In today’s economic climate, we are all looking for ways to reduce expenses while trying to improve revenues! Well, with most people sending 30 gifts per year and each of those gifts cost an average of $ 35, it means that we are spending over $ 1,000 a year in this area of our budget alone. Imagine the difference it would make if you could send half of those gifts for free. This would leave you with more money to spend on the other half or to save a whopping $ 500 each year. Now, that’s a savings worth striving for. Below, I’ve listed 10 birthday gift ideas that won’t cost you a penny. (I did not include shipping costs in the example above as some of the ‘Free Gift Ideas’ may incur shipping costs if the recipient lives too far away to deliver personally)
1. Find a good online e-card website and send them a really nice online card. Inside enter the following message ‘For your gift this year, I have subscribed you to one Joke service per month throughout the year. Don’t forget to check your emails on the first of every month! ‘Set a recurring reminder on your computer to let you know that you need to email your joke. When you get the reminder, check all the e-mailed jokes you’ve received in the last month to find a suitable one and send it back. Not only does this cost you nothing, it also gives you the gift of laughter, which in my book is priceless.
2. If they live locally, why not organize a birthday gathering for them and a bunch of friends at home? You can set it up as a total surprise without them knowing and then just invite them over for the night with some excuse like ‘I really need you to help me tune my TV’ or ‘I have this weird wet patch in the bathroom I’d like your opinion on’ . Okay, so how are you going to do it for free? Easy, all you have to do is get organized from scratch. First you draw a list of snacks (maximum 20 items), then invite 20 friends assigning a snack for each of them to bring. Along with this, the odd friends bring beer and the even friends bring wine. Pick some of the extremely eager friends to come over early to help you decorate and now you’ve thrown a great birthday party that will be much appreciated and you haven’t had to reach for your wallet or purse once.
3. Put away any Christmas gifts you don’t want to receive. Put them in a sturdy cardboard box and keep them in a safe place. Once Christmas is over, take them out and assign each one to your birthday list for the year. You will be surprised how many can be recycled. NOTE – Make sure you don’t end up giving someone a gift from your Christmas present!
4. When you go shopping and see something you want to buy but only need one and they are doing a 2 for the price of a sale, quickly mentally review your birthday list and see if there is anyone. there you could give the second article. Not only do you get what you want, but a friend or family member also gets a great gift that costs you nothing.
5. If you have a friend who loves takeout, save a lot of offers that are sent to you in the mail, delete all the offers in the local newspapers, print the offers that you can also find on the Internet. Make sure they don’t expire before the target birthday! Aim for around 50-100. Make sure you have an extra large birthday card, write your message inside and pack all coupons and stamp. When they open, all the coupons will spill out creating a big surprise … and I bet they will use some of the coupons.
6. A great source of free giveaways is the hundreds of thousands of online contests you can enter online. Even if you don’t like the article, I bet no one will like it. They are free to enter and it does not take that long to do so and even your return on tickets is 0.5%, you only need to enter a couple hundred to get a ‘Free Birthday Gift’
7. Register online to get free samples; you will be amazed at what you can get. You could go for all makeup and pampering products. Maybe I’ll get 10-15. Decorate a smaller cardboard box like a shoe box and put all your free samples inside. Label the box with something like ‘Chloe’s Pamper Box’ and voila, you have a great ‘No Cost Birthday Present’. It also works well with a large number of food samples that you can get from online malls and manufacturers, which are a great mini food basket.
8. Search your collection of books for books that you have read, but never seem to have been opened. Alternatively, search your DVD collection for those that show no signs of having been viewed before. They’re just cluttering up the house, they make great gifts, and again, it’s easy for you to pass on. Works well with CD!
9. Check all of your digital photos on the computer to see if there are any images that contain the birthday boy or girl. Print them out and cut them into different shapes. Pick up some rusty-colored dried leaves from the backyard and build a collage of the pictures framed with the dried leaves. Using different colored pens adds a witty or loving title to each of the images and you have a great homemade gift (always worth extra points) that costs you nothing.
10. For loved ones, there is nothing better than a truly meaningful and moving poem. It may take a little time to put it together, and if you’re struggling for ideas, you can always check the internet for some inspiration. You can put your poem right inside your birthday card or you can try a collage like in point 9, but maybe use rose petals instead of dried leaves (you would need to dry them by pressing them first and you will find that they will). Go all brown and gross!)
Well that’s it; Even if you don’t like any of the 10 ‘Birthday Gift Ideas That Cost You Nothing’ I’ve suggested, I hope I’ve given you some ideas of your own to help you cut expenses a bit this year.