Affordable Hostess Gift Ideas

If you believe showing up to a friend or family member’s house empty-handed is impolite, you likely understand how difficult it can be to continue buying hostess gifts throughout the season. These gifts, though, don’t have to be elaborate. Use these affordable hostess gift ideas to give your hostess something special that doesn't blow your holiday budget.

Related post: Budgeting for the Holiday Season 


Many people enjoy candles, and they’re a surprisingly inexpensive gift option. Choose a candle that’s within your budget and wrap it up nicely before giving it to your hostess. Some premium candle stores offer huge sales throughout the year on their candles, and these are prime opportunities to stock up at great prices. When you do so, you’ll always have something to give to your hostess, even if it’s a last-minute invite.

Gift Baskets

While you might not think you can afford a premade gift basket because they’re so expensive, you can always create your own! Gathering supplies from discount or dollar stores, you can easily create your own gift basket. Tailor your gift basket to your hostess’s preference, and she’ll be so grateful for this thoughtful gift! 

Related post: 10 Festive Gift Baskets to Give Your Favorite Families


Whether you choose to give your hostess a dessert they can make later on or food that’s ready to eat, you can save some serious money by giving a food item. Not to mention, she’ll be able to eat it and won’t have to worry about displaying or storing it long-term. Some great ideas include hot chocolate or cookie mixes, snack baskets, or even a frozen home-cooked meal she can dig out during a busy weeknight. 

It’s a good idea to make sure you know what your hostess likes before gifting her food. No one wants to receive a meal they absolutely hate or something they are allergic to, so check first to make sure.

Body Care 

A great affordable gift that works well for anyone involves practically anything body care related. Choose from lotion, body soap, or bath salts. You can also pick up some affordable hand soaps that your hostess can use year-round. If you aren’t close to your hostess, you may not know what scents she likes. If that’s the case, err on the side of caution and pick an unscented option that will work even for those who are sensitive to certain smells.

Boutique Utensils 

One of the most fun and affordable hostess gifts you can give is a set of boutique-style utensils. These can often be found at discount or dollar stores, and they’re an excellent gift for the hostess who loves looking great while cooking and baking in the kitchen. Choose from trendy styles like rose gold, oil slick-style metallics, and matte black utensils. There are budget-friendly options available, and you can mix and match to suit your desired price range! 

Customizable Decor 

From lightboxes to letterboards and everything in between, give your hostess something that she can customize and make her own. These trendy decor pieces are an excellent option for the hostess you don’t quite know how to buy for. They’re also great for moms and for hostesses who love social media! Both lightboxes and letterboards come in a variety of sizes and styles. You can easily match the decor your hostess has and purchase something that fits within your budget.

Take it one step further by purchasing (or creating) other customized decor options. Keep in mind, though, that the more elaborate or customized you make it, the pricier your gift will be.

Related post: Funny Christmas Gift Ideas for Mom Friends

Gift Cards 

Handing out restaurant gift cards to everyone in your life can get pricey, especially during the holidays, so make sure you are looking for the deals. Many websites and kiosks in popular stores offer gift cards at a discount. Additionally, be on the lookout for deals at your favorite restaurants. I know we’ve been able to purchase a certain amount of food and end up with a free gift card for use the next time around. Sure, it might not be enough to cover an entire meal, but if you know your friend is going to visit that restaurant at some point in the future anyway, then why not give her something to smile about?

Something Handmade 

Something handmade makes a great affordable hostess gift and it's a great excuse to create an item she’ll love. Even if you’re not usually the crafty type, there are so many fun ideas that you can do yourself to hand out to your favorite hostess. You might consider purchasing something handmade as a way to help out an artisan in your community while saving some money. Check out the local craft fairs (they ramp up around the holidays) and see what kind of 3 for 2 purchases you can make.


Most everyone loves a good board game, and it’s relatively easy to find them at affordable prices. If your hostess enjoys playing games or has a family, this is a practical gift they can enjoy many times over. Go for a classic board game the entire family can play or choose a fun new option you can learn together. My guess is that she’ll invite you over for a game night, making it a win-win situation for both of you.

Need additional ideas about how to save money around the holidays? Join us in the free Moms Managing Money Facebook group and check out all of our great tips.

Did you enjoy this post? If so, why not share it on social media so that someone else can, as well?

Download our free e-book, Intentional Investing for Women: Aligning Your Portfolio with Your Goals. 

Gain confidence in your investment decisions with our 24-page e-book.