Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Gifts to give on a college budget


With finals and winter break just around the corner, this time of the year can be the most stressful season for college students. Luckily, that stress doesn’t have to carry over to your wallet!

Here are five great gift ideas that your college friends – and your bank balance – will appreciate.

Regardless of what gifts you give your friends this year, it’s important to keep them personal. Giving presents is one of the best ways to show your loved ones how much you care for them, but that doesn’t mean you have to empty your bank account in the process. These gift ideas are all great ways to give your college friends presents that are both affordable and personal, so don’t be afraid to try them out this holiday season.

Knitting and


Handy with a pair of knitting needles or a crochet hook? If so, then you’ll love these ideas. Hand-crafted gifts are the perfect way to give a present that’s both affordable and personal. And because each one is unique, you’ll never have to worry about getting your friends the same thing as someone else. There are tons of options out there such as scarves, hats or even full-blown sweaters, which means you can give each friend something different! To get started, check out websites like Pinterest or Etsy for inspiration and tutorials.

Baked Goods

If there’s one thing all college kids love, it’s free food. Almost no one will turn down freshly baked goods, making them great – and cheap – gifts for your friends this year. Holiday favorites like cookies, muffins or cupcakes are classic treats that always get good reviews. But, like crafts, there’s an almost unlimited amount of options for you to choose from when baking your gifts, so don’t be afraid to try something new! Just be sure to double-check for any allergies your friends may have, and keep any potentially dangerous ingredients away from your workspace. If you don’t have any cookbooks on hand, searching online is a quick and easy way to find all the recipes you could ever need.



The best thing about this gift is its versatility. Find a nice frame to start with, and from there you can let your creativity run wild. Decorate the frame with knickknacks, draw on designs to make it extra personal or leave it blank and sleek to make it more chic. The picture you use can also help set the gift’s tone. A photo of you and your friends together is a great way to show them how important they are to you, while a picture of something they love can show them how much you care about their interests. To give your gift an extra edge, cover the real photo with a teaser photo!

Gift Cards

Gift cards may sound simple or boring, but don’t underestimate them. College students can always use more money, and these gifts are the best way to give your friends cash without resulting to a generic greeting card full of one-dollar bills. They’re also a great way to make sure your friends get something they really want or need. Amazon or Target gift cards give your friends options, while cards for specific bookstores or a particular clothing store makes your gift more personal. You can also decorate the cards with bows or individual bags to make them more festive.

Gift Baskets

Who says parents are the only ones allowed to send care packages? Personalized gift baskets are the perfect way to give your friends something practical and heart-felt. If you buy all your items in bulk, it’s also affordable. You can fill these baskets with just about anything, making them a great way to cover all your bases. CDs burned with custom playlists, handwritten letters or hand-baked treats are all good ideas. And, if you really want to make these baskets extra personal, you can always add in any – or all – of the other gift ideas mentioned above too!

More to Discover