Cheap Gift Ideas

We're not all made of money, so we are often searching for cheap or free gifts to give to those we love. Sometimes you need to find a birthday present for a friend that you don't know so well and just want something token. Here are some cheap gift ideas from the Genie at Today I Wish.


Cheap & Free Gifts and Presents

If your friend has a wish list at Today I Wish, the best place to look for cheap gift ideas are those things that money can't buy. Many of the common things listed by people in this section will be mentioned in this article. We urge you to ask your friend to make their wish list at Today I Wish. In the mean time, check out these suggestions for inexpensive presents.

Things everybody could use

There are many cheap items you can purchase that everbody could use and appreciate. These are usually consumables or every day items that wear with use. If you are only wishing to spend a little, try some of these ideas that everybody could do with.

  • Chocolate An oldie but a goodie, always a winner and easy to find.
  • Wine A cheap gift idea for adults if you know how to find good bargains. A simple rule for wine is age and region. Ask the staff at your local wine store for advice if you are unsure.
  • Glassware Everybody needs water, wine and champagne glasses and seeing that they often break in every day use (or the washing up) people often run short. Find something that suits their personal style. Whisky glasses, port glasses and cherry glasses will never go to waste.
  • Music Music is cheap and can be purchased in many different formats. Try a music DVD for a change or give them the choice by purchasing an iTunes voucher. Consider how they listen to their music (i.e. portable player, in the car) when making your decision.
  • Movies Either DVDs / Blueray or tickets to the cinema.
  • Kitchenware There are lots of cheap things you can get for the kitchen, from bread boards to mugs. Steak knives, mortal and pestle, desert spoons, desert bowls
  • Books New or second hand. There are lots of second hand books that well cheap books with beautiful covers that look great on the bookshelf. Classics are great when bought second hand, so look out for books by Lewis Caroll or Jane Austen. Maybe an old family bible.
  • T-Shirts You can usually find plane T Shirts or fashionable ones for cheap if you shop around. Avoid the big brands as all you are doing is paying for the label.

Acts of service

Many people want people to do things for them on their birthday, rather than only receive items that must be bought in a store. A helping hand could be just want they want and need, costing you next to nothing or completely free. The Genie notices that many people ask for 'more time', so see what you can do to help free up their life for the things they like doing.

  • Clean car This gift doesn't cost you anything other than your time - so long as you or they have the cleaning equiptment. Take the time to give the outside a good polish, giving special care to the wheels and bumper. If you live in an area with not much water, so water restrictions prevent you from hosing the outside of the car, just do the inside. You'll need an extension cord to ensure the vaccuum cleaner can reach the car.
  • Clean house This would make anybody happy! Borrow a high powered vaccuum and give the house a good clean. Make the gift special by cleaning in placed not covered by a normal clean.
  • Picnic / time with family Take the person out for a picnic or a day out. Grab a football, cricket bat and picnic rug for a very cheap day out. If they have children, offer to take them out for the day to the park so that they can have some time to themselves. If a day thing isn't possible, try dinner with the family on a saturday or sunday evening.
  • Fixing what's broken Do they have something that is broken around the house? If you're handy with a toolbox, go around to their place and repair any fixtures or furniture that isn't doing what it's meant to do.
  • Free tutorial If you know how to do something that they have always wanted to learn, help them out. From using the computer, taking up a music instrument to subjects at school, there is bound to be something you can teach them.

Creative gifts

A gift from the heart is definately something that money can not buy. Creative gifts are not only cheap, they usually mean more to the person who receives them. Here are a few cheap creative gifts you can consider that will not cost you the earth but worth more than the earth to those that get it.

  • Hand written letter In a day of emails and text messages, we rarely take the time to write an old fashioned leter. We come close with birthday cards, but these don't come close to the powerful effect that a hand written letter has. Source nice writing paper and an envelope. A nice trick to seal the envelope is to melt the tip of a crayon (red for a love letter or family member, blue for friendship) and press firmly where you wish to seal.
  • Poetry / Story Got a talent for story telling or a magical way with words? Give a unique gift by writing a poem or story. Make a book out of paper folded in half and draw illustrations that match the story.
  • Dedicate music If you've got skill on the keyboard or guitar, write a piece of music inspired by them, write it down/record it then give it to them. For singers, add your own words and sing it for them.

When finding cheap gifts for people, it is important to remember that it is
not the monetary value of the present that counts, it is
the art of giving. See our ask genie section for
case studies on the subject of cheap / free gifts.

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