cheap gift ideas – for those money in-betweens

cheap gift ideas

We’re well aware that, aside from Christmas, summer is the season for gifting.  With all its weddings, birthdays, baby showers, and graduation parties, summer can get quite pricey.  Since David and I are in a season of budgeting and general financial messiness, I thought I’d put together a list of cheap gift ideas for those of you who might also be in a money in-between.  These are ideas we’ve used ourselves as well as links to other sites with tons of awesome options.

Cheap + Easy Gift Ideas


  • God bless Target’s dollar section.  I shop there weekly.  You can find AMAZING things!  They have the supplies (and the containers!) for gift baskets for kids and adults.  You can find toys, school supplies, home goods, and party favors.  They do rotate their selection pretty frequently, though, so, if you see something you like, you should grab it!
  • 75 Dollar Store Craftscheap gift ideasThis site has lots of great ideas.  The home decor finds would make great wedding, house-warming, or birthday gifts.  I especially love the rope basket (#32) and the rubber mat wall hanging (#33).
  • Dollar Store Gift Basketscheap gift ideasThis site has 6 ideas for gift baskets.  They’re meant for Christmas, but you can easily adjust them for whatever you need.  The ideas include spa treatments, movie nights, and kitchen goodies.  I like the movie night idea because you could get all the popcorn and candy and include $1.50 for a Redbox rental.


  • Yardzeecheap gift ideasMake your own giant version of Yahtzee!  This would be a great wedding gift or summer birthday present.  This site also has lots of other ideas for DIY outdoor fun.
  • Lip Scrubcheap gift ideasPrepare your own lip scrub and pair it with a nice lip gloss or lipstick for a sweet gift.  You could also find a DIY body scrub recipe and pair it with some good lotion (or make your own!).
  • coloring/activity books – Many sites offer free coloring and/or activity pages.  You could print some out and make your own coloring/activity books to give as a gift or as party favors.  Throw in a pack a crayons, and you’re set!
  • 30 DIY Giftscheap gift ideasThere are tons of awesome ideas here – everything from gift baskets to home decor.  I want to try most of them, especially this map and the painted kitchen utensils.
  • 24 Home Decor Projects cheap gift ideasThis site offers some excellent inspiration.  There are a lot of ideas that would make for good wedding or house-warming gifts, like lights, rope signs, and tiled mirrors.


  • re-gift – When you’re short on cash, there’s no shame in re-gifting or shopping at your local thrift and used book stores.  This is especially appropriate if you’re shopping for kids.  They outgrow things so quickly anyway!
  • Groupon – Check out Groupon to gift experiences!  You can give date nights, adventures, spa days…the possibilities are pretty endless.
  • time – cheap gift ideasYou also might consider spending time together a gift.  Instead of exchanging gifts, go somewhere or do something together.  For example, Lily and her cousin have birthdays that are only two weeks apart.  We all decided to go to a children’s museum together in lieu of presents.  It’s a gift for everyone involved!