Buying wedding gifts can be a considerable expense especially if you are attending multiple weddings this year. Even though you may be on a budget, you can show your congratulations to the newlyweds while still being able to meet your financial goals.
Here are five ways to give a great gift to the newlyweds without going broke:
Use Airline Miles, Hotel Points or Credit Card Rewards Points
Gail Johnson with Gail Johnson Weddings & Events recommends using rewards points to purchase a gift. “Most people earn reward points from airlines, credit cards or work. It is like free money, you never really miss out of your pocket. You can cash in your reward points to purchase gift cards or items from the couple’s registry,” said Johnson.
If you are a frequent traveler, another option is to gift enough frequent flier miles to the couple for two round trip airline tickets to the destination of their choice. You could also use hotel rewards points to give the bride and groom the gift of a few nights at a hotel. Be sure to talk with the couple before giving travel gifts to make sure that the gift works for their travel style and upcoming plans.
Find Coupons or Discounted Gift Cards
Find out where the happy couple is registered and then be on the lookout for coupons for those stores. You can often find the best deals by beginning your search in advance and checking for deals at multiple stores. Search online for the name of the store and “Coupon” or “Promo Code” to find current deals.
“Many brides and grooms register for gifts from stores like Target, Macy’s and Bed, Bath &Beyond where coupons are regularly available,” said Andrea Woroch, consumer and money-saving expert at Kinoli, Inc. She recently found a $20 off coupon for Macy’s at CouponSherpa.com and often finds 5 off $50 plus free shipping for Target from FreeShipping.org.
Another option is to buy an unused gift card at a discounted price through a reputable website, such as Gift Card Granny or Plastic Jungle. You can then use the gift card or coupon to purchase an item from the couple’s registry and the couple will never know that you didn’t pay full price.
Let the Newlyweds Use Your Time Share or Vacation Home
Do you own a lake house or do your parents have a beach property that you can use? Maybe you even bought a timeshare years ago that are rarely take advantage of? Or do you live out of town in a desirable vacation location?
Ask yourself if the newlyweds would enjoy the mini-vacation and if it is an experience that they wouldn’t regularly be able to have. If so, consider giving them the gift of using the property for a long weekend or week as a wedding gift. To make the gift more personal, create a certificate for the vacation and a list of fun things to do in the area. You can even put together a gift basket with related items, such as a beach blanket, board games and margarita mix.
Give Your Talents
Think about your talents and skills and see what services you could provide the newlyweds. “Paint a painting for their new home, offer your make up or hair artistry skills to the bride, bake a wedding cake or build them a piece of furniture for their home,” said Woroch.
An interior decorator or construction professional could offer to help the couple get their new home move in ready. Professional chefs could give the gift of home-cooked and delivered dinners when they return from their honeymoon while landscape professionals could give lawn care services. If you are a lawyer, you could even offer to draw up their wills for free. Be sure that you are offering services that you professionally qualified in and that would be considered as a gift to the couple.
Pass Down a Family Heirloom
Another idea that Johnson recommends is passing down family china, silver or jewelry. “There is no money out of pocket and the items hold sentimental value and sometimes are priceless and irreplaceable,” said Johnson. This gift is even more meaningful for family members, such as giving your cousin your grandmother’s candlesticks that they always admired or passing on a family ring to your niece. Make sure that you are not simply passing down junk or castoffs to the couple, but that the gift is something that they will treasure and appreciate.