20 Frugal and Thoughtful Gift Ideas

by Yuchen Wu, Student Blogger

For college students, budget is usually limited. You may stress over finding the perfect gifts for your friends or loved ones because of money. However, there are many frugal gifts that are meaningful. Here are some suggestions for you according to WiseBread and ZenHabits:

1. Home Movie DVD.

2. Recipe Book.

3. Flowers.

4. Customized T-shirt.

5. Homemade cookies baked by yourself.

6. Lotions or Bath Oils.

7. Photo Puzzle.

8. A letter, hand-written on nice paper, from you.

9. A book.

10. Scented Candles.

11. A baby tree.

  • Baby trees can be planted to commemorate a child’s birthday, moving into a new home, a graduation, or any big milestone. You can find tree saplings for under $5 at the Arbor Day Foundation. Or, with a $10 donation to the organization, you can get a variety of 10 tree saplings. A tree gift is a big win for you, the recipient and the environment.

12. Box of good tea and a teacup.

13. Gift certificate for the person’s favorite hobby store.

14. DIY Pillow Case.

  • Cheap pillowcases can be found at discount home stores and online for under $10. You can also sew the pillow for someone.

15. Personalized Water Bottle.

16. Frame a picture of you with them.

17. A burned CD with all the person’s favorite songs.

18. A nice pen

19. Shaving Kit.

20. An “I appreciate you because” jar.

  • Fill a nice jar with slips of different colored paper, each with a reason you appreciate or love someone.


A perfect gift doesn’t always mean spending a lot of money. The recipients will always appreciate meaningful gifts over expensive ones.

Man giving woman gift.


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