Thrifty Gifts for Your Friends and Family This Holiday Season

This year has been difficult for many due to the pandemic and many other additional factors that have caused significant financial effects. This may cause you to seek out gifts that are more thrifty in nature, or cheap, inexpensive or even free. It is important that these thrifty gifts are still meaningful, however, and are not just something cheap to make sure you checked off the list of getting a gift. There are many free and inexpensive ideas available to you for a thrifty gift for your friends or family members. Continue reading below to learn some of these ideas for when you are gift planning.

Photo Gifts

Photo gifts are a super meaningful gift for anyone, whether you are buying for a friend or family member. You can make a collage or a photo album of some of your favorite memories with these people so you can reflect on them together. You could even purchase a nice frame from a thrift store, print out a photo, and add it to the frame to give a piece of home decoration as well. Many companies offer photo prints for extremely low prices, and many online companies even offer free shipping for your photos.

Exchange Books

One great gift idea for your friends or family members who love reading is a book or book set. You could even purchase the next book in a series that you know they are in love with at the present moment in time. There are used and local bookstores throughout the country where you can thrift the perfect book for your friend or your family member. After you give the gift, consider starting a book club with these individuals or a book exchange in which you can switch books after you finish reading them.

Share Experiences

One great gift idea is to share an experience with your friends or family members so that you can create even more memories. Sometimes gifts that are experienced are even more meaningful and last much longer than just a physical gift that anyone can get the individual you love. Create a “gift certificate” for a coffee date, walk in the park, stargazing adventure or road trip for your friend or family member. They can then redeem that “certificate” any time that they please in order to enjoy the experience with you, no matter what it may be.

Make Something

Chances are you have a special talent in some hobby, whether that be knitting, painting, crocheting or sewing. Use your talent to create a gift for your loved one that is truly one of a kind and that they will cherish as it came from your talents. Create a knitted blanket or scarf, for instance, if you are an excellent knitter and enjoy using your skillset. If you are a painter, paint them a unique picture that makes you think of them in certain ways that they can proudly display in their homes throughout the year.

Plant Kits

If you love plants, this is a great inexpensive and fun gift for your friends and family members who also love plants. Consider cutting a seedling or a “baby” from one of your plants, repotting it and gifting it to your loved one for the holidays. You could add a small pack of fertilizer, cute gardening gloves and other gardening and planting accessories to make it a whole package. No matter what you add to the gift regarding a plant, it is sure to be inexpensive and unique so that your loved ones can enjoy their own plant.

Dessert Recipe Jars

If you have multiple people to buy for, consider creating a dessert recipe jar. You can purchase all of the ingredients that are necessary in bulk, then separate the ingredients out into separate jars that are unique for each of your loved ones. You simply fill the jar in layers with all of the dry ingredients that are required to make your favorite dessert recipes. Your loved one only has to follow the recipe card you attach, add the wet ingredients and have cookies ready to indulge in and maybe even share.


Speaking of desserts, you could go ahead and create a dessert or a batch of cookies for your loved ones as a holiday gift. This is a great idea if you enjoy baking and if your loved ones are always raving about the recipes and desserts that you create. Purchase a cute box to place your desserts in, and separate the dessert out into separate boxes if you have multiple people on your list. Feel free to share the recipe as well if you want others to learn your most coveted recipe that they all love!

Your Services

Your talent may not involve physical goods like those that are listed above, but it rather involves some type of action. If you are talented in photography, for instance, offer a free photography session for your loved one’s holiday gift, especially if they have not had pictures done in years. IF you paint, though this was mentioned previously, invite your loved ones over for a paint and sip where they can learn to paint under your guidance. There are so many other ideas you can offer if you specialize in certain areas, whether that be cooking, haircare, spa care and more.

You do not have to purchase the most expensive or the most stunning gift for your loved ones every year. Some years you may want to get thrifty and come up with a gift that is inexpensive, enjoyable and memorable for your loved ones. Consider the options listed above and give a gift that will mean more than any of the expensive gifts that are commonplace. You have so much to offer, whether you have the finances or not, and your friends and family members will love whatever you get them. To learn more about thrift related topics, contact Community Family Thrift – the donate South Florida experts. 

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