet aisle intended to spoil felines, but a few stood out as seasonal specials. I was able to nab a 20oz value size jug of Truffle's favorite Friskies cat treats for just $2.99! I also spotted some cardboard cat scratchers for just $1.99!
Make this fun pet treat dispenser fur just $4 at your local 99 Cents Only Stores! #DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
Naturally Truffles is spoiled and I couldn't just gift her a plain jug of treats- so I found a little inspiration in the snack and candy aisle at the 99. For $3.99 I bought an adorable candy machine to put all of those delicious treats in. It was the perfect decor accent for a crazy-cat-lady with a sense of fun and funky style and really helped spoil the pets like our kids.
#DoingThe99 #99YourHoliday #AD
Last, but not least was the mother on my shopping list. There were many gifting directions to go from gardening supplies and beautiful living flowers to perfume gift sets and new bath slippers. When I spotted an end cap of candle pillars, however, I knew that was the perfect gift. My 99 has a large selection of various size candles and I was easily able to pick up 3 matching pillar candles to gift with it. A fabulous gift that cost me less than $12 in total, and looked as though it had easily cost me $40 alone!
Now anyone can shop gifts on a budget- pinching pennies isn't the real test, it's making those pinched pennies turn into valued items that the recipient truly loves. I was impressed with not just the variety of gifts I was able to find, but the quality from the name brand products to the general home decor. What it comes down to is that I would never give a gift I wouldn't love to have, myself, and every single item I brought home from the 99 could easily have a place in my home. The true triumph of my challenge wasn't the $40 budget for an entire family it was finding real gifts I'd be proud to give any of my friends of family!

Still need a little holiday inspiration? Discover more amazing 99 gift and entertaining ideas on the 99 Cents Only Stores Social Hub! Visit my local 99 on Facebook  for some fun local finds!


  1. Wow! You scored some really nice things there, and I love those prices. I have to see if we have a 99 Cents Only in my area. Thanks!

  2. I can't believe how many great gift items the 99 Cents Only store has. There are some really nice items and the prices are a steal!!!

  3. Oh how I love a good deal. I discovered the 99 cent store a few years back while planning my grandson's birthday party. Love it!!

  4. I love the 99 cent store. They have some wonderful items to choose from when you're on a budget.

  5. You are one awesome shopper! The 99 cent store looks like such a great place to shop for Christmas extras.

  6. I will have to try making some handmade clay ornaments for gifts this year. I love to shop at our local 99 cent store.

  7. WOW you did great on your shopping list! I have never been to a 99c store!

  8. These are such great ideas! You did really well with your list AND your budget.

  9. Everything looks so good at this store. I really wish we had one because I would totally shop there all the time!

  10. I really wish I had this store near me. I have been hearing a lot about them lately. Looks like you got a great selection of products too.

  11. Absolutely adorable. So cute and creative

  12. These are awesome gift ideas and great deals, too! Will add these to my list!

  13. These are all really great gift ideas and I love that they are wallet friendly too! I am going to bookmark this.

  14. I love these ideas for gifts on a budget! You don't have to break the bank to give awesome gifts.

  15. I totally agree that shopping for Christmas gifts can be a challenge, but it looks like you won Christmas this year! That basketball hoop trash can is totally calling my name, and putting the pet treats in the candy dispenser is a really fun idea. Thanks for sharing the deals on Christmas gifts at the 99! #client

  16. Wow! What amazing prices. I would love to go shopping here. It's a great way to stay on budget.

  17. Your photos are awesome and I love how the house is decorated. But the real find is the Candy Machine. I totally need one of those for my kitty, Pumpkin!

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  22. The paw print ornament set sounds like a great gift for any pet owner. I will definitely have to get one for my parents this Christmas! They have a 3-month-old beagle, and I'm sure they would love to hang the paw prints on their Christmas tree :) Thanks for the idea!

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