I bought all of my holiday gifts at JCPenney for less than $500
The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.
Sponsored by JCPenney.
Holiday shopping season is officially underway. If buying gifts for a long list of people feels stressful and expensive, you are not alone.
JCPenney recently surveyed consumers and found that 73% are concerned about the impact of inflation on holiday gifting, while 50% say they’re going to have to make “tradeoffs” to afford the holidays. Nearly half of all survey respondents also say they plan to do all their shopping in one place.
With this in mind, I decided to go on a mission to see if I could find gifts for everyone on my list at JCPenney. I set a budget of $500, with a goal of spending even less.
I have around 10 people on my list this year, ranging from my husband and my best friend to a teenage niece and my best friend’s children. Take a look at all of the gifts I was able to find for everyone by shopping only at JCPenney and spending just $480.96.
Jump to Gifts for Your:
- Best Friend
- Friend’s Young Children — Girls
- Friend’s Young Child — Boy
To give you some more shopping inspiration, I included a few alternate items that I’d consider for each person on my list. The result is a curated collection of 50 items that are perfect for gifting this season.
I easily found a handful of gifts my husband would love, but ended up narrowing it down to just two for a total of $68.
We don’t typically spend a lot of money on gifts for each other during the holidays, as we often buy things we want or need during the year. I chose two fun gifts just because, but I’ve also listed some more practical ones here.
My first pick was this Five Oak 2-piece Football Ice Mold, as my husband is a big sports fan and this seems like a fun gift to open on Christmas morning.
The mold makes two 3-inch football-shaped ice cubes for sipping his favorite drink while watching his favorite team and can also double as a fun surprise for a Super Bowl party next year.
The regular price is $24, but it’s on sale for $9.99 right now.
This Five Oak Glass Beer Boot Mug was also too fun to pass up!
Priced originally at $44, it is made of 100% hand-blown glass and holds one liter (33.8 ounces) of beer or any other beverage. On sale for just $19.99, this glass is a steal.
This JF J.Ferrar X Jason Bolden Mens Big and Tall Shirt Jacket is on sale for $41.65 after using the CYBER23 code on the reduced price and almost made my final selection. Not only does it fall into the “practical” category, but JCPenney has multiple sizes and I really like the style.
Made with a polyester lining, it is lightweight so he won’t overheat on warm fall days or when he gets to work. Still, it should keep him warm enough in the spring or on a mild winter day.
While I didn’t end up choosing this for my final purchase, this Levi’s Men’s Faux Suede Shirt Jacket looks incredibly comfortable and I am sure my husband would have enjoyed it. It’s currently 50% off.
The jacket comes in multiple sizes and in either dark brown or tan. Made of faux suede, it would be best worn in the fall or spring, but it is wind- and water-resistant, so it could also be worn on a mild winter day.
I’ll admit that this pick is more for myself than my husband because it features my favorite scent: cedarwood. It also has fragrance notes of cardamom, cedrat, clary sage, orris, lavender, geranium, tonka and vetiver.
It sounds woodsy and invigorating and I can imagine it’s amazing. It nearly made the final cut.
The most expensive choice on the list I created for my husband, which I am not purchasing, is this Bulova Men’s Gold Tone Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch priced at $395 and on sale for an amazing 60% OFF.
It is absolutely lovely and would make a wonderful gift, but if you’re watching your budget this year, it might not be your first choice. On the other hand, it’s more practical and more likely to be used daily than the beer mug and football ice molds I did end up choosing.
Parents can be incredibly hard to shop for, but one thing that always seems to work is kitchen appliances. I chose one gadget I think would really come in handy year-round. I have also included some others I didn’t end up choosing but that would still make great gifts.
My pick was this Sharper Image Grow Light Garden because it is on sale for $59.99, meaning I was able to get it and still stick to my budget.
My parents love to garden, but that’s not possible in the colder months, so the indoor garden is perfect for them. The garden uses LED lights to grow herbs and other plants indoors and weighs just 3 pounds, so it can be put on a kitchen counter or moved around easily.
I almost purchased this Sharper Image Electric Tabletop S’mores Maker because it is also on sale, now priced at just $34.99.
The indoor s’more maker is another great way to bring the summer indoors and because it uses electricity, it’s safer than a gas or wood-burning fire.
If you can spend a bit more this year, this Iconic SmartClean 2000 Robovac WiFi Robotic Vacuum with App and Remote Control is a great choice.
Sale-priced at $129.99, the vacuum travels throughout the house and cleans carpet and hardwood so your parents — or whomever you’re buying it for — don’t have to do the work.
I own an ice maker and absolutely love it, so this Ionchill Ice Maker was another choice on my list.
Priced originally at $249, the ice maker produces bullet-shaped ice cubes in just nine minutes and can make up to 26 pounds of ice in 24 hours. It’s on sale now for $149.99.
My final choice is this PowerXL Smokeless Indoor Grill With Hinged Glass Lid, which regularly sells for $175. The indoor grill works year-round, but seems especially handy in the winter or when outdoor plans get canceled due to rain.
The grill has a large cooking surface, nonstick interchangeable grill and griddle plates and LED Smart Temperature Control.
Best Friend ($76)
I tend to spend a large chunk of my holiday budget on friends, so my number one pick for my bestie this year is something I know she will love and use.
My friend and I are both Billie Eilish fans, so this was my top pick for her — and, let’s be honest — myself! Because it is a two-piece gift set, I am very inclined to keep the included travel size for myself so we can both enjoy it.
The perfume comes in a gorgeous bottle and has fragrance notes of “delicate sugared petals,” Mandarin, red berries, cocoa, vanilla, “sleek woods” and musk.
Priced originally at $99 but with a Cyber Monday markdown , this Skin Gym Wrinklit LED Face Mask looks so tempting I almost made it my number one pick for my friend and for myself.
The wireless mask uses three different kinds of light therapy to help achieve different goals. Blue light can be used for acne-prone skin, while red light is for redness and aging concerns. Orange light is for use on dull skin to help give it a glow.
While I did not end up purchasing this Worthington X Jason Bolden Women’s Midweight Trench Coat, it definitely tops the list of practical gifts if that’s how you’ll be shopping this season.
The faux leather coat is a dusty mauve color and is made of 100% polyester. It has two front slip pockets and a belted tie at the waist.
Another practical choice is this Frye and Co. Lightweight Faux Fur Coat, which normally sells for $129. It’s on sale for just $64.50 right now.
This coat is made of polyester and features a Sherpa lining for warmth. It also has two side pockets and a snap closure.
I also nearly added this Liz Claiborne Stella 4 Poster Shoulder Bag to my final list because, let’s face it, we can never have enough bags.
Priced originally at $80 but more than half off right now, the bag comes in five colors, is made of 100% faux leather and has one inside zip pocket, three inside slip pockets and one back zip pocket.
I also nearly added this to the list because it is a whopping 60% off.
Even on sale, it is still priced at $130, so it is definitely a splurge type of gift, but it is classy and beautiful and I know my friend — and I’m sure many other besties out there — would love it.
We tend to purchase gift cards and then just a few gifts for my in-laws that we think they would find useful. I found two gifts for them this year that are on sale, so I was able to stay within my budget.
My first gift is this Cooks 5-in-1 Power Blender that is on sale for $19.99.
The blender comes in multiple colors and can be used for everything from smoothies and sauce to even grinding coffee beans. It includes a large cup, small cup and a lid so you can drink right from the cup without having to dirty a second one.
My second choice is this Sharper Image Heated Neck and Shoulder Aromatherapy Wrap on sale for $20. I don’t know what I would do without my heating pads — and as winter approaches, I know my in-laws and pretty much everyone could really use one as well.
The wrap can be put in the microwave for warming or the freezer for anyone who needs ice therapy. It is also infused with lavender to help you relax.
We typically do holiday meals at my in-laws, so I almost put this Gibson Elite Gracious Dining 3-Tier Plate Set with Metal Stand for $40 in my cart. It’s much less now — just $20 — thanks to the Cyber Monday sale.
The stand includes three 12-inch plates on different levels for serving appetizers or small bites.
If you have a bigger budget this year, this GPX 1080p Mini Projector is a great choice even if it’s not on sale.
The projector can turn a small space like a living room into a theater with a 150-inch screen size. Plus, the picture can be projected on a blank wall, so you don’t need any other accessories.
I have an uncle that I am especially close with and we always buy each other gifts. We like to keep them under $50 and also tend to buy practical things for each other, so I chose a shirt that I know he can use for a total of just $36. And it’s even less now!
This St. John’s Bay Waffle Mens Henley Neck Long Sleeve Classic Fit Thermal Top is practical and regularly priced at just $36. For Cyber Monday, it’s marked down to $10.99.
The shirt comes in eight colors and in sizes small to XXL. It is made of 60% cotton and 40% recycled polyester and can be worn alone or as part of a layered look.
23. Dockers Wallet
Priced at just $34, this trifold-style Dockers Wallet has multiple card slots, two slip pockets, one bill compartment and clear ID windows. I almost chose it instead of the shirt, but thought he might like the shirt a bit more.
Made of polyurethane and leather, it also has an interior lining that helps protect against RFID fraud.
If I wanted to spend more money, I would have also added these Arizona Mens Advance Flex 360 Straight Fit Jeans. They originally cost $50 but are on sale for $24.99 today.
The jeans come in four colors and have a relaxed fit, a button-zip fly and five-pocket tailoring.
Also on my list is Calvin Klein Eternity for Men, priced at $104.
The 3.3-ounce bottle has fragrance notes of Mandarin, lavender, green botanics, basil, geranium, sage, sandalwood, rosewood and amber.
Teenage Niece ($60)
It can often be hard and somehow easy at the same time to shop for a teenager, which is the case with my teenage niece. I chose two items this year, including a hair styling set and a faux fur throw for her room for a total of $60.
This Kitsch Satin Heatless Styling 5-Piece Gift Set is priced at just $20, so it’s a definite steal and means I could buy her more than just one item. You can get it now with code CYBER23 for a couple of dollars less, too.
The gift set includes a vegan satin heatless curling set, a ceramic roller and a claw clip, all packaged in a pretty box.
I couldn’t pass up adding this Forever 21 Kylie Faux Fur Throw to the gift as well, as it’s 60% off.
Made of soft faux rabbit fur and a micro mink reverse, the throw measures 50 inches in length and 60 inches in width. It comes in either white or pink.
I almost included this set of three a.n.a Claw Hair Clips with the gift but chose to cut back the spending just a bit so I could stick to my $500 budget.
Regularly priced at $15 but marked down to just $6 right now, each clip is 1.1 inches in width and has a velvet appearance.
While it didn’t make my final list, this Ariana Grande Cloud Eau De Parfum 2-piece Gift Set is a $79 value, although JCPenney has it priced at just $58.
The gift set includes a 1.7-ounce perfume spray and 3.4-ounce body souffle. Fragrance notes include lavender, pear, bergamot, creme de coconut, praline, vanilla orchid, musk and “Creamy Blonde Woods.”
This Youthforia BYO Blush also nearly made the cut.
Priced at $36 regularly but with a CYBER23 code discount, the blush uses color-changing oil to react to the skin’s natural pH, which gives the wearer the perfect shade of “natural flush.” It can be worn alone or on top of foundation.
Friend’s Young Children: Girls, Ages 3 and 5 ($22)
Along with spending quite a bit on my friends during the holidays, I also like spoiling their children. To make sure I kept it under the $500 budget, however, I did dial it back a bit this year.
While all gifts can work for any child that would like them regardless of gender, I spent a total of $49.99 on her three children, including gifts that will always work for both and some geared more toward girls and boys.
First up, for the two girls ages 3 and 5, I spent $22 on a gift they can both use, which saved me quite a bit of money compared to trying to buy them separate gifts.
While this Discovery Kids Neon LED Glow Drawing Board With 4 Fluorescent Markers set is for ages 6 and up, my friend’s children love drawing and could easily enjoy it with some adult supervision.
Today, it is priced at $22, which seems like an excellent deal.
I almost chose this Fisher-Price Barbie Little People Little DreamHouse for $59.99 for both girls, but in order to stay under budget, I decided to just keep it on the list as an option. However, now it’s on sale for $45.
The Little Barbie Dream House is toddler-friendly and features hands-on fun like a moving elevator, rotating clothes closet and a light-up pool with slide. It also has four activation points for fun lights, music and realistic sounds.
If I wanted to spend just a bit more, I would have also gotten this Melissa & Doug Love Your Look Makeup Kit Play Set, priced at $39.99.
The play set comes with 16 pieces including application brushes, an empty “foundation” pump bottle, compacts for blush, powder and glitter, gloss and lipsticks and an eye shadow palette. The set does not include real cosmetics and is for pretend only.
This Disney Collection Princess Dolls 9-Piece Playset did not make my final list because it’s a bit high in price for my budget, but it would be an amazing gift for children ages 3 and up.
It includes Rapunzel, Snow White, Aurora, Jasmine, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Tiana and Moana, plus costume accessories for Moana.
I am not getting this Disney Collection Wish Little & Big Girls Crew Neck Short Sleeve Nightgown simply because I am purchasing gifts that can be used by both children right away, but it’s a great deal at just $34.
The nightgown is made of 100% polyester, has short sleeves and pulls over so it is easy to get on and off.
Last on my list is this Minnie Mouse Girls Digital Multicolor Strap Watch for just $20 at regular price (and even less for the Black Friday sale). This gift could work for a child of any age and has a 100% plastic case, so you don’t need to worry about it breaking easily.
It comes with two batteries and is digital, so kids can tell the time even if they can’t read an analog clock.
Friend’s Child, Boy Age 7 ($19.98)
I then spent another $19.98 on my friend’s 7-year-old son who loves Hot Wheels and Spiderman.
You can’t go wrong with a pack of Hot Wheel cars and this box of five is just $6, or only $1.20 per car.
The cars in each pack vary, but I know my friend’s son won’t mind even if he gets one he already has.
My friend’s son also loves Spiderman, so this Spiderman Unisex Automatic Red Strap Watch is a perfect gift.
The watch was priced at $20, but is now on sale for just $11.99. It includes a battery and is adjustable.
If I was working with more than a $500 budget, I would have also included this 16-inch Disney Collection Toy Story Woody Talking Action Figure priced at $35.
From Disney’s “Toy Story” film franchise, the action figure has a pull tab on his back and says more than 12 phrases.
Another great choice is this Lego Super Heroes Marvel Venomized Groot Building Set, which has 630 pieces.
The set shows what would happen if Baby Groot from “Guardians of the Galaxy” was combined with Marvel character Venom. It is for ages 10 and up and stands at 11 inches tall once complete.
For kids ages 8 and up, these Discovery Night Vision Spy Goggles look seriously cool!
Priced at $34 but on sale right now for just $15, the goggles have LED lights and green lenses and operate on batteries.
While clothes are probably the least favorite gift kids receive at Christmas, this Thereabouts Little & Big Boys 3-piece Pant Pajama Set is too cute to not include.
Priced originally at $42, the set includes a top, pants and socks. Made from soft jersey, it is all machine washable. Get it today for $16.80.
Last on my list is this Cipton LED Light-Up Kick Scooter, priced at $79 but on sale for Cyber Monday for just $30.
The scooter has a weight limit of 110 pounds, so it’s suitable for most children. It is adjustable with motion-activated light-up wheels and LED lights in the deck.
While I don’t have siblings, I do have male and female cousins who are both older and younger than me. We normally don’t spend very much on each other and sometimes actually just give baked goods, but there’s one item at JCPenney that we could enjoy together at our annual Christmas Eve gathering, so I couldn’t resist adding it to my cart.
The gifts I’ve chosen for them could also work well for friends or siblings.
This Retro Arcade Desktop LED Foosball looks seriously fun and is just $44 regularly, and it’s marked down to $20 for Cyber Monday.
With a 20-inch playing field, it has bright neon colors for an ’80s retro look and requires just two batteries.
If we bought each other more gifts, I would also get one of my male cousins this Sharper Image Drone Thunderbolt Jet X priced at $66.
The drone can perform 360-degree flips and stunts up to 150 feet in the air and runs on rechargeable batteries.
My female cousins would enjoy this Levi’s Beanie And Scarf 2 Pair Cold Weather Set for $20.
In either pink or blue, the set includes a lightweight wide-cuff beanie and a scarf made from soft knit fabric.
I also added this Juicy By Juicy Couture Womens Long Sleeve Zipper Hoodie to my list, as I know one of my cousins would really love it.
The hoodie is priced at $29.50 right now thanks to Cyber Monday and comes in either blue or purple. Made from soft velour material, it has two pockets, a zipper and the brand’s monogram embroidered on the back.
We often give my sister-in-law cash or gift cards, but I really enjoy giving presents that people can open, so I always include a gift as well. I will not be factoring in any cash or gift cards to the total I spent shopping, so my total in just gifts for her is only $40.
This year, I am choosing this Monet Jewelry 17-Inch Rolo Oval Y Necklace because it is absolutely beautiful. I got it for $40, but you can get it on a Cyber Monday deal today for $16.
The necklace comes in red, purple, blue, green or black with a gold tone. It also has a lobster clasp.
While I am not purchasing it as a gift, this Worthington X Jason Bolden Women’s Long Sleeve Ombre Cardigan also made my list, as I think it would look great on my sister-in-law.
Regularly $79, it is now priced at just $27.65. The cardigan is fall-inspired colors and has two front button pockets.
While this is the most practical gift I had on my list, I chose to purchase the necklace instead as I’m not sure if she has a product similar to this Revlon One-Step Volumizer and Dryer.
It is designed to distribute air quickly and evenly to hair in order to dry and style it faster but with less heat damage. It costs $59.99 right now.
My holiday shopping is now complete, and I even came in under budget. Buying gifts for everyone on my list at one store made it so much easier to get my holiday shopping done early this year. I can’t wait to get all of the packages wrapped and tucked under my Christmas tree!
If you want to stick to a budget and knock out all of your shopping at one store like I did, JCPenney is definitely the place to go. They have a broad selection of favorite products at 2019 prices. This includes more than 1,000 items that are being sold at under $15.