How to buy gifts on a budget
person showing brown gift box
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

How to buy gifts on a budget

Jennifer Prince January 22, 2022

A famously small student budget can be difficult to stretch to include gifts for birthdays or other celebrations. Lucky for you, this article exists to help you find thoughtful presents for your loved ones and still have money for rent. Do not forget those all-important student discounts!

Use your hobbies

Are you a dab at sewing, baking, or writing? Any creative hobby or skill might just be your ticket to gift-giving success. Handmade items are always greatly appreciated and cost time rather than money. If you have a few hours to spare and a talent up your sleeve, get making!

Sentimental over Material

You know that saying: ‘It’s the thought that counts’? Try to apply it to the scenario of gift-giving. Rather than over-spending money on new clothes or a gadget, the recipient might be more touched by a present that is significant to them, or to your relationship with them. This can be as simple as a framed photograph and will make yours a gift they can cherish.

Shop Small

Small businesses are brilliant places to get gifts on a budget. Little items, often with a unique twist are sent with more care and a much more personal touch from small businesses in comparison to corporate giants. So, while supporting a small business and the local economy you can afford a great present. Social media accounts and websites such as Etsy are great places online to start looking. If you live somewhere with a market, that is also a useful place to begin.

Save the Planet

Shopping second-hand reduces waste and produces some forgotten favourites. Although this can be viewed as buying products in a poor condition, this is not always true. For example, second-hand book shops will stock books that are in like-new condition, making it pointless to buy a brand-new book. Meaning you will also be able to buy more with your budget. Why spend more than necessary?

Look out for Sales

Sales are hard to miss. Boxing day, end of summer, black Friday – the list is endless. So why not use them to your advantage? This tip requires a bit of thinking ahead but could really work in your favour. Utilising sales to buy gifts with a mind to give them weeks or months in the future allows you to treat your loved ones at a discount, and ensures you are not rushing around the shops at the last minute. Preparation is key to staying within budget here.

Go rather than Give

The most valuable and memorable of gifts are experiences. So, spending time with a loved one to celebrate is not to be overlooked. Setting aside a day to do something together shows them they mean a lot to you perhaps more than a gift could. Anything from a pamper day, to going for a meal, to going to see a show together, celebrating can come in any form.

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Jennifer is a Manchester-based freelance journalist and has been writing for Freshered since its launch in November 2021. She graduated in December 2022 from The University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature, where she spent much of her time writing and reporting for Redbrick Newspaper. A lover of variety, Jennifer covers topics ranging from university advice, live music and theatre reviews, to news and current events, but seeks to expand her work to cover sustainability and the climate crisis. Her aim is to make journalism more accessible to the everyday reader. As a GirlGuiding Volunteer in her spare time, Jennifer is never one to be boring. When she’s not writing she can often be found with her head in a book, trying a new craft, or on the dancefloor.