Affordable Gift Ideas for Broke Students

Birthdays, Anniversaries, Valentines Day, Chinese New Year and Weddings are events that people typically give gifts to friends and families. There are various types of gifts such as Hong Bao (a red packet filled with money) on Chinese New Year, Bouquet of Flowers, Personalized Gifts–socks, makeup and birthday cards–and Recreational Gifts. As students, we don’t have all the money in the world. This means we have a small and tight student budget to buy gifts for our friends and families. And so for everyone on a student budget, here are some tips on where and how you can buy affordable gifts in Singapore.

Anything From Daiso

Makeup, Snacks, Socks, Christmas Reindeer Ears and Selfie Sticks are some items found at Daiso. Source:

The notorious Daiso, well-known for their cheap $2 prices (sometimes some items ranging from $2 to $5) is the perfect place if you want to splurge on cheap yet good quality Japanese products such as candles, snacks, socks, stationery, kitchenware and even makeup as great presents for your friends and family. 

Food Items

Cherry-Almond Fudge, Cake Pops, Christmas Bark, Coffeehouse Chocolate Spoons and Chocolate Chip Cookies are food items you can make for loved ones. Source:

Making delicious treats for your loved ones can be a great way to show how much you appreciate them through some warm baked goods. Cherry-Almond Fudge, Cake Pops, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Christmas-flavored Bark in Candy Cane, Hot Chocolate, Pecan Pie, and many more flavors, are the perfect baked goods to share with family and friends. 

DIY Gifts

Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies Mix in a Jar, Pink Lemonade Sugar Scrub, Marble Coasters, Homemade Bath Bombs and Snowman Soup. Source:

Even if you have beginner to advanced skills in the Do It Yourself categoryI would suggest that DIY’s are the best gifts to give anyone. Simply, these gifts can be personalized for anyone ranging from the scent to the decorations placed on the gift. And by making DIY gifts, you can improve your DIY skills and save a good amount of money, especially being on a student budget.  

Socks, Socks, Socks and More Socks

Cute Panda Socks, Various Oil Paintings Socks, Dinosaur Socks, Van Gogh Paintings Socks, and Cute Corgi Socks. Source:

Socks are the best accessory to spice up an outfit, make an outfit unique to oneself or even just keep your feet warm and snuggled during the harsh rainings seasons. Personally, I think that socks are a great gift to give anyone because each and every pair of socks screams the personality of an individual. And gifting socks is another way to personalize a gift since you can buy and select socks that would match an individual’s personality. 

The Taboo on Regifting

Christmas Themed Yankee Candles, Board Games, Books, Various Gift Cards and The Office Christmas Themed Keychains. Source:

There definitely is a stigma towards regifting one person’s gift to another person. But being on a student budget, buying gifts can be expensive for some people. Sometimes, old unpersonalized gifts that have been sitting untouched in your house for ages such as Gift Cards, Board Games, Keychains and even Candles can be great gifts for regifting. Of course, you should remember not to regift personalized gifts that were made or bought especially for you, as you wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Minimalist to Over-The-Top Jewelry

“Best Buds” – Milk and Cookies Necklace, Minimalist Rings, Delicate Necklaces and Cute and Delicate Earrings. Source:

Minimalist Jewelry has become a popular trend in 2018, with people wearing thin gold or silver hoop earrings and delicate necklaces with small pendants on them. This minimalist jewelry can be a great gift for those who love to accessorize their outfit without the jewelry looking too “flashy”. But there are people who love their jewelry to be the “center of attention” of their entire outfit. And buying cute matching “Best Buds” Necklaces (such as the Milk and Cookies Necklace above) could make an outfit more vibrant and it becomes a more personalized gift that suits their style.

Black Friday Shopping

A Black Friday Meme, Shoes on Sale, 50% Off during a Black Friday Sale, Store filled with Black Friday customers and A Black Friday Sale Sign. Source: 

Ah, Black Friday Shopping! What an amazing time to stroll around malls to find the best sales and deals. Well no, that is simply a dream. In reality, Black Friday Shopping could be an Earth-like version of Hell — if you don’t enjoy big crowds, people touching you constantly, screaming, crying kids, more screaming, and just plain chaos, then Black Friday Shopping isn’t for you. But with modern day technology such as online shoppingthe experience of Black Friday Shopping has become less of a hassle and more of a breeze. With the constant struggle between money and students, sales have become our best friend. And with many online stores having 30% to 70% sales during Black Friday (and Cyber Monday too) on all their products, you can start shopping right after Thanksgiving to buy great products for your friends and family, for a fraction of its original price. 

Author: Mitali Singh

Mitali Singh is currently a senior at Singapore American School and this is her second year reporting for The Eye. Living all 17 years of her life in Singapore, she tries not to spend her time debating whether to binge-watch TV shows or watching past vine compilations (rip vine). Rather she would spend her time towards her passion to write and tell stories of others, which she is excited to continue this year by producing more sophisticated content. So, if you have any interesting stories from your life or even vines you would like to share, she can be contacted at

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