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40 Free Birthday Gift Ideas

40 Birthday Gift Ideas That Don’t Cost Money

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The joy of gifting doesn’t have to be stifled by your bank account. Some of the best birthday gifts I’ve received over the years didn’t cost a thing.

While some of these ideas may not be entirely free, many of them can be made for very little money.

Below are 40+ birthday gifts that don’t cost anything.

Give the gift of music

Homemade Coupon Gift Ideas

Every one of us has something special to offer. What special skills do you have that you could give someone as a gift? My husband seems to be pretty good at choosing movies and shows on Netflix. But, I like to choose every now and again too. Your homemade coupon offer could be as simple as giving up control of the TV for a few nights. I’ve personally loved receiving homemade coupons like some of these.

If you want to get fancy with your coupon design, Canva offers free templates you could use to make yours.

  • A punch card for controlling the TV remote for “x” number of sessions
  • Lessons from you for a teachable special skill you have (music, sports, photography session, gardening, changing a tire, etc.)
  • Fix-it time to tackle small projects around the house
  • Babysitting/free time to do whatever they’d like (great for spouses and parents)
  • Cleaning services
  • Free lawn mowing
  • Watering plants & pulling weeds
  • House or pet sitting
  • Free hugs & backrubs
  • One month of laundry (washed, dried, folded & put away)
  • Breakfast in bed
  • Offer to do the dishes for a week
  • One month of grocery shopping

Edible and creative gift ideas

Creative & Edible Birthday Gift Ideas

Get your creative juices flowing and craft something from the heart (or your cupboard).

  • Play, sing or write a song
  • Make a music playlist or “mixtape”
  • Gift a poem
  • Create artwork
  • Craft a handmade card
  • Send a handwritten letter
  • Choreograph a dance or do a Tik Tok video just for them
  • Make a video with interviews from their friends and family sharing their favorite memories of the person
  • Homemade soaps
  • Write their favorite recipes on recipe cards
  • Cook their favorite meal
  • Decorate a cake
  • Make a container of their favorite treat just for them
  • Cook freezer meals (great for grandparents and busy folks)
  • Fresh veggies and fruits from your garden
  • Make jam, pickled goods or dehydrate your own jerky to gift
  • Spice mixes or grill rubs

Play dough with kids

Free Birthday Gift Ideas for Young Kids

  • Homemade playdough or slime
  • Handmade wooden building blocks or toys
  • Custom scavenger hunt (make your own list of items)
  • Movie night (they pick the movie and snacks)
  • Camp out in the backyard
  • Game night (board games, video games–they choose)

Family sitting around a bonfire

Gift a Birthday Activity or Event

For many, the gift of spending quality time together is more desirable than anything you could put a price tag on. What activities could you enjoy together to make their birthday a memorable one this year?

  • Hike together
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Play a sport together
  • Invite them over for a board game night
  • Take a road trip
  • Go fishing or boating
  • Surprise them with a bonfire
  • Take them on a picnic and pack their favorite foods
  • Take them fruit/vegetable picking at a local farm

Gift ideas photos for in-laws

Birthday Gift Ideas for Parents and In-laws


In my family, my in-laws ask that we gift them six photos each year to fill two photo collage frames they have hanging up in their house. They have one frame for each of their boys’ families. Every year we swap out the old photos and replace them with the new ones. It’s a really inexpensive way to go about gifting them photos so we’re not spending the extra money on frames. It’s fun to see what my brother-in-laws’ family chooses for their photos each year.

Memory Book

Put together a book of times you’ve spent together, things they’ve taught you, and inspiring quotes, poems, or song lyrics that make you think of them. Don’t have the time to make an entire book? Print out a few photos or quotes, write your stories and memories on the back and wrap a ribbon around them all to create a gift you’ll both enjoy going through together.

Gifts come in all shapes and sizes. It truly is the thought that counts.

Have you tried Giftster? Giftster makes gifting between family members really simple. One of the coolest features is the ability to add anything you want to your wish list. So if you too would love to have your lawn cut and your laundry folded for your birthday this year, all you have to do is add it to your wish list.

Create your free Giftster account today and give and get gifts that matter.

Happy gifting!

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