There is a misconception in our society that to give a really nice gift, you have to spend a lot of money. One of the worst assumptions that is made is that a gift has to be something that is physically unwrapped. This is simply not true and some of the best gifts I have ever received have been ones that didn’t cost the giver any money or was necessarily an object in a wrapped box.
The best gift that you can give takes in into consideration who you are giving the gift to while meeting the needs of the recipient. Using a bit of creativity can create a number of opportunities where you can give great gifts that don’t cost a dime. below you’ll find a number of options to get your creative juices flowing.
Offering Up Your Skills
Do you have a certain skill that your friend or family member covets? Maybe you’re an expert with a sewing machine or you could change the oil in a car without breaking a sweat. If you have a certain skill, why not offer to use it in place of a standard gift? A lot of people would much rather have the opportunity to use your skills free of charge rather than get something in a box. This is a great way for you to help out the recipient without having to spend any money on a gift.
One of the best gifts you can give is the gift of spending time with someone else. If you have a friend you haven’t seen for a while, offer to spend the day together. This can be something as simple as having a meal at one of your houses to meeting up at a free event such as a museum or festival. Sometimes making the effort to spend time with someone is far better than any store-bought gift.
Do you speak another language fluently or play an instrument almost as well as a professional? If you have a friend or family member who has been eager to learn, why not teach them? Lessons are usually very expensive and you can save them the money they’d normally spend on lessons by offering to teach them instead. This is a great deal for everyone involved.
Pet care can be expensive, especially when someone needs to groom or board a pet. If you have the skill, offering to groom a pet can be a wonderful gift for a pet owner. Another great gift is to pet sit free of charge when the recipient needs to go away for a few days. Neither of these costs you money, but will often be viewed as much more valuable than most gifts that you could actually buy.
Similar to kenneling a dog, hiring a babysitter can become very expensive. If you have a friend or family member who wants to go away for the weekend or even just escape for a few hours for the night, offer the gift of watching their children free of charge. A lot of parents will be way more grateful to receive free childcare than a gift they may not even want or need.
Something You’ve Made
Perhaps your hobby includes knitting or woodworking or creating artwork. While not everyone may appreciate a homemade gift, there are plenty of people who will treasure such a gift for years, especially if it’s tailored specifically toward them. Instead of worrying about spending money on a gift, you can make something instead. Not only is this a great way to not spend money on a gift, but it shows that you put a lot of time and thought into the gift as well.
Yard Work or House Repairs
A lot of people often put off doing yard work or repairing their house either due to lack of money or lack of time. If you’re handy around the house or don’t mind spending an afternoon raking leaves, shoveling snow, or repainting walls, you could consider offering up your time. This is definitely more work than simply buying something in the store, but it’s a thoughtful gift that your recipient will most likely appreciate.
Home Cooked Meal
There are very few people who don’t enjoy a home cooked meal, so this could be another great gift that doesn’t cost anything. If you already have the ingredients in your pantry, just whip together a meal or a dessert in place of a traditional gift. Or, if you have a friend or family member who rarely cooks, offer to make a freezer full of meals for them in place of a gift.
If you have a garden, why not give a couple of plant cuttings as a gift. This may g over especially well if the recipient of your gift is also a gardening enthusiast. You’ll most likely have extra dirt and pots for the cutting, so all you have to do is transfer the cutting from the ground. This is not only a unique gift, but also a thoughtful one that won’t cost you any money.
Do you have a beach house or ski cabin you like to use every year? Or maybe you have some luxury vehicles like a sailboat or snowmobile. Have you thought about offering these up as a gift? A lot of people would find it difficult to refuse a free stay in a beach house, for instance. Allowing your friends or family members to temporarily use your vacation house would not only go over very well for them, but wouldn’t cost you all that much money. Besides, if you’re not planning on using it for the entirety of the season, why not offer it up for their use?
(Photo courtesy of asenat29)