How You Can Make a Jaw Dropping 5 Senses Gift on Any Budget

One of the best things about budget friendly gifts is that there is still so much room to be creative - maybe even more creative than if you had all the money in the world to spend. It gives us a reason to think outside the box and find frugal ways to give thoughtful gifts that truly come from the heart.

Today I'm going to be sharing a gift basket that I made in the past for my boyfriend. Here's the thing - we both loved it. I had such a fun time personally picking out every detail for him, while he had a fun time opening multiple different items that followed the 5 sense theme and understanding the meaning behind each individual item.

What is a 5 Senses Gift?

For those who aren't aware of what a 5 senses themed gift may be, it is simply a gift basket or series of gifts that each represent one of the five senses. There are so many ways to change up this idea and different paths you can take when putting together the gift.

Suitable for Any Budget

What I love about this gift idea SO MUCH is that no matter your budget, you can give a gift that really means something to the both of you. If you're on a minimal budget - a car scent, framed photograph, back massager, poem/song you wrote (or a playlist you made), and some homemade treats could be less than $10 as most of the items you would need to buy can be found at the dollar store. And in no way is this a less meaningful gift than if you buy some of the more pricey items on the lists below - when you are giving what you can, and from your heart, it means everything.

Choosing a Theme

I recommend choosing a theme that means something to your relationship - whether it makes you laugh, makes you smile, brings back a memory, represents things you both love - it makes every gift mean that much more. I chose to use a theme where each gift, and each line in his card, was to represent me giving him back something I love about him. I'll explain more and provide some specific examples below. Money can't buy some things, like a heartfelt message from you hand-written in a card.

Choosing Your Gifts

The most helpful way to begin brainstorming for this gift is to write out the card. Its helpful to start with the card because if you're writing a cute little poem/explanation in the card (which I highly recommend!), writing it first will give you something to go off of when picking out gifts.

I cannot recommend enough looking for sales! Sales can inspire new ideas as well. If you shop around at a few places and check out some flyers here and there, you will likely find amazing deals on products that go with your theme.

Here's an example of things that could be written for each of the senses, along with some gift ideas that you could pair with them.


“A smell almost as pleasant as you”

”A sweet-smelling gift, just like you“

  • beard oil (homemade, or I got mine at Walmart for under $10)

  • a candle

  • shaving cream

  • body wash

  • car scents


“A sight as breathtaking as you

“A view as special as me & you”

  • Puzzle - I bought mine as a custom photo puzzle - found a great sale!

  • Photo calendar

  • Framed photo

  • A drawing/painting you made

  • A movie he loves

  • A wooden watch (Amazon has some great finds for this)


“A cozy touch, like your hugs“

”A soft touch to give you the warm feelings you give me“

  • A cozy hoodie

  • Socks or slippers

  • Winter gear

  • Blanket

  • Hunting gear

  • Back massager


“Some encouraging sound, like your words“

“A little laughter, the best sound to hear”

  • Tickets (concert, comedy show, movies, etc.)

  • CD or playlist you made

  • Concert DVD

  • Write him a song


“Sweet treats, but not as sweet as you”

“I'm hooked on you, sweet heart”

  • Sweets (candy/chocolate - if he's a fisher, some gummy fish/worms would go with the "hooked on you" really sweetly)

  • Gum/mints

  • Coffee/hot chocolate/tea/apple cider packets

  • Gift card to restaurant or coffee shop

  • Homemade baked good or meal

Frugal Shopping

So many of these items can be found at the dollar store, made at home, or even just cost a few dollars at most grocery or department stores. If you’re planning on buying a few items at the same place and there are no sales on, you could even see if they have a points program where you can earn rewards.

If no sales or rewards points are available, try budgeting by category so if you go over and spend more on one gift, you make sure you can find another gift for a price that still stays within your budget as a whole.

Gift giving should be fun, exciting, and thoughtful - giving on a budget gives us all of those things and a sense of creativity and thinking outside the box to make sure our gift has more to do with thought and less to do with the amount we spend on it. Happy giving! I would love to see how your frugal 5 senses gifts turn out.

You can find many more frugal & heartfelt gift ideas here.


Recent Posts

Want intentional living & spending tips straight to your inbox?