I’m a lover of gifts and giving. I love the feeling of watching someone enjoy a gift I have offered. While it can be easy to get caught up on the money side of gifts, I believe giving comes from the heart and the most treasured gifts are often those that don’t cost a lot.

I hope this post helps you to find a range of gift ideas for little or no money this Christmas and into the future.

The gift of time

The number one gift that comes to mind with no money is involved is the gift of time. Is there something you can do for the recipient that will make their lives easier? Or something you can do easily that would take others a long time? Some ideas might be;

  • Cleaning
  • Cooking
  • Babysitting
  • Car servicing
  • Lawn Mowing
  • Writing cards on behalf of someone
  • Haircuts/styling
  • Wrapping Christmas gifts
  • A coupon to use at a later date if they aren’t sure right now

Gift a life lesson

Has your giftee mentioned a skill they would like to learn that you could teach? Why not offer lessons that could last a lifetime. It may seem like a natural talent to you, but for the giftee, it could make an ongoing difference to their lives. Think of things such as;

  • Driving
  • Sewing
  • Budgeting
  • Fishing
  • Carpentry
  • Playing an instrument
  • Growing your own food

Make your own pamper products

As kids, we would often have workshops where we would create gifts for others and I still think this is a great gift now. Often the ingredients in many beauty products are things you may have around the house and can easily put together to make something beautiful and useful. Try;

Edible gifts

Chocolate Christmas Tree

I’m known to be someone who always turns up with a plate to share. It is even more meaningful if you know your giftee’s preferences or favourites! Some common goodies my friends and family love are;

Gifts that grow

A gift my grandparents often give when I visit and something I always appreciate is something from their garden. If you have the magical powers needed to grow a garden of green, consider sharing with your less fortunate black thumbs like me 😉

A spare pot, empty jar, can or basket will make a frugal and pretty way to present your gift. Some ideas from the garden;

  • Homegrown flowers
  • Seedlings for flowers, herbs etc
  • Vegetables or fruit you’ve grown
  • Fresh cut herbs
  • A bird feeder
  • Worms

Something sewn

Purr-fect homemade gift. A kitty eye mask

My grandmother has always given lovely gifts for everyone in the family; I’ve received so many lovely things from her over the years. If you are handy with a needle and thread, knitting needles, or have access to a sewing machine you could make;

Personalised gifts

I’m a big fan of sharing small and meaningful gifts with family and friends. For those you know and love, a more personal gift means much more than a generic one. Some of my favourites are;

  • Photos – especially of nieces, nephews and grandchildren
  • A family tree
  • A printed quote in a frame
  • A handwritten letter or card saying why the giftee is special to you
  • A handmade drawing or artwork
  • A memory jar

A tactful regift

Something others may not agree with me on, but I think regifting is a great idea. If you receive an item that you have no use for, rather than sitting in the back of a cupboard or going to waste, it would be much better regifted to someone who will get use out of it. Think bath packs, chocolates, wine, gift cards to stores you don’t frequent etc.

Some things to keep in mind when practicing the fine art of regifting;

  • Keep track of who gave you the gift in the first place. Regifting to the same person is a no-no
  • Don’t pass on something just to get rid of it – only pass on to someone who will enjoy it
  • Wrap the gift in a unique or interesting way, or add something more personalised to the gift. E.g. if gifting a cheese board you might consider adding in the giftees favourite bite.
  • Take a larger gift and spread the love. This works especially well for large gift hampers, especially at Christmas. If I receive a food hamper with a few items I don’t eat either based on intolerances or personal preferences I often use those items as the inspiration to create a whole new gift for someone else. Some olive oil could be paired with fresh herbs from the garden and a loaf of crusty bread for a unique and useful regift.

Final tips for free gifting

A bit of effort makes a big difference

Remember it is the thought that counts for any gift, so even if you aren’t spending a lot of money it is important that the giftee is the central focus of the gifting. Remember to;

  • Only gift personalised things the person will use, enjoy and love. If you aren’t very familiar with the person, such as meeting for the first time, choose a more generic gift that may be shared with everyone or passed along if you don’t quite hit the mark
  • If you offer a gift of time or service make sure you follow up and ensure your offered gift is actually utilised and not just seen as an easy way to get out of giving.
  • Spend some extra time on the execution – a free gift can look worth a whole lot more if it is presented in a thoughtful way. Check out pintrest or other crafty sites for tonnes of ideas on how to present seemingly ordinary gifts

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to give thoughtful and meaningful gifts. As such, I believe even those on the tightest of budgets have something to give.

Have you finished your gifts for this Christmas? Have you got any great ideas to add to this list?