How to Fill a Holiday Stocking for Free

We all love stockings. Up until just a few years ago, my mom would still give me one and it had always been my favourite gift to open. Stockings don't have to cost anything and are supposed to be filled with small trinkets and goodies, not things like $50 gift cards and iPods! Remember when we used to get clementines in there? What happened with that? :)


I don't have kids so I don't have to fight with anyone regarding the contents of a stocking, but sometimes parents have to put their foot down. too many kids are spoiled rotten these days, it's awful. Here are some things you can get for free, but plan early for some of these:

  • If you happen to go to trade shows or conventions, you can always get free things there. Have a look around. I usually go to a Health Show every year and get a free goodie bag with things in it.

  • Go to freebie sites, start collecting early and keep a box set aside for them. There are SO MANY free things to be had out there from big companies. A few years ago I kept a box with all the freebies I got just to see how full it would get. Over the course of a several months it was filled with things like books, cards, samples of makeup or soap, shampoos, cleaning products, amazing.

  • Craft Shows. Right around the holidays there are a lot of craft shows. Some crafters give out free samples of things that you can keep and set aside. (like soap pieces for example)

  • If you are planning to spend money on some holiday gifts, look for items that you get something free with purchase. This time of year that's easy! Use the free gift for a stocking.

  • Best Buy gives you a gift card if you trade in an old cellphone. So dig out that dinosaur phone of yours and bring it in!

  • Cash in credit card points or airmiles for free gift cards, magazine subscriptions, video rentals or movie tickets. They often don't cost a lot of points.

  • My drugstore often has deals where if you purchase a certain amount of goods at the store, you can get a free gift card of some sort. It is usually movie tickets or coffee cards. I rarely go in and spend $40 in one shot, so sometimes I wait till I need something big or lots of things then make a big trip so I can get the freebie.

  • Make some cool Rock Candy! Most people have sugar and food colouring in their pantry, so follow this recipe:

  • Go to a department store and ask for samples of perfume and make up. Maybe get a free makeup application while you are there :)

  • PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has a lot of free stuff to give away like stickers and booklets. Check out their website for all the freebies.

  • Print out some free Baking and Cooking E-books here: or some other independent books can be found here that are free: or do a search for free ebooks online.

  • Make Compilation CDs with the recipient's favourite music or a new band that they may not have heard of yet. has tons of free indie music that can be downloaded from upcoming artists!

  • I don't recommend eating at fast food places, but sometimes they will give away free trinkets for children, even crayons and a colouring sheet or book. I've seen people just come in and not buy anything and ask for a free toy for their child.

  • Make candy or caramel apples! Most of us have sugar and apples at home or this time of year you can probably still get some for free from farmers. You can use recycled and washed chopsticks to put in the apple.

  • Make a free printable calendar for kids that they can colour in:

  • Have a swap or exchange with friends of items that you no longer want or things that you want to re-gift. This can include clothing, gadgets, handmade crafts, bath and body items (un-used), kids' toys, etc.

Good luck and happy holidays everyone!

Source: Edited from one of my blog posts:

By Lisa from Halifax, NS

A stocking full of little gifts

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November 25, 20090 found this helpful

Really neat ideas you have given me. As this year we are more frugal than ever. Thank you Happy holidays

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November 27, 20090 found this helpful

Although not completely free I'll tell you how I fill a stocking for under $2.00. In the summer and fall when there are back to school sales I stock up on notebooks, pencils, crayons, rulers etc. Last August I was able to get boxes of crayons for 1 cent each at Office Max.


I also got packages of pens for 9 cents. Pencils, one week, were 1 cent each. Wal Mart had notebooks for 10 cents. Even a 3 year old will be thrilled with their very own notebook to scribble in.

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November 28, 20090 found this helpful

What a great idea! Wish i still got my stocking with a big orange, candy cherries and my favorite soup and candy canes! I loved that! HUGS

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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,394 Feedbacks
November 28, 20090 found this helpful

Wish I'd thought of this. My hubby was one of those Depression-era kids who was happy to get only an orange and an apple in his stocking. That's his story, and he's stickin' to it, lol! I still miss the thrill of diving into my very own Christmas stocking. Walnuts, candy canes, little things like those pink erasers, etc.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
November 28, 20090 found this helpful

Oh my gosh! Yep, the simple pleasures of the glee finding anything in your stocking! Mine were filled with hazelnuts, chocolate kisses, a few pennys, a little note from Santa saying Ho, Ho, Ho and a special note from God wishing a Merry and Blessed Christmas :-) Thanks so much for sharing and bringing back fond memories!

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 255 Posts
December 4, 20090 found this helpful

I put in free samples I get in the mail of perfumes and such, and add pencils, chapstick, nuts, fruit, and free $10 walmart gift cards I get from mypoints.

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December 10, 20090 found this helpful

Congratulations on winning the contest.
I was a poor kid too and we did get an apple and an orange in my stocking. We got a handful of walnuts, some hard candy, some peppermint sticks, some soft penny candy like tootsie rolls, spice drops. And a small toy like a yo yo or a manicure set or maybe a picture book. We loved them. Then we each got one big toy (I remember roller skates one year) and a smaller one like a game we could both play. We got a larger doll when we were really little and another toy. Then a good Dinner with turkey and trimmings and that was Christmas. We didn't know we were poor until we got old enough to want a bicycle and couldn't have it.

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September 4, 20100 found this helpful

I save the toothbrushes and toothpaste and floss the kids get from check ups, McDondald's coupons,favorite gum, good deals on bath and body works pocket size,clearance items i have found throughout the year. The stocking is first to be opened.

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