When you're on a budget and need moving help, where do you turn? Your friends, obviously! They'll rearrange their schedules and put up with heat or cold for you—but how do you thank them?
Sure, cards are great, and a note on nice stationery is just fine. But if you're looking for thank you gifts that are a little more fun—and just as cheap—here are a few ideas.
1. Bake a favorite dinner or dessert
If you know your friends' favorite dinner or dessert, putting in the effort to make it for them goes a long way to showing how thankful you are. Don't know their favorites? Try these cheap and easy, one-pan recipes. Bonus: They're easy to gift right in the pan, provided you get it back. Or, go with cookies—everyone loves cookies! Put a new spin on an old classic with peanut butter bacon cookies.
2. Host a dinner party
If you're feeling ambitious, invite everyone over for a dinner party. Check out these budget-friendly dinner ideas for easy themes that will totally impress your friends. (You can even make it a potluck, if you're not feeling that ambitious.) Add in some place cards with nice thank you notes, and it's sure to be a hit.
3. Make a DIY gift
Recycle small boxes and containers leftover from your move to make thank you gift baskets. You can customize them or make the same for everyone. For example, if you have a friend in school, make a study pack gift basket that includes items like healthy snacks, coffee, gum, and school supplies.
Another great DIY thank you gift idea is to follow a relaxation theme—after all, moving is hard. Make homemade bath bombs or bubble bath for your friends and gift them in cute packaging. We've got tons of ideas in our DIY section, too.
4. Be clever
Take a cheap gift, add a note with a clever pun, and voila! You've got a gift to say thank you in a fun and sassy way that won't break the bank. Here are some ideas:
- Tea: "You're a tea-rific friend!"
- Hand soap: "You're the best friend—hands down"
- Tote bag: "You're tote-ally awesome"
- Donuts: "I donut know how to thank you"
Honestly, we could go on forever…
5. Make an IOU card
Can't thank them with money? Thank them with your willingness to do an annoying chore. IOU cards are one of the classic cheap thank you gifts. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Doing an errand
- Sweeping/mopping floors
- Walking the dog
- Mowing the lawn
6. Give the gift of alcohol
Pizza and beer are probably part of the deal when your friends help you move, but if you want to go an extra step, get them something to take home, too. For wine lovers, check out Lot18 for great deals on top notch wine. Better yet, make DIY drinks and cocktails and serve them up in snazzy mason jars, whether during or after the move.
7. Be a designated driver
To make that drink gift even better, and smarter, offer to be the designated driver during the next night out or even for a whole weekend. It's a great way to be safe and save everyone money that would have been spent on cab fare. Now that's smart!
If you're on a budget and need an awesome thank you gift, don't worry. Sometimes, the most unique thank you gifts—and the most thoughtful—are the cheapest.