Cheap Gifts; Inexpensive Gifts; Free Gifts; Gift Giving Made Easy

Gift Giving Made Easy
Gift Giving Made Easy | Source


This gift giving season brings us to a time when money is tighter than it has been in a long time. This makes times such as Christmas and the gift giving that goes with the holiday difficult for many people. No matter how difficult we find the holiday to be, it comes to pass none the less. We find ourselves needing or wanting to give a gift, but financially unable to do so to the level we desire. So we have to look for alternatives: cheap gifts, inexpensive gifts, and free gifts.

Without a gift to offer, many of us find ourselves feeling inadequate. But I propose a gift that means much, but one that can cost nothing more than your time. If you find yourself short on cash and long on time and effort, this might provide an answer to your gift giving needs. Check the ideas for gift giving made easy below.


Gift Giving Made Easy

To give an inexpensive gift, you can create a redeemable coupon book, for those on your gift giving list. What does this require? Actually it requires very little. It requires you to have the ability to create a coupon book. This can be created and printed out on your computer, or it can be personally drawn and hand lettered.

The first thing to do for your coupon book is to create a cover. The size of your cover will be determined by the size you intend for your coupons to be. For instance, if you decide that you want your coupons to be 8-1/2” (the width of a piece of typing paper) x 2-3/4” (¼ the height of a piece of typing paper and the width of a piece of typing paper), it will be easy to create a book to those specifications. This will mean that you get 4 coupons per sheet of paper each 8-1/2”x 2-3/4” each. These can be printed out on a computer, cut to size and stapled together on one side, or they can be hand lettered and decorated. A coupon book can contain one to an unlimited number of coupons. You can decide individually for each person as you create their individualized coupon book. An example of a coupon book cover is shown below.


A Coupon Book cover can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it!
A Coupon Book cover can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it! | Source
You can wash a car!
You can wash a car! | Source
You can walk someone's dog!
You can walk someone's dog! | Source
Clean out a bird cage for someone!
Clean out a bird cage for someone! | Source
Treat someone to an ice cream cone and make their day!
Treat someone to an ice cream cone and make their day! | Source
Share a piece of family history!
Share a piece of family history! | Source

What can you provide that costs you nothing, or very little, more than your time?


Consider the person that you are preparing your gift for. You know them best; and you know what they would appreciate.

The list below is provided to get you started thinking about different things that could be given. It is by no means comprehensive.

Our coupon books can be as individual as we are, each having different talents. They are also as individual as the person to whom we are giving them, each having different needs.


  • A car wash (e.g. exterior only, exterior and interior)
  • A car cleaning inside (e.g. one time, weekly, monthly, etc.)
  • A car washing and cleaning (e.g. one time, weekly, monthly, etc.)
  • A thorough cleaning of a room (e.g. once, monthly, weekly, etc.)
  • A thorough cleaning of a house (e.g. once, monthly, weekly, etc.)
  • Babysitting for an evening
  • Babysitting for a weekend getaway
  • Walking the dog (x) of times
  • Shampooing the dog
  • Clean out cat litter box (e.g. once, weekly, certain number of times)
  • Clean out bird cage (e.g. once, weekly, certain number of times)
  • Clean out fish tank (e.g. once, weekly, certain number of times)
  • Clean out hamster, rat, mouse, gerbil, guinea pig cage (e.g. once, weekly, certain number of times)
  • Trip shopping for the day without complaint
  • Trip to pick up dry cleaning
  • Trip to get an ice cream treat at Braum’s or Sonic
  • One hour of slave labor doing chores of their choice
  • Planting a flat of flowers
  • Raking leaves (e.g. an hour, the whole yard, front yard, etc.)
  • Shoveling snow (e.g. one hour, one day, etc.)
  • Help organizing a closet
  • A mother or grandmother can give a piece of their jewelry to a relative as an heirloom



A trip to the zoo  can make a great gift!
A trip to the zoo can make a great gift! | Source
Take me out to the ballgame!
Take me out to the ballgame! | Source
An adopted animal can make a wonderful gift!
An adopted animal can make a wonderful gift! | Source
A manicure and/or pedicure would make a great gift.
A manicure and/or pedicure would make a great gift. | Source

Things That Might or Will Cost More

  • Trip to the movie of their choice at a certain theater
  • Trip to bowling alley
  • Trip to roller skating rink
  • A trip to the ballet with no complaining
  • A trip to the theatre with no complaining
  • A trip to the museum with no complaining
  • A trip to the flea market with no complaining
  • A trip to the Ball game with no complaining
  • A trip to the Zoo with no complaining
  • A trip to the botanical gardens with no complaining
  • A trip to a favorite or special restaurant
  • A cat of their choosing from the pound/Humane Society (I have actually received this)
  • A dog from the SPCA (I actually received this)
  • Various packages of vegetables seeds or flower seeds for the garden (I have received this)
  • A pedicure
  • A manicure
  • A massage
  • Gift certificates to restaurants or movie theaters
  • Change the oil in their car
  • A picnic for two in the park
  • Homemade conserves, jams and jellies
  • Homemade liquors
  • A meal provided for 2, cooked, served and clean-up after included


A romantic candle light dinner makes a wonderful gift!
A romantic candlelight dinner makes a wonderful gift! | Source

More Intimate Gifts for Couples

  • A romantic dinner for two
  • A romantic evening for two
  • An intimate evening for two
  • A back rub
  • A foot rub
  • A massage
  • Etc. - Use your imagination – you know better than anyone else what will please your partner


Gifts for Teachers:

  • Help with class party
  • Decorate bulletin board
  • Help teacher with a special project
  • Read to the class
  • Be a chaperone on an outing
  • Clean cages of animals in classrooms
  • Bring cupcakes for a party
  • Help with Christmas party
  • Will help with school fundraiser


Gifts Children can Give:

  • Anything previously mentioned that is applicable
  • Will do a certain chore (once, for the week, for the month, etc.) for a sibling or parent
  • Will play a favorite game (to completion, for one hour, etc.)
  • Will be your slave for one hour
  • One hour weeding a flower bed


Things to consider:

  • When contemplating what you can give or provide for someone, consider their hobbies and how you can contribute to them.
  • Also consider special talents that you have that are often valuable to others.
  • Gift coupons can have redeemable date ranges, so that the gift can be spread over the year. For example, an exterior car wash in June or July 2012. This would keep you from having to wash the car in January in the cold weather.
  • For things such as a car wash, you can give twelve car washes if you wanted to - one for each month, or something like babysitting, one time a month. You can specify when a coupon can be redeemed and when it expires. Be creative with your ideas and your time!
  • You can also give a coupon book of perhaps 20 coupons and then let the receiver know that they may redeem only one per month. This gives them choices, but it also gives their choices some value.


In Closing: Cheap Gifts, Inexpensive Gifts, and Free Gifts can be Gifts Worth Remembering

As you can see, the gift can cost nothing more than your time, or you can choose to spend a certain amount that would have been spent anyway. Be creative and create a cheap gift, an inexpensive gift, or a free gift that will be remembered through the years. Give of yourself and you give something that no one else can give.

Note: Please feel free to provide additional items for me to add. I appreciate all input.


All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2011 Cindy Murdoch


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Comments: "Cheap Gifts; Inexpensive Gifts; Free Gifts; Gift Giving Made Easy" 28 comments

5 years ago

Voted up. Good hub. Some good Christmas gift ideas.


Hillbilly Zen profile image

Hillbilly Zen 5 years ago from Kentucky

Great ideas, Ms. hsb! My budget's pretty tight, so these thoughtful, inexpensive gift ideas are greatly appreciated. I'd like to add another idea, if I may - our local library offers used books for sale, some as little as $.25 apiece, or you can buy an entire bag of books for $5.00. It's a great way to support your library and supplies a literary "fix" for voracious readers on your Christmas list.

Voted up, useful and interesting.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

f - Thank you for stopping by and commenting.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Hillbilly Zen - That's a great idea! I love to catch those kinds of sales of books. Thrift stores is another great place to find good inexpensive books.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your great idea!


carriethomson profile image

carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi homestead bound some great ideas here! rated up!!

-carrie


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

carriethomson - Thanks. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 5 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This is such a great and thorough list! Great work, HSB. I love how you separated the lists into different categories! These are even great gift card ideas. Voted up, useful, etc.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

brittanytodd - I know there are more things, I just can't think of them right now. I do hope you find them to be useful. I hope it will help people with their gift giving ideas.

Thanks for stopping by and for commenting.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A very useful hub and thanks for sharing.

Has to be an up up and away.

Take care and enjoy your day.

Eddy.


Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 5 years ago from Texas

I think a personalized coupon book would make a very nice gift. Thank you for all the different "redeemable" ideas. Great hub!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Eddy - Thanks so much for stopping by and for the votes.


carol3san profile image

carol3san 5 years ago from Hollywood Florida

Hi homesteadbound. Thanks for the good info. I like the idea of a cupond book, that's something to consider. My grandson gave me a beautiful mother's day present by washing and cleaning out my mini-van. I loved it. voted up and useful.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Jamie Brock - I hope you are able to create some really personal gifts by creating coupon books.

Thanks for stopping by!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 5 years ago from sunny Florida

homesteadbound: Thanks for sharing this. The coupon books are so personal and feel 'so right' for this holiday, Valentine's Day and Father's Day. My kids used gave these often when I was still teaching. And, now I have my grandson make them.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

These are all terrific ideas. It never is necessary to spend a lot on gifts. As a matter of fact I think I would love it if my daughter would give me a coupon book filled with coupons for her to walk her dog :)

~voted up~


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

carol3san - A classic example of what could be used as a free gift. Thanks so much for sharing how much a gift like this meant to you. Thanks for stopping by!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

pstraubie48 - It's good to hear that they still work. I think they are really good for kids to give, because they may not have money and it teaches them to give of themselves.

Thanks for stopping by!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

ktrapp- It is good to see you! I agree with you. It really is not necessary to spend lots of money for a gift to be meaningful. But coupons to walk HER dog! Oh my!

Thanks for a good one and for stopping by!


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

I'm glad you caught my sarcasm Cindy. Nonetheless, it would be a much appreciated gift for Christmas, Mother's Day or my Birthday. She could also include a coupon for cleaning HER room and doing HER laundry.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

ktrapp - sounds like a plan. Maybe you ought to email this to her! LOL


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

Fantastic ideas HSB!!! I'm collecting gift idea hubs and linking them to my Letter To Santa hub just in case he needs some ideas...Thank you for the hub:)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

Sunshine625 - If he needs any ideas, I would like about 20 acres out in the country somewhere, it it wouldn't be too much to ask. A small house would be nice on those 20 acres.

You know, I'm getting tired of keeping everything crossed for you to win the lottery. Why don't you just go ahead and get it over with.

I'm glad you found this to be interesting.

Thanks for stopping by.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

LOL you can take a break for the holidays and uncross!! :))


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas Author

I'm not sure I can, Sunshine625! They seem to be frozen into place.


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi homesteadbound

Wonderful ideas!

Voted up and awesome.

Have a good evening.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Sueswan - thanks so mucr for stopping by. Have a great week.


SanneL profile image

SanneL 4 years ago from Sweden

This is a very helpful hub. You have put together a great list. Vegetable and flower seeds is a great gift for an avid gardener. And to give a cat or dog from a shelter to someone that loves animals is a great gift not only for the receiver but for the animal as well.

Voted up on this one!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

SanneL - I have received animals from the shelter in a coupon book, and I have been given packages of seeds, and I loved both gifts.

Thanks for stopping by!

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