12 Thoughtful Gift Ideas That Will Cost Your Nothing

It won't cost a dime...

The most thoughtful presents aren't usually the most costly. In reality, free (or almost free) gifts generally need a little more time, attention, and ingenuity than a "saw this at the mall and thought of you" gift. Gifting them your time and energy will be much appreciated by the recipient—and it's a win-win situation if you're trying to save money.

Here is a list of gift ideas that won’t hurt your pocket but will be appreciated by your loved ones nevertheless. 

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1. Make a mixtape

Music has the power to evoke intense emotions or sensations, but as we become older and busier, we tend to listen to the same few musicians over and over. Stimulate your friend's love of music by making a mixtape with songs that are meaningful to them and symbolize your friendship. To keep things interesting, put in a few tracks from new artists you believe they'll enjoy.


2. Cook their favorite dish

Cooking is far less expensive than dining out at a stuffy, overpriced restaurant. Make a romantic dinner or bake treats for all of your pals. It's a thoughtful present that everyone will enjoy.


3. Gift of time and company

We've all learned the value of spending quality time with the people we care about. So, whether it's a monthly engagement for tea and chat or a special weekend away with friends, make your present a commitment to spend time with them.


4. Create a video tribute

Celebrate them by putting together a picture album and inviting other family members and friends to contribute their favorite memories and thoughts about your friend. Some editing and you will have the perfect gift.


5. Scavenger hunt

Who says scavenger hunts are only for kids? Grownups can also enjoy a day of treasure hunting. While they eagerly and happily seek out every item on the list, you can conceal their gifts all over the home and create a space for the cake cutting.


6. Helping with chores

Is there a home chore that your spouse, roommate, or significant other despises? Getting rid of trash? Cleaning the toilets? Laundry sorting? If so, this might be an excellent gift. Give them a card, letter, or note stating that you will be taking over their work for a certain period of time.


7. Make a time capsule

Make a time capsule and mark the date when it will be ready to be opened. For the under-18 population, this is an extremely great (and free!) present. You may document all of their current loves so that your preteen buddy can look back on their pop music infatuation in a decade or two.


8. Do a charity in their name

You can help them remember their birthday by doing something special for them. You can organize a cleaning campaign in your park or neighborhood, donate blood, or take them to an orphanage. We are confident that your loved one will appreciate this gift, and that you will have a restful night's sleep as well.


9. Make an audiobook

An audiobook created by yours truly (not me, you!) is a more personalized present for audiophiles, grandchildren, or your long-distance relationship. For this personal tribute, read some original poetry or perhaps passages from their favorite novels.


10. Write them a letter

Get some decent stationery, settle down, and start writing. It might be a heartfelt message or a witty dedication to your friendship. Handwritten letters are beginning to disappear from our society. Tell your giftee how much he or she means to you and why. This is something your recipient will cherish for the rest of their lives.


11. Tell-Me-Notebook

Do you have a spare notebook? Fill it with questions about them that you've always wanted to know, such as what their first house was like or their favorite childhood experience, and ask them to write them down for you. Leave sufficient space for them to write. Let them open their heart to you.


12. Plan a picnic

Nothing feels more relaxing than spending time in nature. Tell your mate that you will prepare a picnic at your favorite park, complete with a blanket, homemade food, and maybe a game or two to play on your picnic. Don't forget to create a playlist for the outing to make it more memorable.