Gift giving is one of the most rewarding experiences out there. It feels great to see the look on someone’s face when they open a meaningful gift that you’ve just given to them. Few joys in life compare.
This otherwise joyous occasion can be significantly diminished, however, when you’re stressing about how much you had to spend on the gift. When you’re on a tight budget, having to buy a gift can be extremely stressful, especially when it is an unexpected expense.
The good news is that gift giving does not have to be expensive. With a little creativity and thoughtfulness, you can provide a great present, without breaking the bank.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
The best way to save money on a gift is to make something yourself at home. People love handmade gifts because they demonstrate that you’ve put time and effort into the present, instead of merely buying something at the store. You can use your favorite hobby, whether it is sewing, cooking, painting, photography or otherwise, to make a unique, meaningful gift.
There are thousands of blogs, forum communities and Pinterest accounts dedicated to crafting and making DIY gifts.
Offer A Service
If you don’t consider yourself particularly crafty, that doesn’t mean you’re excluded from being able to make a contribution yourself. You can offer a service, instead of a tangible gift. Think about what you do for a living and how you can translate it into a giftable experience or facility. For example, a professional photographer could offer a free photoshoot or family portrait. Alternatively, an accountant could agree to provide a couple of hours of tax consultation.
Buy A Print Or Poster
Graphic design has really boomed in the last ten years. In 2008, there were roughly 192,000 graphic designers. That number is projected to be around 323,000 by the end of 2018, which is approximately a 66% increase. A lot of graphic designers are self-employed and support themselves by freelancing and creating prints to sell. These prints make great gifts that should only cost between $10 to $30. You can try searching for unique prints that correspond to the recipient’s favorite movie, band, sports team, etc.
Gift The Opportunity To Be Lucky
Well, all know that it is a long, nearly-impossible shot to win the lottery or even win big on a scratch ticket. Yet, there is something weirdly enjoyable about having a lottery or scratch ticket. Logic (and odds) tell us that we won’t win, but there is always that shred of the impossible occurring. It is fun to let the imagination wander about all of the things we could do, see and experience with the money. Gifting someone a lottery ticket or scratch-and-win is all about giving someone the opportunity to experience this exciting sense of the impossible becoming plausible.
The Scented Candle
A scented candle is like the bread and butter of inexpensive gift giving, especially if you don’t know the recipient well enough to offer something genuinely personalized. The beauty of a scented candle is that they can be both decorative and practical. Even if it is never lit, it still can make for good decor, and the smell is just an added bonus! Plus, it keeps you in the mind of the recipient every time they light it!
A Mixed Six-Pack Of Craft Beer
Craft beer has become a mega-popular trend and industry. There are so many craft breweries popping up and producing new flavors year-round that even the biggest beer enthusiast would have a hard time trying each one. A lot of stores will sell individual bottles of craft beer so you can make up your own six-pack of hand-selected flavors. Choose the ones with funny names, flavors that will tickle the recipient’s taste buds or just a selection of the best, local beers.
There’s a lot of online stores that sell personalized mementos and keepsakes. A small, inexpensive gift really becomes meaningful when you inscribe it with a thoughtful quote, personal mantra, important date, some initials or even just a name. I had a friend that got something like a pilot t-shirt which played into his love for pilot humor and really appreciated that gift, for example. This gift idea is great because it really allows you to control how personal the gift is. For someone you don’t know well, just putting their initials or name on a keychain or custom photo wallet can be a thoughtful surprise. On the other hand, for a close friend, loved one or family member, you can make the inscription much more personal.
Your budget shouldn’t get in the way of having that wonderful sense of fulfillment when you’ve given someone a truly great gift. Some of the best, most personal and meaningful gifts are great because they come from the heart and not the wallet. With a little bit of creativity and thoughtfulness, you can really ‘wow’ someone with an inexpensive gift.