21 Mar 2023 | Location: Sheffield, Nottingham

Got lots of birthdays coming up and not sure how you’re going to pay for everything? It’s ok to be honest with people if you can’t afford to go out for a meal or go to the cinema.

But you might still want to get them a little gift, in which case, we’ve got some great cost saving tips.


Recycle gift bags

Just had your birthday? Make sure you keep any gift bags that haven’t been damaged and you can re-use them for other birthdays. The wrapping paper might not be salvageable, however if you’re using gift bags, then you could encourage others to also recycle them. Also, do they really need a birthday card, or could you send them a digital version?

Don’t go overboard

With everything, it’s the thought that counts. You don’t have to get them a big expensive present, it could be something you found in a charity shop which made you think of them, or at a small, independent shop.

Check the sales

Certain times of the year will bring big sales in most shops, so make sure you plan ahead, and grab presents early. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a present months in advance, as long as it isn’t food then it will save. Make sure to set a budget for each person and be organised, as this will help too.

Make something

Are you good at crafting? Got a skill that you want to put to good use? Then get crafty! You might even be able to find something at a charity shop which you can restore and bring back to life. This is a great idea for Christmas time, as you can use your talents to batch-make presents for everybody, bringing the overall cost for materials down. You can also do this with cards if you still wanted to gift a physical version.  

Reward systems

Remember to make use of any discounts and reward systems in shops. You can find out more about this by visiting our ways to save and make money blog.  

Give the gift of a memory

This is a really easy and cheap present which has a big impact. Gifting someone a memory, such as a photo frame with a picture of you both, or a video of some of your favourite moments is a really lovely way to show you care.

Do you need to buy a present?

Do you really need to exchange presents with everyone? If you’d rather just meet them for a drink, then maybe speak with them and make an agreement not to buy presents for each other. That way you can spend the money on seeing each other instead or save money and just invite them for a movie night instead.

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