Low-Cost or Free Gift Ideas Everyone Will Love

With a holiday or birthday around nearly every corner, it can be very difficult to stay within your monthly budget when you are constantly in need of a gift of some sort.

And don’t forget about the weddings and baby showers you may need to provide a present for as well. Regardless of what events you have coming your way, it is important that you understand that you do not need to spend a fortune on each gift you give. In fact, there are many low-cost and even free gift ideas that will make both the gift receiver and your wallet very happy!

So, whether you need to give a thank you gift to your child’s teacher, Christmas gifts to your close friends and family, an anniversary gift to your partner (or all of the above!) there are all kinds of thoughtful yet inexpensive ideas that you can use. To get inspired, check out the ideas provided below.

Homemade Gifts

Now, homemade gifts often get a bad rap. Usually when one thinks about a homemade gift, they think of the gifts that children usually give, like macaroni noodle necklaces or something similar. However, unless you can think of someone that would enjoy a noodle necklace, that is not what you are limited to when making a homemade gift.

There are so many great ideas for homemade items that everyone will love, and you do not have to be super crafty or talented to create them. In fact, there are some ideas that can be made really quickly and with little to no creativity or talent whatsoever. Plus, the biggest benefit for making a homemade gift is that they are usually very inexpensive to create, especially if you already have some of the necessary supplies on hand.

When you give someone a gift that you personally made, it adds a whole other element of thoughtfulness that is not always achieved by simply purchasing a gift. For a few ideas of easy and cheap homemade gift ideas you can always search the internet or ask a friend for some ideas. Or, try out one of these do it yourself (DIY) ideas:

  • Baked goods. Are you famous for your banana bread? Can you make a mean batch of cookies? Or do you have a great recipe for muffins? Food is a surefire way to anyone’s heart.
  • Homemade sugar body scrub. This is super easy to make, and you will likely already have all the supplies on-hand because most recipes only call for sugar, oil and optional essential oils.
  • Pillow covers. If you like sewing, there are lots of easy tutorials for creating simple pillow covers. Throw pillows can be so expensive to purchase, so make your own!
  • Homemade Christmas ornaments. Whether you use clay, decorate the inside of clear glass ornaments, or find a different craft idea, ornaments are a great gift to give at Christmastime!
  • Baking jar. Fill up a mason jar by layering all the dry ingredients needed to make a batch of cookies (or other sweet treat) and include a little tag with a list of the wet ingredients that need to be added in addition to the baking directions. You can easily use ingredients you already have in your pantry, so this idea may be totally free.

Related Article: Money-Saving Tips for Parents

Other Gift Ideas

While homemade gifts are likely going to be your best bet when it comes to the most cost-effective presents you can give, there are other low-cost options you can keep in mind as well. Check out a few of these ideas:

Skip the gifts and provide a service:

One of the best gifts you can give someone is your time and assistance. Are you willing to babysit, help clean someone’s house, do yardwork or cook them dinner? Maybe you have a talent that you would be willing to teach them, or you are a great photographer and will take family photos at no cost? For extra “thoughtfulness points” type up or write a note explaining how you want to help them or create a “coupon” that can be used for that service. This is a great way to give your friend or loved one a considerate gift without you needing to spend a dime.

Spread out the spending:

Unfortunately, it is usually the case that when you need a nice low-cost gift, you cannot find anything that you like that also fits within your budget. However, if you start paying attention to sales and discounts throughout the year and purchase items here and there to store for later, you can save a lot of money.

For example, if you find a toy that your kid would love on sale for a great price, grab it! Even if your child’s birthday is not for months, you will thank yourself when his or her birthday does come around and you already have a gift, likely at a much cheaper price. Plus, if you buy a few items here and there throughout the year, it does not put nearly as much strain on your wallet as when you need to buy everything at once, possibly at higher prices.

Re-gift something:

Re-gifting can be a great idea for certain items, although it can also come across as tacky if you are not careful. To make sure that is not the case, ensure that the item is as new as possible, and triple check that it is not something that the person you are gifting it to gave you in the first place. You may be surprised how many nice items you have that you simply do not need that you can give as gifts.

Check your closet for clothes that have not been worn and still have the tags on them or look for home décor that is in great condition but no longer your style. Or, if you recently received gifts, perhaps from a wedding or baby shower, and you have duplicates, it can be a good idea to save those extra items as gifts for someone else. Items that are still in their original packaging and/or have tags still attached are your best bet when re-gifting.

Go thrift shopping:

You do not always need to buy brand new and expensive items as gifts. In fact, finding a beautiful antique at a thrift store or another item that you know a friend has always wanted can be even more thoughtful, and it can save you a lot of money. Do not be afraid to shop at yard sales and thrift shops to find unique and fun gifts at a fraction of the price.

Related Article: How to Save and Budget if You Earn Cash Tips

It might also interest you: