Gifting for the College Wallet

As the semester draws to a close, the only thing you should be stressing about are finals. Finding the perfect gifts for all the holidays this season should be a piece of cake, and a cheap one at that. In the place of our usual Out-and-About post, we have for you a fool-proof route to both holiday joy and financial peace of mind. Check out our top gift picks for the whole fam–both cost-effective and compact (for minimal impact when squeezing shut your overweight suitcase).



Take solace in your college friends; they, too, dislike spending money. With that in mind, try an alternative gift-giving scheme with your buddies:

  • White Elephant: Fulfill your gifting obligations and get rid of junk all in one fell swoop! Everyone brings a wrapped random object (an old textbook, socks, that weird knick-knack your mom sent) to contribute to the pool, and goes home with a different piece of clutter. Full rules here.
  • Secret Santa: The excitement of having a secret gift patron makes up for the fact that you only get one present (sort of). Set a price limit (say, $25?) to even the playing field.
  • Group Outing: Scratch presents altogether and go out to dinner with all of your friends! Everyone is guaranteed to love their gift, and can’t return it the next day for store credit.


1. Cards Against Humanity – $25


What would dorm life be without the grown up version of Apples to Apples? Best saved for siblings, cousins, friends…anyone on your generation level. Perhaps a parent who doesn’t mind some dicey, inappropriate humor. Order here.

2. Scratch Map – $18.95

scratch map

Perfect for the world traveler in your life, which may include all 13,000 or so Northeastern students. It’s the hipster way to show off where all your co-ops and Dialogues have taken you over the years. Order here.

3. Face Mug – $18.00


face mug

Someone finally listened and united our favorite hot drinks with cookies. Carrying snacks with two hands is for amateurs. Order here.

4. MFA Socks – $8 – $12

museum socks

We know, socks are the quintessential lame-o gift. But these aren’t any socks, they’re all of the world’s greatest works of art plastered on footwear! They’re perfect for both socks aficionados and that one person who is impossible to buy for. The MFA carries a selection in their gift shop, which conveniently offers a 10% discount to Northeastern students. A wider range can be found here via Hot Socks.

5. French Press Mug – $14.99

french press


French press coffee is delicious, and also terribly expensive in the United States of Starbucks. This ingenious mug dispells of the need to spend $5  for a cup o’ French Joe AND all the extra dirty dishes that a real French press would create. Order here.

6. For the Parents: Make dinner – cost of groceries

dinner meme

If you’re on the skinny end of your gift idea list, offer to make a delicious family dinner over winter break. Take charge from start to finish; tell the rents that you’ll cover everything from running to the grocery store to leaving a spotless kitchen behind.


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