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Frugal Christmas Shopping: Stocking Stuffer Ideas from the Dollar Store

I want to share a family tradition with you.  For several years, my husband and I have completely filled our family's Christmas stockings with items from the dollar store.  It drives me nuts when I see commercials for "stocking stuffers" such as mp3 players and other high-end electronics.  To me, those are major gifts.  Who can afford to fill stockings with items like that?  For our family, stocking stuffers tend to be fun, smaller items that don't carry that kind of price tag.
Even before having kids, my husband and I would go to the dollar store for Christmas gift bags, wrapping paper, and other misc. things for the holidays.  One year we came up with the idea of filling each other's stockings entirely with items from the dollar store.  This became a really fun tradition. We would go to the store together, each start at one end of the store, and shop for each other.  For $10-$20 each, our stocking would be overflowing. 
The cool thing about the dollar store is that while you can find some cool little items that you do need, you can also find a lot of hilarious items or knock-offs that make great gag gifts.  We tend to always include one or two for each other that are a complete gag.
After having children we were able to keep this tradition alive in a big way.  The dollar store is chock full of great little toys for kids, including a lot of their favorite characters (Spiderman, Avengers, Disney/Pixar Cars, Ninja Turtles, etc.).  There are also great little Christmas items (stuffed animals, candy, etc.).
This year, when my husband and I split up in the store, we each took one of the boys with us.  We were able to have the kids choose items for each other while my husband and I were looking for stocking stuffers for each other.  Here is the loot S and I picked for G this year at our local Dollar Tree:
Not bad, right?
This is an example of what I get for the hubs (hopefully he won't read this blog post before opening his stocking on Christmas):
Some of it is silly (Spa Haus Aqua Bold), but the rest are actually things he could use. I love the recycle bin pen cup!

There you go.  Now you know one of Fab Everyday's tricks to keeping the holiday a little more affordable, and definitely lower-stress!

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