The best gifts don’t always have to be the most expensive. Free (or nearly free) gifts require more thought, care and creativity than “saw this at a mall and thought of YOU” gifts. The recipient will be grateful for your generosity and willingness to give of your time and energy. It’s a win for everyone, whether you are trying to cut costs or improve your budget. These 24 gift ideas are free and can be used for any occasion, including birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. Even if your skills are not the best, you can still create something meaningful and special without spending a lot.

Volunteer for a charity that is particularly meaningful to you youreverydaygift. Volunteer for a day at a soup kitchen, clean up trash at the beach or donate blood. This is a completely free gift that will make both of you feel amazing. You can create a personalized playlist for them. Songs that bring back special memories, inside jokes, and new music can all be included. You can burn a CD or put it on a cassette for them if they are old-fashioned. Or, simply share it via Spotify or another streaming platform.

You can shop from your home. There’s a good chance that someone in your family will be drawn to something you have. Give generously. Do you remember that? You want them to remember that time. You can write your most memorable memories and share them on little slips of paper. Then, place them in a pretty jar labeled “Jar of Awesome.” You can also give them blank slips of writing so that they can add new memories to the tradition.

It’s important to spend quality time with those you love. Make your gift a promise to spend time with them. This could be a monthly tea date, a weekend away or just a regular conversation. A homemade gift card can be given to the recipient that will allow them to enjoy a planned day of fun. You can take your nephew to the local playgrounds, or you can treat your parent to a day at the art museum they love (on free admission day). There are many things you can do together that won’t cost a lot.

Would you like to share the secret recipe for your chocolate chip cookies with everyone? Perhaps Grandma has a great pasta sauce recipe that your friend would love. For the perfect gift, write down your favorite recipes on recipe cards. When it’s ready, put together a time capsule with a time stamp. This is a great (and totally free) way to give a gift! This is a great gift idea for under-18s. It’s possible to capture all their passions and interests, so that the tween in you life can look back on their K-POP obsession over the next ten years.

You can make a copy of the picture of you and your best friend in full 90s grunge mode, or of a recent family vacation shot. The photo will be honored in their home. You may have an extra frame at home that you can use. Can anyone remember the name or college roommate who had the peach and mint color scheme? You can write down the Qs and A and host a game night to find out who wins bragging. You can make a full-on board game, with playing pieces and a digital Jeopardy game if you feel really creative.

You can make a journal of gratitude with a plain notebook you already have at home. You can embellish the pages with inspiring messages and handwriting. Start with some positive quotes. You can send your recipients around the neighborhood, the block, or the city with a list or items to find or tasks to complete. This makes a fun group gift. Bonus points for using a theme, especially if they are objects or places you love.

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