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9 Anniversary Gift Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

Posted by MoneyKey on May 9, 2019
Champagne for anniversary gifts can be an expensive idea

Your anniversary is coming up, and you want to show your loved one just how much you care. However, when you’re sticking to a tight budget and just making ends meet, showering your significant other in lavish gifts likely seems out of reach. Luckily, diamond rings and gold jewelry aren’t the only options. There are all kinds of creative anniversary gifts that can say “I love you” without breaking the bank. Check out these anniversary gift ideas for your special day.

Romantic dinner for two

Romantic dinner at home can be an economical anniversary gift

Dinner out can be expensive, especially if you have to factor in the cost of a babysitter, transportation in case you want to have a few drinks, and the cost of the drinks themselves. But with a set of romantic recipes in hand a quick trip to the grocery store, you can replicate the experience at a fraction of the price. If you love to cook, you may already have some recipe ideas in mind for your anniversary. Even if you aren’t proficient in the kitchen, there are simple meals that even the most amateur home cook can pull off.

While you’re getting the groceries, make sure to also pick up a few candles to set the mood, and decorate your table with a nice tablecloth and some heart shaped confetti. Then, pop on a movie to distract the kids and enjoy your romantic dinner for two.

At-home spa day

As far as anniversary gift ideas go, a day at the spa is a classic, but it rarely comes cheap. Luckily, you can replicate a lot of the spa experience at home. Find some calming bubble bath, light some candles, throw on some romantic music, and let your partner sink back into the tub. Continue the spa treatment by treating them to a massage with some soothing oil or lotion.

You can also buy single-use facial masks for just a couple of dollars at most grocery stores. Get you and your partner mud masks or soft cloths full of serum that you set over your skin. Complete the experience by pulling out a roasting tray or a plastic tub and give some attention to your partner’s feet. Soak them in epsom salts, dry them carefully, and apply lotion.

Coupon books

Coupon books are one of the most classic cheap anniversary gift ideas out there, and the process of putting them together is simple. Start by thinking of the tasks that you could do for your spouse. This may include housework like laundry, cooking, cleaning, or any number of errands. You could even watch the kids while they go out for a well-deserved night on the town with their friends. Taking tasks off the plate of your partner and giving them time for social outings can be valuable anniversary gift they won’t forget.

Role reversal

Cooking for your partner can be a free surprise anniversary gift

In many marriages, each partner has their usual tasks. For instance, the husband might always cook, while the wife does the dishes, or one person may focus on car maintenance while the other one keeps the house clean. If you’re looking for cheap anniversary gift ideas, you may want to give your partner a break from their usual to-do list.

You can do this with the coupon book mentioned above, but instead of doing that, you may just want to jump in and give your spouse a break without warning. For instance, if your partner does most of the housework, you may want to take the afternoon off work and surprise them with a squeaky clean house when they get home! If they do most of the cooking, you may want to stick some groceries in the crockpot, finish the meal after work, and give them a much deserved break in the kitchen.


Traveling is fun, but it’s rarely cheap when the cost of plane tickets and accommodations are involved. Luckily, you don’t have to travel to enjoy the relaxation of a vacation. Think about what travelers do when they visit your neck of the woods and make a list of potential activities. Even if some of them aren’t free, you’ll offset some of those expenses by staying in your own home.

If you’re looking for a free and interactive brand of fun, find a hiking trail, a park, or any other surrounding landscape you haven’t been able to explore yet. Take your partner there to have a picnic, or simply use it as a scenic backdrop to deliver the rest of your gifts. If you have room in your budget, you might even want to find a hotel in your area and stay there. This gives you a break from the obligations you have at home without worrying about the cost of plane tickets or other normal travel expenses.

If travelling is at the top of your list of anniversary gift ideas and you’ve saved up enough for a trip, take a look at these tips to help you plan a vacation on a budget.

Shadow box

Paint a picture for a lovely anniversary gift on budget

If you like DIY anniversary ideas, making your partner a shadow box may be right up your alley. A shadow box is a deep picture frame or display case to show off memorable photos or other meaningful items. It’s a great way of displaying all the treasured trinkets from your relationship that you’ve tucked away over the years. All you need is a deep frame and the mementos you already have on hand!

Pick any theme you think your spouse would enjoy and assemble the items that fall within that theme. Maybe you want to celebrate important dates from your relationship, or maybe you want to fill it with trinkets from a special trip you took together. Whatever it is, for this anniversary gift idea you’ll want to  focus on an event you know is important to your partner and try to stay within those parameters.

Personalized night sky maps

What’s more romantic than the stars shining above in the clear night sky? Well how about the stars shining above in the clear night sky on a monumental night in your relationship! Give this one of these creative anniversary gifts by making or ordering a personalized night sky map.

Choose a night that was important in your relationship, like the night you met or the day you got married. Then, research how the stars aligned that night and what phase the moon was in, and create a piece of art based on those elements. If you’re buying a night sky map, the retailer does all of the heavy lifting for you. You simply specify the day, and they’ll create the map.

DIY gift baskets

DIY gift baskets for an inexpensive anniversary gift

A romantic gift basket may be a tried and true anniversary gift idea, but a pre-assembled basket can often cost more than the actual items in the basket. You also may not have the option to select the particular items you think would really resonate with your partner. But with a little creativity, you can put together DIY gift baskets on your own that you know your partner will love without having to shell out for a pre-assembled basket.

If you don’t have a basket, head to the thrift store. Many of them will have baskets for only a few dollars. Then, fill the basket with your spouse’s favorite groceries, a bottle of wine, and anything else you think they’d like. If you think the cost of the items will stretch your budget more tightly than you’d like, fill it with homemade gifts! You don’t have to break the bank to create a gift basket you know your partner will love.

Vow renewals

Recommitting to your relationship is a fabulous way to celebrate your anniversary, and this doesn’t need to come with a massive price tag. You can do a simple vow renewal on your own. In fact, just writing the vows and showing your spouse how committed you are can be extremely romantic.

If you want to do arrange a simple ceremony, invite your friends and family to your home, or ask a good friend or relative if they’re willing to host. You can buy groceries and put together a nice meal for everyone, or you can do a potluck and ask everyone to bring a dish to share.

Try out these anniversary gift ideas the next time your big day rolls around

Anniversaries are about celebrating the love you share with another person, and this doesn’t need to involve stretching your budget to its limits. With a bit of effort and creativity, you can put together plenty of anniversary gift ideas to show your partner how much you care about them without breaking the bank!

Do you have any cheap anniversary gift ideas you don’t see on this list? Share below!


Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and does not constitute financial, legal or other professional advice. For full details, see MoneyKey's Terms of Use.

Posted in: Featured Lifestyle

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