Did you run out of money before you crossed everyone off your holiday shopping list? Fear not, as there are many amazing zero-dollar gift ideas out there in the world. Here are five to get you started!
Creative gifts for people with tight budgets
If you have a scattering of frequent flyer miles from random airlines, then you need to know about Mags for Miles. This website works with almost all the major airlines and allows you to trade in your dormant miles for magazine subscriptions. From Vogue to People, Sports Illustrated to Cigar Aficionado, there’s likely a magazine for that certain someone on your holiday list. (Of course, this is only a good idea if your frequent flyer miles weren’t on their way to earning you a free plane ticket.)
Utilize your gift cards
You may not have any cash on hand, but you likely have an assortment of gift cards languishing throughout your home. Whether they’re loaded with $100 or $7.53, it’s worth gathering them up for your holiday shopping needs. Most retailers allow you to check the balance online, and you can even use them to buy new gift cards for others! Go ahead and transform your forgotten plastic into holiday presents without spending a dime!
Regifting may have a reputation for being a tacky move, but many of the gifts we receive are perfectly fine, they simply don’t fit in with our personal style. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t be valued by someone else. Be it a book, funny T-shirt or a pair of kooky socks, just make sure to remove any personal notes and gift it outside of the original giver’s circle of friends.
If you’re the keeper of great-aunt Ethel’s box of family heirlooms, maybe it’s time to spread the wealth throughout the family. Whether you have items of value such a sterling silver tea set or simply Grandma’s bronzed baby shoes, items of meaning make great family gifts. Take the time to clean and polish each item, and then write up the full known history on each gift. Enrich this winter’s gatherings with family stories and history.
Give from your time and talents
Not all gifts needs to be things, and the gift of time and service can be more appreciated than any solid object. Whether it’s an evening of babysitting, an afternoon of household organization or the teaching of a skill, a personalized gift certificate can be very welcome. Figure out your personal skills and talents for a truly unique set of gift. Just make to to actually follow through on your intentions!
Having an empty wallet doesn’t have to mean that your friends and loved ones go without this holiday season. Look around at what you have on hand and exercise your creative muscle. The winter holidays are about faith, community and caring for one another, which was never found in the mall in the first place.