Free & Frugal Gift Ideas That Work for Anyone + 3 Bonus Gift Guides

Free & Frugal Gift Ideas that Work for Anyone! Plus 3 bonus guides for more free & frugal ideas.

This holiday season is bound to be busy for you. You are also bound to run across some advertising that will try to convince you that you need to spend a lot of money to make it great. And I have no problem with spending money to buy special gifts for the special people in your life. In fact, I quite enjoy shopping for gifts for others, whether Christmas, birthdays, or just because.

However, I know most people are in the same boat as us and have a budget that they need to stretch as far as they can. It was that thought process that brought me to today’s post, which is a list of ideas for free and frugal gift ideas that will work for anyone. Plus, I have an added little bonus for you at the end so keep reading.

Gifts of Service Rock

Teaching my children to serve well is a big goal of mine. I believe it combats a sense of entitlement and can help curb pity parties. 😉 Here is a list of ways you and your child can offer the gift of service this holiday season:

  • Take someone to do their holiday shopping. Maybe you know someone who’s mobility is limited right now and could use a lift to pick out gifts for someone that normally takes them on their errands.
  • Volunteer with someone. Do you have a family member who is passionate about a certain community project or ministry? Set aside time to volunteer with that family member.
  • Clean something for somebody. Take a day to help someone get their house cleaned and decorated for the holidays. Be sure to come back and help them take it down after the holidays are over.
  • Help someone with fall or winter jobs. Perhaps you know an elderly person who could use their sidewalk shoveled when it snows or leaves raked so they don’t fall when it’s wet. Gutters need cleaned this time of year. Outdoor lightbulbs need changed so they can see better.
  • Cook someone dinner. It’s a busy time of the year, most people would appreciate a meal. And some people are just flat out hungry. Feeding someone feeds more than their stomach.
  • Contact a nursing home and see if there is a resident you can “adopt” for the holiday (consider doing this year-round).

And, as my husband reminded me as we talked about this post, if you are going to do an act of service for someone, do it well. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” – Colossians 3:23

Get Crafty with Your Bad Self

This one is my daughter’s absolute favorite. She loves, loves, loves to make things for people. In fact, she has already started on her homemade gifts this year. This one will depend on your skills and talents, of course. The frugal part will also depend on your available supplies, so that is relative.

For example, you may not have 5 18-gallon totes of fabric in your basement to work with so sewing something might not be a good option for you. But you may have a huge collection of rubber stamps and cards at your disposal. I know how you paper crafters are, I studied to become one a few years ago. Have I mentioned I have pack-rat tendencies?

Pinterest is a crafter’s best friend. Here are a few boards to get your “I can make that!” creative juices flowing:

  • DIY :: Christmas – This is my Christmas board that I pin decoration ideas to. Some are great for kids. All would make great gifts for the right person.
  • DIY :: Gifts – These are the projects that are just looking for gift wrapping and the right receiver. Things like decorating golf balls, DIY gift bags, lip balm, and key chains.
  • DIY :: Sewing Stuff – You know I love me some sewing tutorials. This is the Pinterest board I use to curate all the loveliness I find. You can also check out the tutorial round-ups I did for little girl’s dresses, women’s dresses, skirts, and maternity for more ideas.
  • DIY :: Cardmaking Craftiness – And finally, inspiration for the perfect card. Create on of these beauties and then fill it with words that bless the socks off your recipient.

Everybody’s Got to Eat

I think this is everyone’s most and least favorite part of the holiday season. The FOOD. Oh, the decadence. It’s the time of year that I make Oreo cheesecakes for me…whoops, um, I mean my family.

Here’s the thing, make your gift stand out and make it good for your gift receiver. Not so good for you that it tastes like cardboard, but something that truly nourishes a body. Have I lost you? Try these ideas:

  • A fruit bouquet or basket
  • Hearty soups or chilies to put in their freezer
  • Homemade bread dough (again, for the freezer)
  • A basket of home canned veggies – Have a surplus of canned green beans? Well, put it in a pretty package and share them with someone who understands the value of home grown food. Hopefully you know someone like that.

Memories on the Corner of My Mind

Participate in family traditions. Start some new ones. Go out of the way to include people you don’t get to see very often or those who are hurting and lonely. This time of the year is hard for a lot of people, help ease that for someone.

  • Go see a free concert together.
  • Go see a Christmas display or Christmas lights.
  • Bake cookies with someone and then deliver them to a nursing home.
  • Go Christmas caroling.

Gift Ideas from Other Awesome Bloggers

And now, your bonus! A few awesome bloggers partnered with me for this and have their own posts focusing on the free and frugal gift options this season. You should definitely check their posts out:

Speak Your Mind


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  1. How insanely wonderful- thank you! I am sure putting this all together took a lot of time and much thought. Well, it is certainly appreciated! I would like to think I’m crafty, but it’s soooo nice to get new, fresh ideas. And we have many gifts each Thanksgiving and Christmas we like to hand make for those who do so much for us as our six-year-old is a heart transplant patient. We never tire of heart-related goodies to make, right down to simple dried Play-doh hearts with special inscribing for each recipient and candy-filled mason jars adorned with ribbon or raffia. You have immensely helped us to widen our crafting horizons with all your fun and oh-so-useful information. Again, and with all our hearts- THANK YOU! Blessings to you and yours always~

  2. Thank you for this post! Full of wonderful ideas!
    Our eldest daughter is in grad school and teaching about 30 piano students as well. She is always complaining that she doesn’t have time to cook….SO…my plan is to make a number of freezer-to-crockpot meals for her Christmas.
    NOW— to find what to do for the other children…..