Skip to Content

Cheap but Thoughtful Gift Ideas

Cheap but Thoughtful Gift Ideas

What to get the Different People in Your Life From Partners to Kids, Teachers to Colleagues

Rather than splitting this up into gifts for guys, gifts for women etc.

I have compiled a list of gifts I think would be great based on interests not gender.

I have two teenagers and I can tell you right now, that most of the gift lists aimed at them have nothing they would be interested in.

Truly think about the person you are buying for not just the stereotypical interests for their age/gender etc.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.

Note: If you like freebies and discounts, check out how to get a $100 cash bonus from ING, $14 from Up Bank or have a look at the full list of freebies, offers and discounts for every state.

Beard Kit

If someone has a beard, good beard oil or balm can make all the difference.

Check if they have a specific one they love, otherwise, kits can be bought in most stores or you can make your own.

Beard oil is mainly a carrier oil and some essential oils.

It’s not always cheap to get everything you need but if you are making a few sets it works out cheap.

Check out how to make your own beard oil.

Fishing Gear

Most people who fish love gifts of items they use regularly such as lures, lines, sinkers, hooks and so on.

These can be bought relatively cheaply and made into a nice pack.

Or some outdoor stores such as BCF, sell great packs at a huge discount this time of year.

We got packs for less than half price and they looked amazing.

Plus, get further discounts shopping online with cashback programs.


If you choose to gift alcohol, make sure you know for sure they drink it or want it.

Some people don’t for religious reasons, others don’t due to past issues or health choices.

Personally, I don’t drink and grew up in a house not drinking so when we were gifted alcohol, it was passed on.

But if you want to be known as someone who gives great gifts, check first if they drink alcohol and if they don’t pick something else.

Image of Christmas presents and notebook. Text reads frugal Christmas gift ideas.

Surf Kit

Noosa is full of surfers so naturally, this gift idea is popular here.

Make a mini kit with wax, sunscreen, survivor cord etc.

It doesn’t need to be expensive, it’s the thought that counts and these are items they will use.

BBQ Maestro

My partner is amazing with the BBQ, to the point where other friends ask him to do it when we are invited over.

If someone you know loves doing a BBQ, a selection of meat rubs that can be made from spices in your pantry, chutneys and unique sauces can be appreciated.

These gifts are often gifts that take a little time to put together but are significantly cheaper than similar items in store.

Movie Pack

Tickets or a gift card so they can download a movie, popcorn, snacks and drinks can make a cute movie pack.

Sweets Bouquet

Whatever sweets someone loves can be placed on skewers to make a bouquet of sweets much the same as flowers.

Use tissue paper to turn the sweet into a flower or to fill space.

Money Pack

A piggy bank or money tin, magazine or book about money can go down well. Books I would recommend include:
The Barefoot Investor
The Simple Path to Wealth
Quit Like a Millionaire
We Should All Be Millionaires

You could also create a notebook with your favourite frugal tips, recipes etc.

Only do this gift if you know it is something they would use and have spoken about. Otherwise, it can be insulting or unappreciated.

Image of Girl sitting under Christmas tree. Text reads Frugal Christmas gift ideas

Dinner Out

A voucher for a local restaurant or looking for a discounted voucher online can make a nice gift for a couple.

Throw in babysitting if they have kids and you are close enough to do it.


Not all experiences cost $500! Groupon and Adrenaline both have some great experiences with discounts.

Kitesurfing or surfing lessons, walking tours on Airbnb, kayaking and similar are all fun but not too expensive if purchased through these sites.


My kids love to pick a perfume for me for Mother’s Day or Christmas.

They go to the store, smell them all, look at the bottles and decide what they think would be great for me.

Fragrances can be rather personal so be careful with choosing.


Hear me out, these towels are so good I bought 4 when we arrived back in Australia AND my parents requested some so they are getting them for Christmas.

Sand resistant so when we shake them out from the beach, we aren’t carrying sand home.

Fast-drying as in both drying our bodies fast and the towel dries fast. Ideal size but also compact.

I travelled all over South East Australia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands with mine and wished I had found them earlier!

This is not a paid promo or even an affiliate link. They are my favourite towels – Lee&May.

Image of woman sitting on beach towel at beach.

Goodie Box

Make a selection of biscuits, slices such as brownies, cupcakes, macarons etc.

Chocolate bark (melted chocolate spread thin with nuts or other items added then broken up).

Fudge, rocky road, chocolate chip cookies etc. All look great when presented nicely in a box or hamper.

Layer a jar with ingredients for cookies, a slice or anything else they might like.

Put a pretty piece of fabric on top and a nice tag.

Personalised Note Cushion

Have your child write a note then stitch it into a pillow or cushion cover.

We have a tutorial on how to do that here.

Photo Mugs and Other Gear

Many places offer great discounts and packs for canvas printing, mugs and all sorts of gifts.

These can make unique gifts for Secret Santa or work gifts as well as personalised gifts for family and friends.


Succulents and numerous other plants grow well from cuttings. Start now and you could have some cute gifts ready to go.

You can also pick up nice pots for free and cheap through Facebook Marketplace or op shops.

For teachers, this can make a nice gift with a heartfelt note and a tag saying thank you for helping me grow.

Image of Christmas cookies in a white bowl. Text reads frugal Christmas gift ideas.

What gift ideas do you have?

For more ways to make and save money follow us on social media:

Like on Facebook Join our Facebook group Follow us on Instagram 

For more ways to make and save money follow us on social media:

The Thrifty Issue Facebook Page
The Thrifty Issue Facebook Group
The Thrifty Issue Instagram

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.