My husband recently had a birthday. Unfortunately, due to the laundry list of house repairs that we’ve had over the last 6 months, I really couldn’t spend much money to buy him a gift. I still wanted to do something special for him, though, to show him how much I love and appreciate him.
I racked my brain for weeks trying to come up with a meaningful gift that he would actually enjoy AND that wouldn’t break the bank. Finally, I came up with 2 ideas that saved the day!
Here are my tips for meaningful gifts that the recipients will actually like, even if you spend little or no money on them!
1. Cook them something that they really like… from scratch.
The idea behind this one is that you choose something that they don’t get to enjoy often. Maybe it’s something time consuming or complicated to make.
The ingredients don’t need to cost much. The real gift is the time and the love that you put into doing something special for them.
When my husband and I were dating, I lived in the city within walking distance to one of the best Italian bakeries in Western Pennsylvania. My husband grew quite fond of that place, and we even had them provide all of the desserts for our wedding!
With this in mind, I decided to try my hand at making him some homemade biscotti. That was one of his favorite treats from the bakery. Here is the recipe I used.
He loved the biscotti that I made and was grateful for the time and effort that I put into it. I still felt like I wanted to do something more for him, though, so I also came up with this next idea.
2. Figure out something that’s been on their “to do” list FOREVER and do it for them.
Everyone has that list of projects that they really want to get done but never seem to have the time to do. It could be something simple, like sorting through old coupons and clipping new ones, polishing their dress shoes (do people still do that?) or vacuuming the inside of their car.
You could also do things like cleaning the part of the house that they dread doing themselves, organizing old photos into albums or typing up their address book into a spreadsheet on the computer so that they can easily print labels for Christmas cards and such.
None of these gifts cost money, but the recipients would be so grateful for the time that you saved them and that they could FINALLY check these things off of their to do lists!!! Talk about a great present!
A couple of years ago, my husband had bought some hardware organizers. They had been sitting on the workbench in the garage (unopened and still in the original packaging) ever since he brought them home.
Because I knew what their intended purpose was, I decided to spend my ENTIRE DAY sorting through thousands of nuts, bolts, screws, nails, and every other piece of hardware you can imagine!!!
I also used a labeler to label the drawers and organized everything from smallest to largest so it would be easy to find what we need.
I could tell that my husband was so relieved and grateful to see that project finished when he came home from work. I knew that I had done something special that he appreciated.
Organizing that hardware didn’t cost me any money at all! But it did take A LOT of time, and it was something that my husband really wanted to be done.
There are lots of ways to show our love to friends and family without spending money when we’re strapped for cash. Most people feel that giving of your time is much more meaningful than buying a gift, anyway. 🙂
If you have questions or comments for me, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.