27 inexpensive gifts to help show your appreciation

What do you get someone if you want to show you appreciate them, but if you don’t have a lot of money to spend?

If you have a lot of money, you can buy just about anything for that person. But for those of us with limited budgets, you’ll have to show that appreciation with a little creativity.

gift ideas to show your appreciation

Showing your apprecation

Let’s first identify what’s essential: that we show the person who has done something nice for us how much we appreciate them. It’s not essential that the gift be big, expensive or flashy. It’s a token of our appreciation… and let me tell you, no matter how small, the person will likely appreciate the gesture.

The gift should also be appropriate for that particular the person — if it’s personal, it’s likely to mean more. So while wine is always a nice gift, if the person is into other types of drinks (such as coffee), that would make a better gift.

So take a moment to consider the person, what they like, and the times you’ve spent together.

So, let’s look at some ideas… some obvious, perhaps, but this list is meant only to spark your own ideas. (Also, the definition of “frugal” is broad here … some ideas cost more than others, and some can be made for very little.)

27 inexpensive gifts
  1. Frame a picture — maybe a local scene or a picture of the two of you or together with your best friends.
  2. Something made locally, that you can probably find at a nearby farmer’s market — craft beer, honey, BBQ sauce, flavored vinegars, etc.
  3. Fresh Taste Wide Mouth Glass Water BottleA toy or game they might remember from their youth: Silly Putty, Slinky, Mr Sketch scented markers, glow-in-the dark slime.
  4. A nice blank journal can be beautiful and inspirational.
  5. A set of nice pens or markers — the kinds of things that dry up or somehow disappear and are, therefore, always welcome.
  6. Homemade cookies you bake yourself. Or brownies. Or banana bread. Or cupcakes.
  7. A gift certificate for the person’s favorite hobby store, or some nice art supplies (like watercolor pencils).
  8. A CD you burned with all the person’s favorite songs or a nostalgic mix of music from their teens.
  9. A letter, handwritten on nice paper, from you. Make it heartfelt, with all the reasons you appreciate the person.
  10. A movie pass and a small container of gourmet popcorn and/or some movie-theater-style candy.
  11. IOU booklets, with whatever services you are willing to perform. (Obviously, this is only good for someone you know really well.)
  12. Knit or crochet something for someone. A scarf is relatively simple, and you don’t have to worry about it not fitting!
  13. An “I appreciate you because” jar. Fill a nice jar with rolled up slips of different colored paper, each with a reason you appreciate (or love) someone.
  14. Set of dishtowels with matching potholders.
  15. A blank recipe book — after you have written some of your favorite recipes on the first few pages.
  16. A keepsake DVD with a video of special moments, edited and captioned by you. (A slideshow presentation with music burned on a DVD works, too.)
  17. Create your own art, and put it on nice stationery or in a frame. By “art,” we mean a sketch, painting, poem, short story, whatever.
  18. Scented candles, perhaps with a candle warmer.
  19. A nice-looking reusable shopping bag or two.
  20. Gourmet coffee, tea or hot cocoa mix, along with a mug or cup that suits them perfectly.
  21. Set of coasters. If they have nice wooden furniture, they probably never have enough.
  22. Small LED flashlight with extra batteries.
  23. Photo album or scrapbook, with a few memories already included.
  24. A couple of different unique seasoned salts — bought or homemade.
  25. A 3- or 6-month subscription to an online media service that they’d never splurge on — think Netflix, Pandora (ad-free), Hulu Plus, etc.
  26. A new water bottle or plastic drink cup. Add some tea bags or drink mix packages for fun.
  27. A personalized T-shirt — tie-dyed, fabric painted, or customized online.
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