As people grow into young adults, it gets harder to know what to get them for birthdays or Christmas. Do you buy your favourite niece or nephew a fancy luxury item they couldn’t afford on their own?
Or do you stock up on Safeway gift cards for your starving college student?
When college students are out on their own for the first time, any amount of help is HUGE. But there are a few essential items and small luxuries you may not have thought about.
So, if you’re stumped on what to get your broke college student for Christmas, this is the lookbook for you.✌️
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So, if you do end up buying something, thanks!
A COUPLE OF GOOD KITCHEN KNIVES
While working at Canadian Tire, I bought myself a set of cheap ceramic knives to complement my Tupperware bin full of mismatched cutlery and kitchen tools gifted to me by family members.
I still own them, but I’ve slowly been upgrading my kitchen tools over the years to include a few of these Tuo Falcon Series Kitchen Knives.
When you’re broke, cooking is an essential skill. But it’s hard to be healthy and stick to a budget when it feels daunting.
Especially after a long day of classes, commuting and work. A good knife or a sturdy cast iron pan can make a massive difference in the quality and enjoyment of preparing your food.
Now, here’s the thing. Once college students who like to cook start making money, they will eye up those fancy knife block sets.
But unless you’re in culinary school, there probably won’t be a reason to own every type of knife under the sun.
So if you’re buying, start with the basics.
And maybe a serrated knife for slicing tomatoes. Even one high-quality knife can feel like a massive luxury while still offering years of use.
COMFY BEDDING FOR A BETTER SLEEP
The college I went to had the WORST temperature control in the world.
During the summer, it was so hot I had to buy multiple fans and sleep during odd hours of the day. During the winter, I slept in a parka under a heavy jean quilt lined with fleece, and it was still freezing!
Stress, poor temperature control, a busy work schedule and a lot of sleep revenge made for some seriously disordered sleep.
Do your college student a favour and get them some quality bedding.
If you’re unsure what aesthetic they like, there are a ton of helpful add-ons you can buy instead of a duvet.
GROCERIES, MEAL KITS AND DELIVERY
Accessing delicious, healthy food on a student’s budget is hard.
Buying fresh ingredients and proteins gets expensive quickly. And it can be scary to experiment with new recipes when you don’t have much cooking experience.
🥕 If you’re worried about your young adult getting the nutrition they need to succeed in school and work, you’ve got options!
- Find out where they buy groceries and get them a gift card to help with food costs.
- Get them a subscription to a meal kit company like HelloFresh. It will give them a month or two of delicious healthy meals, and they’ll learn new cooking techniques that will save them time and money.
- Get them a gift card for a delivery service like SkipTheDishes. Having the money to order pizza or sushi from your favourite restaurant during a late-night cram session is a huge luxury when money is tight.
GYM EQUIPMENT AND MEMBERSHIPS
This one is going to depend a lot on personality.
But whether your college student is a gym rat or just stressed out, being able to work out once a week can be an excellent way to boost mental health.
If they’re new to working out, paying for a month or two with a personal trainer, a pool membership or just getting some basic fitness equipment they can use in dorms is an excellent way to help them start.
If they’ve already got their fitness goals, pitch in on getting them a gym membership!
Keep an eye out for the following;