Gift-buying on a budget: how to make the thought count

Sunday 4th March, 2018

I have a feeling that I'm going to be buying a lot of gifts in 2018.

I have a friend who is expecting, another friend who has just given birth to my godson who is soon going to need a christening gift, another godson's second birthday is coming up in June, Mother's Day is around the corner, Father's Day is shortly after that, then there's a bunch of other birthdays, a few weddings, and before I know it, it'll be Christmas again! Phew!

With so many presents to buy this year, I know I'm going to have to get some sort of budgeting plan in place to make sure I don't go too crazy. Sound familiar?

Whatever the reason might be, there may come a time when you need to set a budget for your gift-giving. Now, I know 'amazing gift' and 'budget' don't tend to blend well in one sentence, but in my experience, it's totally possible to gift your family and friends with special, meaningful presents without breaking the bank! Here's what I've found helpful:


If you've been keeping up with the blog, you'll know about my love for personalised gifting.

Another reason why I'm such a fan is because a personalised gift is perfect for when you have a budget to stick to.

A personal touch on the smallest present, like a mug, keyring or bottle of wine can make it all the more special because it becomes unique. The best part is, it doesn't have to be expensive!

You can get lovely personalised gifts for all ages and occasions from websites like Moonpig, or my personal favourite - NotOnTheHighStreet.


Why not consider giving out some homemade presents this year? They can be super special - and you don't even have to be crafty to make them. I'm not - yet one of my favourite presents I've ever gifted was made by yours truly. Altogether, it cost me under £20 to put together and the friend I gave it to adored it.

She'd been under a lot of stress in the lead up to Christmas, so I bought a few small little bits and created a 'self-care' hamper for her. It included some bath salts, a bath bomb, essential oils, incense sticks, scented candles and a book I'd recommended to her - all purchased on Amazon, and all things I knew she'd love and appreciate.

I had a lovely rose quartz crystal that I had bought for myself a few months back that I decided to put in the hamper too.

(Crystal are beautiful stones that aren't expensive to source online - making them great for gifting too!)

I snapped up the actual hamper for free - I found a gift box, tissue paper and some cellophane just lying around at work! We had some ribbon saved from last years' present wrapping - so I used that to tie it all together and voila! So much fun to make, so inexpensive and so special that she welled up when I gave it to her.

Another easy homemade gift idea that's cheap and cheerful: photos. You can do so much with them - you could create a photo scrapbook or find a nice picture frame online and create a collage.

Presents that can double as keepsakes are some of the best when you have a budget to stick to - because the value is sentimental.

Think outside the box

Don't second guess buying a small present - something that might seem small and insignificant to you could be very touching for someone else. When I found out my friend was expecting, I decided to gift her with two maternity tops - partly because they wouldn't be expensive but also because I figured everyone else would be buying things for the new arrival so she'd already have plenty of baby stuff.

She told me she really loved the tops because as special and exciting as pregnancy is, and as much as she is so grateful for the baby presents - people tend to go baby-crazy and forget about the new Mum and what she might need!

So it worked out perfectly - money well spent!

Plan in advance

Life is full of unexpected surprises and events. You never know when there's going to be a new engagement or a pregnancy announcement - so it's a good idea to set aside a small amount of money for any unplanned present-buying you may have to do over the course of a year. There's no harm in it - if nothing comes up, then maybe you can use the money to buy yourself a nice gift for Christmas!

For the events you know are coming up, like birthdays - it helps to have an idea of what you're going to get the person well in advance so you can keep an eye on any sales and save a chunk of money on it. Planning is your friend when you're gift-buying on a budget!

These tips prove that a budget doesn't have to make gifting difficult. Yes, some extra thought may be required, but it certainly will count.

Next time you're buying a gift with a limited budget - see it as an exciting challenge to make it count. How can you really surprise and delight this person with X amount of money? Chances are, you'll find the solution is simple and a lot less expensive than you thought.

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