Cheap Gifts; Inexpensive Gifts; Free Gifts; Gift Giving Made Easy
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.
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
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
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.
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Copyright © 2011 Cindy Murdoch