Don’t panic if you are still in the hunt for the perfect gift. Here is a list of thoughtful and inexpensive gift suggestions you can consider giving to your friends and loved ones for a less retail-centered gift giving experience.

1.       Kitchen creations. If you are skilled in cooking or baking, put it to good use by whipping up one of your specialties. Give your best friend a box of cookies she always praised or your sister a tray of her favorite home-cooked meal. Grab your ingredients from a wholesale supermarket to save money per batch.

2.       Handmade crafts. Handcrafted gifts have a personal touch on them that store-bought gifts don’t have. If you have the eye for design, you can make gift items like beaded accessories, paper bookmarks, painted containers, needlework and other decorative stuff.

3.       Coupon favors. If you are absolutely out of budget or out of time to look for a suitable gift, the easiest yet meaningful gift you can give is a set of favor coupons. Simply print on a small portion of paper some things you’d be willing to do and spend time on for your loved one such as washing the car, surrendering the remote or cooking for a week.

4.       Grocery goods. Wonderful gifts can also be found in the aisles of grocery stores, hardware stores or the dollar store. Think about what your recipient loves to do and gather related items to make an inexpensive gift basket. Here are some examples:

  • For the coffee lover – a mug, gourmet coffee, sugar cubes, creamer and a cup sleeve.
  • For the green thumb – Seed packets, garden tools, pots, wind toys and gloves.
  • For the pet lover – pet food, grooming tools, poop bags, leash and other applicable accessories depending on the animal.

5.       Donation. This is a classic gift for your loved ones who seem to have everything in terms of material belongings. Make a donation to your recipient’s favorite charity and have it named to that person as a tribute or gift.

6.       Intangible gifts. Some gifts may not come in a wrapped box. Instead of buying material presents, you can also give intangible but meaningful gifts. How about transferring airline miles to your cousin who loves to travel? You can also give ebooks and music download coupons which cost much less than an actual book or CD.

7.       Artwork. Talented or not, anybody can make a decent artwork as long as they put their heart into it. Compose music or write a poem for a special someone. Try to create an abstract painting with your child and have it framed to give to the grandparents. They’ll surely appreciate the effort you put into it.

8.       Homemade kits. A DIY kit is a memorable gift you can give to friends and family. These are similar to gift baskets, except the recipient needs to follow a process to be able to appreciate the gift even more. These can be ingredients to a delicious recipe or crafting kit like a recycled paper kit.

Remember that the significance of a gift to a person is much more appreciated than the monetary value of it. Finding the perfect gift should not be hard if you know the recipient well enough.