Gift Giving on just a $5 Budget!

One of my favorite things is finding that perfect, thoughtful gift that makes the person who receives it smile in just a way that you know it was a win!

I have found that in most cases those gifts are not the mega expensive gifts, but rather the smaller things that show just how much someone means to you.  It is very easy to get caught up in the gift giving whirlwind. Birthdays, Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and so much more!  While I do truly love thinking of the perfect gift for someone, wrapping it and making a gift tag, it can become a pricey and time-consuming endeavor.

I would shop and get excited over the perfect item for someone and then realizing it was more than we wanted to spend.  This was followed by me justifying why the more expensive gift is worth it for a certain person because they do so much for us, because I love them or just because it is perfect and they will love it!

Not to mention, it was also a huge struggle at times to think of what to get people and then shop without any success.  My husband and I would even end up with gift cards at times because it was all we could think of after walking the mall, Target or surfing Amazon.  We could see this happening to not just us but other members of our family.  Cue the frustrations!

Gift giving was becoming more stressful than it needed to be and who needs MORE stress in their life??

I decided that giving gifts doesn’t have to be a such an expensive investment.  There are tons of thoughtful, fun, entertaining and adorable gift ideas for way less. In an effort to try and change this habit I made the suggestion to my family that we switch up the gift-giving game.

My siblings and their spouses agreed that we would implement the $5 gift rule for all Birthday gifts and pick names out of a hat for Christmas.

How does it work?

For my siblings and their spouses we spend ONLY $5 or less on Birthday gifts!

  • Spend only $5 or less on a Birthday gift or card
  • Get CREATIVE!  Make something, think outside the box
  • Find a tiny item that makes you think of that person or something they love
  • If you spend $5 on the item, make a tag or card out of paper and markers instead of purchasing a pricy greeting card

This is a far cry from spending sometimes $50 for each person prior to implementing this new rule!

On my side of the family we have quarterly Birthday celebrations where we have a meal and celebrate anyone who has a Birthday during that time.  We bring our little gifts or card to this celebration and share with the Birthday Boy or Girl!  It is actually super fun to see what creative ideas everyone has come up with to give a little love and celebrate someone’s special day.

How to suggest the idea to your family:

I decided to suggest the idea to my family and see what people thought.  To be honest I was a little nervous to make this suggestion because I didn’t want it to come across that my husband and I were trying to weasel out of getting gifts for people.  We simply wanted to make it a more simple and fun way to celebrate each person!

Since we were going to float the idea with my family it was my job to make the suggestion.  I decided sending an email to lay out our suggestion that we implement a new rule.  We proposed that on all future Birthdays that each person only spend $5 or less on a small item or a card.

I nervously pressed send and hoped the idea would stick.  To my surprise, everyone wrote back with excitement and full support of the idea!

The results so far…

I have to say that this idea has been even more fun than I could have expected!

For my Birthday I received a three pack of ChapStick and a bag of Hostess Powdered Mini Donuts.  I cannot tell you how excited I was to receive two of my most favorite things.  Yes, you read that right, two of my favorite things are ChapStick and Hostess donuts.  It’s true! Right here is the key to why I love the $5 gift rule. My sister and brother (and their spouses) each spent time to think of extremely thoughtful gifts for me and didn’t break the bank in the process!  

These gifts came from the heart, not from the mall the night before the Birthday celebration because it was all someone could find at the store.  I find myself actually looking forward to seeing what creative ideas people have come up with.  It is amazing to see how thoughtful and observant people can be!

Other $5 or Less Gift Ideas

A few examples of gifts we have given and received over the past few months. Don’t tell my family…some we haven’t used yet. 

  • Can of Skyline Chili and Skyline oyster crackers for my Skyline loving husband
  • A workout headband for a rock star spin girl
  • A large bottle of a favorite beer
  • Apple flavored wood chips for a guy who loves smoking meat
  • A case of Diet Coke for my Diet Coke loving Sister-In-Law
  • 4th of July flip flops (from the Target dollar bin) for a patriotic party
  • A pack of bran spankin’ new Sharpie markers for the list maker
  • Large glass mason jar filled with the recipient’s favorite candy
  • Homemade cookies, brownies or a favorite dessert
  • A paperback book from their favorite author
  • Yummy smelling candle appropriate for the season – hello Fall and pumpkin spice, spring flowers
  • Make a coupon book offering services that will help the person – think babysitting, cleaning, help with party preparations, etc
  • A favorite shampoo or lotion
  • Picture frame
  • Chocolate
  • Lottery ticket or scratch off
  • A crisp $5 bill folded into a menu from that person’s favorite lunch spot or coffee shop
  • Bouquet of flowers or greenery from your yard tied with a beautiful bow
  • Hand written note telling the person how much they mean to you and why

All super fun, simple and thoughtful things that were ALL $5 OR LESS!

So, what are you waiting for? Try this money saving change with your family today and see how thoughtful and creative everyone can be!