5 Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas That Will Still Impress Your Friends

You love your friends, which is why it's so tempting to go all out when it's time to buy them a gift.

Whether it's their birthday, Christmas or any other celebration worthy of gift-giving, you probably have a whole ton of ideas spinning through your head for what to get them that could make them as happy as being their friend makes you. Unfortunately, however, the gifts we would like to give often come with price tags that put them out of reach—we aren't all Kardashian/Jenners, after all. But if you have a gift-giving opportunity coming up and need some ideas for thought-out presents that won't break the bank, try exploring these:

1. Give Them The Spa Treatment With a Homemade Kit

Who doesn't love a good bath bomb or some sweet-smelling bath salts that turn a regular bath into the luxurious oasis of your dreams? The great thing about these items is that they don't need to be super expensive. In fact, stores like TJ Maxx and even the Dollar Tree sell plenty of high-end looking (and smelling) items that you can put together in a bit of a homemade spa kit that will probably end up costing you less than your usual Chipotle order, but the extra effort you put in will make all the difference.

Shutterstock: Preparing self care package, seasonal gift box with plastic free zero waste cosmetics products. Personalized eco friendly basket for family and friends for thankgiving, christmas, mothers day

(via Shutterstock)


2. Gift Them a Framed Photo or Photo Book

In our digital age, we tend to just upload the pictures we take with our friends onto social media through a photo dump or video compilation. That's great, but there really is something to having a physical photo of your friends in your room where you see it all the time. Plus, it costs literal pennies to print photos, and you can get a cute frame or photo book from the dollar store to place them in. Again, the effort it takes to curate which photos you know they'll love as well as getting them printed and putting them in their frame or book makes this gift mean so much more than it may seem.


3. Bake Them Their Favorite Treat

Bakeries can charge a ton for personalized cakes these days, especially if your friend has dietary restrictions that keep them from eating things like gluten, eggs or dairy. Save yourself some cash by getting creative in the kitchen instead, as baking ingredients tend to be dirt cheap and you can whip up something you know your friend will love (with no misspelled frosting names or other common bakery mishaps in the process). Pro tip: Make a test batch to ensure the finished product tastes and looks worthy of your friend's celebration. It doesn't have to be cake, either! Customized cake pops, brownies or even Rice Krispies treats are all great options depending on what you know your friend will love. And even if you mess up, baking fails are hilarious to everyone and your friend might appreciate the laugh just as much as they would an actual treat (there are entire Netflix shows about baking fails, after all).

Shutterstock: Colorful birthday cake with golden happy birthday banner and falling sprinkles

(via Shutterstock)


4. Find Something on Etsy

Small items like a custom ring or necklace that you know your friend will love can be found on sites like Etsy, and you can place price filters on to ensure you don't go over budget in the process. Even though these gifts may be small, they carry a big weight to the person receiving them—especially as it shows that you know their style well enough to choose something they'll love and use or wear all the time.


5. Try Something Handmade

Do you draw or paint? There's nothing your friend would love more as a gift than a portrait you make of them, the two of you or even just of a beloved pet (depending on your preferred artistic style). Do you write? Pen them a poem and place it in a book with some photos of you two. Creating something with your talents costs you nothing (or next-to-nothing), but it leaves an impact that your friend will cherish for years to come.

Shutterstock: art painting. inspiration and creativity concept. picture of a dog. drawing of a french bulldog. artist creations.

(via Shutterstock)


Still short on ideas? Don't worry, we have more! Click HERE for some birthday gift ideas for when you're basically broke.