In the current economic climate we are all looking for ways to cut back on the outgoings whilst trying to improve the incomings! Well with most people sending 30 gifts per annum and each of those gifts costing an average of $35 it means that we are spending over $1,000 a year on 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 either more money to spend on the other half or to save yourself a whopping $500 each year. Now that is a saving worth putting the effort in for. Below I have listed 10 Birthday Gift Ideas that won’t cost you a cent. (I didn’t include postage in the above example as some of the ‘Cost Nothing Gift Ideas’ may incur postage if the recipient lives to far away to personally deliver to)
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 a Joke a Month service for the entire year. Don’t forget to check your emails on the 1st of each month!’ Set a recurring reminder on your computer to let you know that you need to email your joke. When you receive the reminder, check all those emailed jokes you have received over the last month for a suitable one and send it on. Not only does this cost you nothing but you are also give the gift of laughter which in my book is priceless.
2. If the live locally, why not organize a Birthday get together for them and a whole bunch of friends at your place. You can set it up as a total surprise without them knowing and then just invite them round on the night using some excuse such as ‘I really need you to help me tune in my TV set’ or ‘I have this strange damp patch in the bathroom I would like your opinion on’. OK, so how are you going to do it for free? Easy, all you have to do is to be organized up front. Firstly you draw a list of nibbles up (max 20 items), then you invite 20 friends assigning a nibble for each of them to bring. Along with this the odd numbered friends bring beer and the even numbered friends bring wine. Pick a few of the extremely eager friends to pop round early to help you decorate and now you have organized a great Birthday bash that will be really appreciated and you haven’t had to dip into your wallet or purse once.
3. Save all those unwanted Christmas presents you receive. Place them in a strong cardboard carton and put them somewhere safe. 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 that you don’t end up giving somebody a present of the gift that they gave you for Christmas!
4. When you are out shopping for yourself and you see something that you fancy buying but you only need one and they are doing a 2 for the price of one deal, have a quick mental scan down your Birthday list and see if there is anyone on there that you could give the second item to. Not only do you get what you want but a friend or relative also get a great gift that costs you nothing.
5. If you have a friend who loves takeouts, save a whole bunch of deals that you get delivered in the mail, cut out all the offers in the local papers, print out any deals that you can find on the internet as well. Make sure they won’t expire before the targeted Birthday! Try to get around 50 to a 100. Make sure you have an extra large Birthday card, write your message inside and pack with all the coupons and seal. When opened all the coupons will spill out creating a great surprise … and I bet they will use some of the coupons.
6. Great sources for free gifts are the hundreds of thousands of online competitions that you can enter online. Even if you don’t fancy the item yourself I bet you will no somebody that would like it. They are free to enter and don’t take that long to do and even your return on entries is 0.5%, you only need to enter a couple of hundred to get yourself a ‘Cost Nothing Birthday Gift’
7. Sign up online for free samples; you will be surprised what you can get. You could go for all make up and pamper products. Maybe get yourself 10 to 15. Decorate a smallish cardboard carton like a shoe box and place all of your freebie samples inside. Label the box with something like ‘Chloe’s Pamper Box’ and hey presto you have a great ‘Cost Nothing Birthday Present’. It also works well with a whole bunch of food samples that you can get from online shopping malls and manufacturers, these make a great mini food hamper.
8. Look through your book collection for ones that you have read, but look like they have never been opened. Alternatively check your DVD collection out for ones that show no signs of having been previously watched. They are only cluttering up the house, they make great gifts, and again, they cost you nothing to pass on. Works well with CD’s to!
9. Check through all you digital photo’s on the computer for pictures containing the Birthday boy or girl. Print them out and cut them into different shapes. Collect some rusty colored dried leaves from the back yard and build a collage of the pictures framed with the dried leaves. Using different colored pens add a witty or loving caption to each of the pictures and you have yourself a great homemade gift (always worth extra points) that costs you nothing.
10. For loved ones you cant beat a really meaningful and heart felt poem. It may take a bit of time to put together and if you are struggling for ideas you can always have a check on the internet for a little inspiration. You can put your poem straight inside the their Birthday card or you could try it with a collage as in point 9 but maybe use rose petals instead of dried leaves (you would need to dry these out by pressing them first our you will find they will go all brown and yucky!)
Well that’s the lot; Even if you don’t fancy any of the 10 ‘Cost You Nothing Birthday Gift Ideas’ I have suggested I hope that it has given you a few ideas of your own to help with keeping the outgoings down a little this year.
By Adam Driver
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