Gift-Giving Hacks! How to give the best gifts EVER. (+ $100 GIVEAWAY!!)

gift-giving hacks! tips for spending $0, saving money, and even getting PAID to shop for gifts! From

Contrary to popular belief, Fun Cheap or Free is not a “deal blog”. You will almost never see me post a coupon, freebie, or deal/sale on here (aside from sales on my programs or events I'm throwing, etc.). Why? Because if all I did was post good deals on things, who would be there to teach you whether you could afford that good deal or not? Or how to pay for it? Or how to keep it looking new in the wash, or how to squeeze the most out of it, or 5 new cool uses for it? There are a million “deal” sites out there. Here on FCF my goal is to TEACH you to fish; to give you hacks, tips, tools, and ideas that you can use again, and again, and again…at ANY store, ANY time of year, at ANY phase of life, for anyTHING!

With the Holidays now officially in full-swing, I figured it was time to share some of my best gift-giving hacks, tips, and tricks! It's not only about WHAT gifts to buy, but WHY to buy, HOW to be smart about buying, and WHO to gift it to. It will hopefully allow you to put your own personal spin on gift-giving this year, and to make it the most affordable, most effortless, and most impactful gift-giving you've ever done!

Not only that, but then scroll to the end of this blog post to enter to win $100!!!!! Talk about the gift that keeps on giving! But first, let's get to the tips.

Watch the video on Youtube or click and watch below:

So there you go! Those are some of the tips I use to ensure I'm giving thoughtful, affordable, and creative gifts. Here's a quick recap for you:

1- Focus on VALUE, not PRICE

Don't get caught up on how much the gift cost, but instead focus on the actual VALUE of the gift. If you over-pay for a gift, it doesn't increase its value. Likewise, if you get a gift on sale, it doesn't de-value it! The value is the same to the person you give it to, regardless of what you pay for it! So it just makes sense to take the time to find a great, quality gift, for a good price, so you then have more in your budget to give to others!


Some of the most valuable (there's that word again) gifts I have ever been or have given, have been re-gifted. If it's in perfect condition or has sentimental value, it very well could be the perfect gift for someone! Don't be afraid to regift. (This especially goes for older generations!)


This one is for me. Personally, I sometimes have a hard time gifting a gift card because it feels a touch…impersonal. In actuality, a gift card is an extremely personal gift, because they get to (literally) PERSONALIZE the gift! They get to buy whatever they want, making it completely tailored to them! Websites like this one allow you to buy (or sell) gift cards at a discount. Also, remember that with Ebates you get cash back for shopping online. So buy the gift card online, get cash back for it, then use that cash for other gifts! #Genius


One of the most creative gifts I got in the last few years was a 3 month subscription to a beauty sample box. It was so fun to get a gift month after month after month! Giving the gift of a subscription makes it the gift that keeps on giving. This year for the men in my life, I'm gifting subscriptions to Dollar Shave Club.


They not only have the monthly razor subscription that we all know and love, but they also have shower products, hair products, skin products, cologne, butt wipes, oh and of course shaving products. Basically, if you’ve got a body, they’ve got you covered! DSC is making it super simple with their holiday gift bundles that have something for everyone, on your list. Check out this Member’s Favorite Gift Set which includes 7 trial size versions of their most popular products AND a $15 E-Gift Card to get started with the Club. make sure to order by December 17 to receive by December 24.


We all know by now that I'm a HUGE advocate for Ebates! (I mean, I've only been talking about it since I very first started blogging…). Ebates is the largest cash-back website. They partner with over 2,500 retailers (yes, the ones you shop at ALREADY), and every time you shop online, you get cash back! That's it. That easy. It doesn't cost you anything, there are no fees involved, nada. Ebates gets a kickback from the retailer, and they share it with you in the form of cold, hard CASH. So simple, you'd be crazy not to.

Not only that but if you Use this link to sign up, you get $10 welcome bonus after you spend your first $25. PLUS, this time of year many retailers are doubling, tripling, even 7x-ing (or MORE!) their cash back! Use their app for super easy shopping from your phone, or from your desktop download their little web tool that automatically notifies you when you are shopping on a site that will give you cash back.

It's really that sexy.


Thought so! Ebates has teamed up with me to give away $100! It's so simple. To enter,

    1. Sign up fore Ebates HERE.
    2. Enter the giveaway HERE or enter directly in the widget below:

FunCheapOrFree's $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

That's it! Aaaah. Doesn't earning money feel good?



For the person in your life that doesn't need more STUFF (he'em DAD he'em…), focus on experiences. What do they love to do? What do they want to try? What do they want to get better at? What would create memories? Instead of gifting golf balls that they could easily buy themselves, why not golf lessons? Or better yet, a round of golf for you and he to enjoy together? Instead of a spatula set, do a cooking class together. Or gift them a class. Experiences create memories much better than things do.

And lastly…


One of the best gifts I got was from Bubba. For my birthday, he got short video clips from all my family and friends with sweet messages from them, put them together in one video. This was one of the best gifts I have ever gotten…and it didn't cost a thing. Focus on gifting meaningful, sentimental gifts, and it will make an impact on everything except your wallet.

So there are my best gift giving hacks! What are yours?

gift-giving hacks! tips for spending $0, saving money, and even getting PAID to shop for gifts! From

Pssst…Don't forget to enter to win $100 from me and Ebates. Happy Holidays, Freebs Nation!


  1. AvatarMegan says

    Such great ideas! I’ve been very thrifty this year with my gift giving, and I’ve loved it! It feels more meaningful somehow.
    ********I also have a tip for milk production!!! Drink a can of A&W root beer every day! Two of my sister in laws and I all swear by it! Also, Goat’s Rue is an herb that doubled my supply in a matter of days. I highly recommend both of those options!

  2. AvatarLaura says

    I’m super excited about a gift that I put together for my MIL. She lives in NY while we are here in Utah and we do a summer trip every year. I made sure to take lots of extra pictures because I knew I was going to put together a Chatbook for Christmas. It turned out amazing and all our pictures are off the phone and actually on something other than scrolling! It’s was about $20 bucks and worth way more in sentimental than the prices value. So if you haven’t checked them out – go fast! They have a discount that ends today.

  3. AvatarJackie says

    The only thing I disagree with is gift cards when doing a gift exchange. Too many people do it and then all you have done is exchange finances. If doing a gift exchange, PLEASE get a real gift. Don’t do a gift card! End of mini soap box.

  4. AvatarCamille says

    I love gift cards and gift experiences! We don’t want more stuff and would rather spend time doing something together, plus I’m a little hard to shop for- so gift cards are more than accepted!

  5. AvatarLiz says

    How to budget for birthday gifts, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day. I had basically 3 family member birthdays the same week, I was trying to used my other budget for that but it was not enough. I did not bought everything the same week, but still during the same month it was either a really cheap gift or i was totally over the budget of my other category that is $50 per week. I do not want to feel guilty for getting a cheap gift or for expending to much money. Now I am thinking about Mother’s Day and how much should I spend because I am not working and my husband is always remembering me that he is the one that is making money.

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      That’s always a tough one when holidays and birthdays fall so close together! If you’re able to, I would start a gift savings account and start budgeting for money to go into that account on a regular basis all year long. That way, when it comes time for you to buy a gift, you already have money set aside. It took us a while to get to where we could budget for those gifts on the regular. Before we were able to do that, we changed the way that we were giving gifts. Rather than buying a gift for someone, we would invite them over for dinner and make them their favorite meal and/or dessert. Spend quality time together and cook a meal for them. You were probably already going to be cooking that night, anyways, so just try to plan it so that the meal fits within your budget and you’re good!

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