Who can afford to buy every birthday, anniversary, and holiday gift in today’s economy? Unfortunately, sometimes being frugal for the sake of stretching a paycheck means concentrating on the kids and neglecting the adults in our lives.
Fortunately, being thoughtful doesn’t have to break the bank, so consider these small and inexpensive gifts suitable for most adults.
What Are Small Inexpensive Gifts Good for Adults?
When buying a gift, try to think about items a person might find useful or otherwise enjoy but wouldn’t ordinarily buy for themselves.
Most adults find themselves in need of a good pen on a regular basis. In some professions, especially in the service industry, a working pen is a highly coveted item and often stolen in good faith.
But there’s no denying the theft of a luxury pen. A good pen with a nice gifting box can run as little as $10, but if your budget allows, very nice pens can easily be $50 to $100. However, a $10 pen with a thoughtful note is a great gift for everyone.
Monogrammed Card Deck
A custom card deck can cost $10 to $15, potentially less with a coupon. You can add a person’s initials or their family name, in addition to choosing a color they’d like.
This is a great gift for anyone who even occasionally plays cards. It won’t last forever, but it’ll be a gift they can use and show off for potentially years.
Alternatively, you can use a good photo of their family, baby, or pet instead of using their initials or surname. If you’re going for a funny gift, consider using a photo of yourself.
Coffee or Tea
A little bit of coffee or tea goes a long way, and you only need a little bit because the gift receiver has likely never tasted this specific coffee or tea before.
It’s a good way to introduce someone to new flavors and brands; bonus points if it’s something you’ve tried before and want to share with them. The best way for this gift to work is to forgo all the caffeine options in grocery stores and Starbucks.
Theoretically, you could gift those; some people are obsessed enough with Starbucks that they’d be more than happy. But try finding a smaller mom-and-pop coffee shop or an imported tea to gift.
They might already have nice packaging, but if not, it’s nothing a few inches of ribbon can’t fix.
Where Should You Look For Small, Inexpensive Gifts for Adults?
Small, inexpensive gifts can be found essentially anywhere, from grocery stores to flea markets and tea shops. It helps to know the person and have some imagination and willingness to go outside of the box.
However, don’t discount big box stores or other major retailers, especially when working with a small budget.
Are There any Small Inexpensive Gifts to Avoid For Adults?
If you’re unsure about what gift to purchase or make by hand, don’t stress; whatever gift you decide on, always include a handwritten card to put your feelings on paper. This often means more to the person than the gift itself.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the gift doesn’t matter at all. You should steer clear of a few gifts, such as body lotions, hand soaps, and candles. These gifts are often seen as “generic” and thoughtless unless the person asks for those things or seems really into them.
Some people are adamantly against using lottery tickets as gifts, but it depends on the circumstances.
If the gift receiver is an adult and you’re not giving them a gift for a serious occasion like a wedding, then a few lottery tickets with a nice card are inexpensive for you but fun for them. Just don’t expect them to share any winnings!
What are the Small Inexpensive Gifts for Adults You Can Make on Your Own?
Even if you’re not a seasoned baker, following boxed cookies or brownies instructions isn’t hard.
You can purchase bakery premixes for just $1 and then splurge on packaging at a dollar store to spruce it up. If you have a larger budget, you can buy prepared baked goods and repackage them to look nicer. Include a card for extra “brownie” points.
How to Pick the Best Small Inexpensive Gifts for Adults?
The best small, inexpensive gifts prove to the receiver that you know them in some way. For example, perhaps they’ve mentioned a love for sweets, so you can buy them your favorite chocolate to try.
If possible, get them something they mentioned wanting in the past. This requires always keeping an ear out for a good gift, and it helps to keep notes on your phone, so you don’t forget when the gift is relevant weeks, months, or even years later.
Final Thoughts on Small Inexpensive Gifts for Adults
Whatever you decide on, try not to judge the receiver’s gratitude by their reaction. Some people are awkward at getting gifts and thanking people for them, even if they appreciate them.
Lastly, as long as you’re not giving responsibilities (animals, live plants, etc.), it’s the thought that counts.