Cheap gifts for family fun

On a recent trip to Goodwill, I found a ton of great white elephant gift ideas. Though you might not think to check a thrift store for white elephant gifts, it was like shopping a hidden gem!

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “white elephant”, it’s any classic game where guests bring a wrapped gift of choice (it can be funny, practical, for kids, etc.) and then the gifts are won and distributed as the game is played.

Our family does the good ol’ pie pan and dice game. You shake the dice into a pie pan. If you roll doubles, you get to grab a gift out of the middle then pass the pie pan to the next player. If you don’t get doubles, better luck next time! Once all the presents are gone, everyone opens their gift. Some choose to go extra rounds once the gifts are opened to try and ‘steal’ (or swap) gifts from each other which can be a lot of fun. But when the clock runs out, you’re stuck with what you’ve got! It’s a lot of fun.

So if you are attending a get-together and need a fun white elephant gift, don’t get stressed. I’ve got some fun, inexpensive gift ideas for you that will make you the hit of the party!



  • A cereal (or pasta, or rice) container with a built-in measuring cup
  • Holiday kitchen towels and/or oven mit
  • Trendy scarf
  • Tote bag with fun saying (the bag I found said “Exercise? I’d rather accessorize!”)
  • Inspirational wall lettering
  • Fragrant room diffuser
  • Comfy, decorative throw
  • Coffee grounds and mug



  • An inflatable buffet cooler
  • Motion-sensored crowing rooster
  • Book called “101 Potato Recipes
  • Santa saddle for your pup
  • Fluffy, fuzzy socks
  • Large container of cheese puffs
  • Big Mouth Billy Bass
  • Whoopie cushion

For the Kids


  • Cabbage Patch doll
  • Still-in-box toys (I found this Doc McStuffins kit brand new!)
  • Games for kids (Pictionary, Uno, Chutes & Ladders)
  • DVD’s or iTunes gift card


The list could go on and on and, these are just some of the many ideas I came across at Goodwill. No matter which Goodwill store you go to, you’re bound to find cheap, one-of-a-kind ideas that will surprise and delight at this year’s get-together!

Happy shopping!!