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5 Creative and Cheap Wedding Gift Ideas on a Budget

Posted by Daniel Azzoli on July 16, 2021
cheap wedding gift ideas

When wedding season starts to heat up and it feels like you’re celebrating the union of a different couple every other week, shelling out for wedding gifts can start to seriously eat into your planned budget. While you want to show the happy couple that you care about them, it may get to a point where frequent gift-giving becomes too much for your tight budget to handle and thoughts of “how to save money” begin to pop up in your mind. While some people follow the rule of spending around the amount that your plate costs at the wedding banquet, many experts agree that there’s no reason to follow this rule – especially if money is tight[1]. When you find that a registry is full of pricey appliances and expensive items, you may need to turn to some cheap wedding gift ideas in the name of saving money.

While you may be on a fairly tight budget and you want to make sure you don’t fall into the trap of overspending, there are still ways to find cheap wedding gifts that express your best wishes to the happy newlyweds. They’re probably just happy you could make it to the wedding in the first place! Having said that, it’s nice to acknowledge this new union with a unique wedding gift, so we’ve put together some lovely cheap wedding gift ideas that will hopefully help you express your feelings without breaking the bank.

1. Look for Affordable Registry Items

Before you start wracking your brain trying to come up with cheap but creative wedding gift ideas, make sure you look at the wedding registry first. Engaged couples will often look to add items to their registry that fall all over the financial spectrum to accommodate the different types of budgets the guests have. You may find that there are plenty of less expensive items that are within your price range that would still make for a great wedding gift. 

Table with gift wrapping items on it

If you can afford more than one of these gifts, pick a few different ones and put together a nice personalized wedding gift basket. This way, you can still have control over the amount you spend, and the newlyweds will still get those smaller items they’re looking for, thanks to you. Some of the other guests may be looking to buy the more extravagant wedding gifts, so it won’t hurt to balance things out. You may even be able to look at the registry online and sort these wedding gifts by price to make this process easier.


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2. A Dinner or Dessert-Based Wedding Gift Basket

As we’ve already mentioned, you can put together some fantastic cheap wedding gifts by taking a few less expensive items and turning them into a gift basket. One great way to do this is by putting together an inexpensive dinner or dessert-themed gift basket – ideally filled with the couple’s favorites to make for the perfect personalized wedding gift. Here are some things that could make up each type of wedding gift basket.

For Dinner:

  • A pack of authentic Italian or homemade pasta
  • A jar of pasta sauce. You can even make your own sauce for them and seal it yourself in a mason jar
  • [2]
  • A small bundle of various dried spices and herbs for cooking such as basil leaves, garlic powder, and coriander seeds
  • Some inexpensive candles
  • A nice tablecloth

For Dessert:

  • A small list of tasty homemade or popular dessert recipes that can be made with the ingredients you provide and everyday ingredients that can be found in the kitchen
  • Some brownie or cake mix
  • A pack of chocolate chips and cake decorations such as icing and whipped cream
  • A pair of cute oven mitts
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A spatula
  • A whisk

Put these items in a basket, wrap it in clear cellophane or plastic wrap, and tie it all together with a nice ribbon. If you can find room in your tight budget, you can even throw in a relatively inexpensive bottle of wine in either basket. The great thing about both baskets is that while you’re giving them a meal, you’re also giving them a few staple items for their kitchen.

3. A Date Night in a Box

gift box and wine glasses on a table

Weddings typically don’t come cheap. If the couple is responsible for paying for the wedding themselves, there’s a chance that money may be a little tight for the foreseeable future. And when you’re trying to balance financial responsibilities such as rent, bills, debt from online loans, and other monthly expenses, it might be tough to find room in your budget to go out for an expensive date night.


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It might be nice to put together a little box or basket to help facilitate a date night at home. This is a thoughtful and cheap wedding gift idea that may help the newlyweds have a nice night together even when money is tight.

Get a basket or decorate a box you find at a craft store. Fill it up with items that they could use on a date, such as:

  • A bottle of wine
  • Some fancy popcorn
  • Candy and chocolates
  • A fun adult board game
  • Some new DVDs and CDs for a movie or music night
  • A soft blanket
  • A candle

These items don’t need to cost more than $25-$35 combined, and you may help the newlyweds have a relaxing night in together.

4. A Honeymoon Kit

If you know where the couple is going for their honeymoon, you may be able to put together a little honeymoon kit that would help them out on their trip while keeping your budgeting and saving in mind, thus helping them save money in the process. The contents of the kit will vary depending on where they’re going, but these combinations might give you some ideas:

For adventures: If they’re going to be hiking on their trip, include things like sunglasses, a first-aid kit, a compass, a Swiss Army gadget, a field watch and some trail mix.

For the beach: If they’ll be lounging on a beach, gift them some sunscreen, fun beach towels, an affordable speaker, and a couple of good books to read.

For a trip through Europe: Give them city maps of the places they’ll be visiting, a passport holder, some tags for their luggage and travel-size self-care kits for the couple.

For a road trip: Make them a playlist, give them some road maps, a gas card, and put together some healthy snacks for them to enjoy.

If you know that the newlyweds will likely be enjoying some nightlife on their trip, you could also put together a recovery kit for them. You could include things like water, eye masks, ibuprofen, and ear plugs so they can sleep off the effects of the night before.

5. Have Some Plain Linens Embroidered

person sewing fabric

You can always buy a few low-cost household items for the happy couple and pick up some inexpensive sheets, pillowcases, and towels. But if you want to turn this into a special, but still cheap wedding gift idea, kick things up a notch by taking these linens to a tailor or seamstress who offers embroidering services.

Keep an eye out for people who offer machine embroidering instead of hand embroidering, as the latter can be much more expensive, and not ideal for someone trying to stick to a budget. Doing your research on the type of service and where you can get it done may also ensure that you are able to save more money. Oftentimes, getting embroidery work done at family-owned, under-the-radar shops, as opposed to big box stores can be the cheaper option. Spend a few dollars to embroider the name and date of the wedding, or some sort of message you know the couple will like. This cheap wedding gift idea is a great way to turn an otherwise plain gift into something special and memorable.

Try Out One of These Cheap Wedding Gift Ideas to Avoid Breaking the Bank

A wedding doesn’t always have to be an expensive and extravagant affair at a fancy venue. Their purpose is to celebrate the love and commitment of a couple as they embark on a new phase of their life together.

With this in mind, wedding gifts don’t need to be over-the-top and expensive either. They should be an expression of your feelings for the couple and you don’t need to break the bank to do that. There’s no set amount of money you need to spend, particularly when you think about the cost that sometimes comes with simply attending the wedding in the first place.

By putting some thought and effort into your gift, you may be able to turn some cheap wedding gift ideas into something useful and treasured by the newlyweds. We hope this list can help you do just that!


[1] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-much-to-spend-on-wedding-gift_l_5ce6f4b3e4b0a2f9f28bdb19

[2] https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-seal-mason-jars/

 

 

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.

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