8 Sweet Budget Gift Ideas for When You Don't Know What to Give (+ Printable)

Let me just start by saying, sometimes even when you really want to give a gift, a meaningful one, it can be so hard to come up with an idea that you feel you actually want to give.

Now, to add a budget on top of not knowing what to get this person can make it even more of a challenge. But it doesn't have to be.

There are countless thoughtful gifts for any budget - and today we'll be discussing them, and going over some examples!

Linked here is a printable I've designed to help you gift plan, organize your ideas, and make sure you're staying within your budget.

1. A Picture Together

What better gift to someone than a memory you two share? Giving someone a picture of the two of you together in a cute little frame, on a phone case or puzzle, however it may be, is a great personalized gift.

Not only is this a cool little decoration, but also a special reminder of the relationship you two share!

If you are going to go the photo frame route, a fun and frugal DIY idea would be to buying a thrift store frame and flipping it to completely personalize it for them.

If you are going the custom printed route (ex: phone case, photo puzzle) I highly recommend shopping around for sales, coupons, and getting started in advance if you can.

2. A Gift Card to Their Favorite Place

A gift card can be a wonderful and quick gift idea for anyone. To take this idea a step further, a few small items that fit with the theme of the gift card can make a really great gift basket.

For example:

  • Your budget is $15

  • You could buy a $10 gift card to a coffee shop

  • You could also buy a cute mug at the dollar store & a package of cookies

I'm not one to jump to buying a gift card unless it is for something I know the person would truly enjoy. But sometimes by listening closely to what someone talks about and the places they mention can be a good hint idea for a gift card they might like to receive.

There are SO many options when it comes to gift cards - from clothing stores to restaurants to tech stores to hardware stores to subscription gift cards - the options are endless!

Even so, maybe there is a place that reminds you of them and you think they may enjoy it too. This brings me to my next idea...

3. Something That Reminds You of Them

This is a very personalized idea and more so may show them how important your relationship with them is to you! Giving something so much from the heart is a special idea and can work within any budget.

Some items that may serve you in this category would be:

  • A playlist / CD

  • A collage of photos/memories (ex: tickets, places you've been together, etc.)

  • Their favorite quote or a funny quote, framed

  • A custom piece of artwork made by YOU of something they love

The options truly are endless in this category. The best part is, it goes to show that no matter how much you spend - it's what truly comes from the heart that matters and means the most.

4. A Decoration That Fits Their Taste

This can be tricky, but I love getting people little decorations I know they might enjoy. It can be so fun to decorate a room, desk, shelf, or whatever it may be, and I know I love being on the receiving end of these types of gifts!

How cute is this candle holder? I found it at the dollar store and it went great in a gift basket with little candles and other decor. It was too cute to pass up!

My top 3 go-to's in this category:

  • A wooden sign (or framed print) of their favorite quote

  • A mug set (or, make your own with DIY Sharpie mugs!)

  • A candle they'd enjoy

I also found this cute little jewelry tray at the dollar store - it reads "hello gorgeous" and I couldn't resist buying it. I kept this one for myself - but it would make an adorable little gift set if given with some other little items!

5. A Gift Basket For an Activity They Enjoy

Gift baskets make AMAZING gifts for anyone. They are completely customiz-able and can be very budget friendly if you shop at the right places and DIY what you are able to.

Tip: Do a dollar store haul of various items for your gift basket, and make what you can. The more items in a gift basket, the more fun it can be to open! However, be careful not to trade quality for quantity.

It is so fun to pick out each item with a specific theme in mind, and a certain recipient in mind. For all your gift basket needs, check out these resources:

6. A Fresh Meal or Special Treat

For those who love certain meals, dessert, or any type of food, why not bake or buy a fresh batch for them? Sometimes it can be such a nice surprise to enjoy a lovely meal or treat that we wouldn't go out of our way to buy for ourselves. It can be such a thoughtful and unique gift idea.

  • Fresh baked goods (cookies, muffins, etc.)

  • Freezer meal (ex: a few servings of their favorite casserole that they're always asking you to make for them because they just LOVE it)

  • Deliver dinner/lunch for them so they don't have to cook

7. A Movie Gift Certificate

Now, this one is more so for the movie lovers. A gift certificate or movie tickets that can be used for any movie they choose, on any date they choose, can be the ULTIMATE gift.

Whether its for a girls night, date night, or just simply to see that movie they've been waiting and waiting to see - going to the movies can be quite expensive these days. Its a special treat to get a gift to the movies, and they'll be thankful for the freebie.

8. Something That Makes A Task Easier

Is there something this person struggles with, or doesn't enjoy? Is there any type of item that can make something easier or more enjoyable for them?

For example, a friend of mine does not like cooking - at all. For her, I might consider prepping her a large batch of freezer meals, treating her to a cooking class (if she is interested), or gifting her with a meal delivery service.

Depending on who your recipient is, this can be a very meaningful gift IF there is a suitable one. We all struggle with things - its just about finding out what helps and doing what we can to do that for someone else (and not just when we're gifting them!)

For more gift giving and budget friendly relationship tips, check out our other informative blog posts.

8 Sweet Gift Ideas for When You Don't Know What to Give


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