Gift Ideas With Little To No Cost 

Gift giving  is one of those joyful acts to do during Christmas season.  But it can get expensive, especially if you have a long list of people close to you —  your family, relatives, friends and officemates. Of course, you’d want to put a smile to their face by giving them a present this Christmas.

I came up with a few gift ideas that will cost you zero or just a little amount of money. Most of these items are things that I personally either given or received. So before you go gift shopping, consider these ideas to gift your loved ones or yourself this pragmatic Christams season. 

Read The Frugal Guide: How to Save Money.

Gift Ideas With Little To No Cost  @Twenty20

Gift Items From Membership Reward Points

Try to check your membership cards (SM advantage, Metro advantage, BDO rewards, Credit/Debit Card reward points, etc.) and see how many points you’ve accumulated for this year. Use it to shop for small items like socks, underwear, slippers, and give it as a gift to your nephews and nieces. 

Mobile Phone From Your Service Provider

If you’re on a postpaid plan, you get  to renew your contract every 2 years and with it a new phone. You don’t need to give the new phone as a gift. If your old phone is still fully functional and looks decent, you can give it as a gift. 


It happened to me once, I received the same item from two different people. I rewrapped the other one and gave it as a gift to someone else.  You can also re-gift an item that you won from a raffle contest or resell it and use the proceeds to buy a gift.  I won an electric cooking grill once from a raffle contest at the office. Since I don’t need it, I sold it online and used the proceeds to buy a gift for my parents. 

Plane Tickets

You don’t need to buy an expensive plane ticket to give as a gift. If you travel a lot , I’m sure you got  frequent flyer miles from the airlines you fly with. Just recently, my girlfriend invited me for a family gathering in Mindanao. When I looked at the tickets in all local airlines on the scheduled dates, I told her I was hesitant to book because it will cost me at least Php 5,500 for a round trip ticket. She booked the ticket for me using her GetGo points and I only paid the round trip taxes and processing fee for only Php 1,700. Check your mileage if it can afford to pay for a round trip ticket and book a holiday for someone special to you.

Unused items 

Check your wardrobe and see if there are items that you haven’t used for a year. If there is, chances are, you don’t really need it. Might as well give it to someone else who needs it. 

Write a Poem 

This is one of my all-time favorite gifts that I received. As they say, the best gift doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive; it just needs to be sentimental, like a letter poem or handmade greeting card. My girlfriend wrote a poem for my birthday last year and I could not ask for more. Unleash the inner poet in you and write a Christmas poem or letter. Channel your artistic side and create a nice DIY Christmas greeting card.

Unpaid Loans

Just in small amounts, probably less than Php1,000 or any amount you’re willing to let go. If there’s someone who still owes you money and hasn’t paid you back yet because he/she is financially struggling, you can talk to that person and tell him/her to consider it as your Christmas gift and not to pay you back anymore.

Offer Your Skills

You might have a good recipe for a specific dish or dessert for Noche Buena. Offer your cooking or baking skills, just ask the person to provide you the ingredients and give them your gift of cooking or baking skills. If you’re a photographer, you can offer to do a Christmas-themed photoshoot. This provides a customized, well-thought 

Gift Ideas With Little To No Cost  @Twenty20

Share A Netflix Account

December is the month with long non-working days, the best time of the year to binge-watch with family members. Recommend your favorite netflix series or movies and share your netflix account (username and password) just for the month of december to a close friend or a family member outside your household. Note: If you have the basic plan, you’ll have to schedule a different time of the day for each of you to use the account and watch.

Books You’ve Finished Reading 

Are you someone who loves reading and has a pile of books at home? Why not let go of some of those books which you’ve already read so you can replace it not just with new ones but also with new learnings. 

Propagated House Plants

Are you a new Plantito or Plantita? You can propagate your plants and give them as gifts. It  usually takes at least three weeks to successfully propagate a plant. Check  your garden or your indoor plants to see if there are plants you can use to propagate. 

PRO TIP: Since Christmas is less than a month away, you can put your cuttings in water, add some rooting hormone, and then give it as a gift. It makes for a nice table decor! You can use a recycled glass container or buy a clear glass bottle. You can add a Christmas greeting card as well when you hand it over to your receiver.


Whenever the ‘ber’ months arrive, I  make it a habit to ask for a free calendar every time I have purchases from hardwares, pharmacies, shipping ticket outlets, boutiques, etc. You will be surprised at how thankful your neighbors, aunties, uncles and grannies are to receive these calendars (especially those with big fonts) from you. 

Pre-recorded Message

A personalized heartfelt video message to a friend from afar can also be a sentimental gift. 

I hope those list above sparked your imagination to think of more sources for little to zero cost gift ideas and help you save some amount of money. If you can think of anything else that I haven’t included above, I’d love to hear them, feel free to send it to me on my email at

About the author: This article was written by Bill Harris Asignar. He is a full time electronics engineer in one of the Research and Development Companies in Cebu. He became one of the Senior Marketing Directors of International Marketing Group (IMG), a company which caters to the financial needs of every individual and families who wish to attain financial independence. Together with his team, he is teaching financial literacy to Filipinos, especially the young ones who enrolled in IMG’s program called Wealth Academy.  Outside work, he enjoys traveling with her girlfriend Gie, locally and outside the country.

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