Last updated on September 22nd, 2022 at 12:56 pm
You’ve got a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or another event coming up that requires a gift, but your budget is tight. Everything is expensive these days, so how can you find that special something without breaking the bank?
We’ve got some great ideas for gift-giving on a budget!
7 Ideas for Gift-Giving on a Budget
1. Give an Experience
A recent international survey of consumers found that most would rather spend their money on experiences than products. A live concert rather than an album. A specially cooked meal rather than a gift card to a restaurant. An evening with friends rather than a knick-knack or an article of clothing.
Giving an experience is also thought of as more thoughtful than simply buying a product. What would the recipient enjoy? You have to know them on some level—what their interests and passions are—to come up with an experience they would like.
Maybe your neighbor would enjoy a cooking class, or your brother, tickets to a baseball game. Better yet, if you have a killer lasagna recipe, invite your neighbor over to cook and enjoy lasagna with you. You’ll both make memories you’ll be unlikely to forget.
You can make it even more economical by creating a picnic lunch for your friend or loved one, taking them to an art show or daytime festival, or taking them on a tour to a place nearby that they’ve never seen. Use your imagination to think about what this person would like, then go for it.
2. Give a Gift of Service
This is similar to the previous idea, except that rather than give the person an experience, you offer them some sort of service for free. Maybe you give them a coupon good for two free dog walks or nights of babysitting. Or you cook a homemade meal and take it to them. Or you shovel the walk or mow the lawn for free.
Another fun idea for gift-giving on a budget is to make a coupon book for a family member. The coupons can be good for a free massage, car wash, breakfast in bed, morning to sleep in, day off of chores, etc.
3. Give a Printed Photo Gift
We all keep our photos on our computers, tablets, and phones these days. We’re less likely to have printed, framed photos on our walls or desktops. If you talk to people, you’ll find that they miss having these photos around.
Take the time to print and frame a special photo—which doesn’t have to be expensive—and then watch the look of delight on your special person’s face. There are few gifts as personal or long-lasting as these.
4. Make Your Own Bath & Body Products
We all know someone who could do with a little more relaxation and pampering. But you don’t have to shell out the cash for expensive, fragrant bath products. You can easily make your own with the ingredients you may already have in your kitchen.
Body scrubs are one of the easiest yet most useful personal care gifts you can give. Simply mix one part of your favorite moisturizing oil (coconut, jojoba, and olive oils all work great) with two parts sugar (brown sugar is great) and a few drops of essential oils or citrus zest for aroma. Mix these together, place them in a small jar, wrap with a ribbon, and you’re ready to go! (Here’s a free printable tag for your gift.)
5. Regift Wisely
Most of us have a few things in our house that we’re not using that someone else would love. Maybe it’s the flower vase your friend has commented on a few times, a book that your sister would enjoy, a necklace that your daughter has had her eye on, a pillow and blanket set you received as a gift but never used, or an unused scented candle.
Consider, too, things that may be gathering dust in your garage: an old telescope you haven’t pulled out in years, a bike you could fix up for a child, or a suitcase set you’ve replaced. You can clear out these extras while creating new gifts without any extra cost to you–the ultimate gift-giving on a budget!
6. Yummy Food Basket
Most people love getting tasty food as a gift. You can make your own special box of produce that you know your friend will love. Pack up a festive gift box with apples, bananas, berries, carrots, potatoes, pineapples, avocados, and other good-for-you items that any family can enjoy, then wrap a ribbon around it and watch how delighted they’ll be to receive it.
If you’re short on time, get a pretty fruit basket delivered for free with Edible Arrangements. They offer chocolate-covered strawberries, cookies, fruit bouquets, gourmet popcorn, and more to please any palate.
7. Create a Personalized Item
You can make any item more special by personalizing it for the receiver. It doesn’t matter what it is—clothing, jewelry, tote bags, pens, mugs, pillows, and even mousepads and cutting boards can be easily personalized.
You can find items like this online, particularly at Etsy and gift sites like Zazzle, or make one yourself. Use embroidery, photos, beads and charms, and more to add a personal touch to any gift.
Do you have any other ideas for gift-giving on a budget? Leave us a comment below.