For people like me who aren’t raking in thousands of pounds each month, it can be incredibly difficult when you want to show someone you care about them when you don’t have the money to spare. I treat my mum, dad and boyfriend on their birthdays and spoil them as much as I physically can without being unreasonable but for the rest of the year, I simply can’t afford to buy things for people on a whim or book tickets to see a show as a surprise or anything like that. It’s a shame but obviously that’s reality for a lot of people – unless you’re Zoella and have all the money in the world to spend on others without being in financial difficulties yourself (no hate towards Zoella here, I admire her greatly as an entrepreneur). 

I was thinking about this the other evening which led me to think about doing this post. Showing someone you care about them absolutely doesn’t have to mean lavish gifts, fancy meals or swanky holidays. If it does for you, that’s great. But if it doesn’t, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. We’re all different and have different financial circumstances. If you’re like me and have to focus on “the little things” then I hope you’ll find some inspiration from this post for cheap, easy or even free ways to show someone you care about them!

  1. Make them a cup of tea
  2. Write them a note / email
  3. Make a list of all the things you love about them
  4. Or create a jar where you write things you love about them and let them open it and read them at the end of the year
  5. Do something helpful for them: hoover, laundry, ironing etc.
  6. Get some books out from the library that a book lover in your life might like
  7. Make them dinner but just out of stuff you already have in the house
  8. Add some movies to their Netflix list you think they might like
  9. Give them a massage (probably only appropriate for your partner!) 
  10. Make them a scrapbook (perfect cheap Christmas present idea!)
  11. Give them a “day of nice” (I do this for my boyfriend when he’s off work sometimes by writing a list of nice things I’ll do for him on his day off which includes lots of those mentioned here!)
  12. Breakfast in bed
  13. Offer to do something for them they don’t have time for: food shop, tidying the house, mowing the lawn etc
  14. Create them a cute package of items under £1 from eBay (I recently did a stationery box swap and found lots of cute bits for really cheap on eBay!)
  15. Let them choose the movie / TV show / restaurant that evening
  16. A surprise phone call
  17. Buy them a small treat: a bunch of flowers, their favourite chocolate bar or a new book
  18. Just tell them that you’re there for them 

I also took the question to Twitter and asked what my followers personally do which is cheap, easy or free to show someone they care about them and here’s some of my favourite answers! 

“Setting a reminder in their calendar saying they’re wonderful” – @MikeHarrod89

“Finding cute/funny photos online and sending them when they’re sad or having a bad day” – @soph_cb

“Taking the effort to reply to tweets and retweeting blog posts and shop links too” – @fromfiona_

“Make them origami things; sometimes out of junk mail and catalogues but sometimes out of fancy paper” – @Saffy

“I love baking for people I love” – @tishylou

“I send my sister postcards with cute designs and a lil pick me up message written on the back” – @stephhartley4

I’d love to hear what you do which is easy, cheap or free to show someone you love that you care about them! No matter how cute, strange or funny it may be!


  1. This is such a cute post and very true. Persinally I think little things are more important than gifts. A meal together, a book share, a funny meme, they can all be pretty thoughtful ways to show you are thinking of someone. Never underestimate the power of a randomly offered brew! Great post 🙂

    Thanks Jen xxx

  2. This is so cute – a cup of tea is always the way to my heart! I think a phone call can make all the difference too. Oh and giving people surprise hugs as often as I can! xx

  3. This is such a cute post full of such lovely ideas. Honestly I actually genuinely prefer things like a meaningful letter or email than having money spent on me. I definitely need to do a few more things like this for my husband though so thank you for the ideas!
    Beth x

  4. Such a lovely post Jenny!! I do a majority of these things out of habit for the hubs. But the most important one he does for me is leaving me in bed on his day off haha xxxxxxx

  5. I love this list so much! It’s so hard to always show people you love but making them a cup of tea or even just making some time for them can be the best x

    Kayleigh Zara 🌿

  6. These are such thoughtful ideas! I live leaving little notes for my boyfriend around the house or even just a simple text telling someone you’re thinking of them is such a lovely idea xx

  7. I loved this post, theres so many ways to show someone you love them or care for them. Simple things like little favours, such as cups of teas (like you mentioned) and other small gestures. Also really appreciate you putting the surprise phone call one in there… I love ringing my friends through my bluetooth when I’m driving and just speaking to them for hours and catching up about life. Great post and you’ve definitely inspired me to do more for the ones I love and care about xxx

  8. Aw Jenny what a lovely idea for a post, I love doing free things that show someone you care and loved the reminder on their calendar idea. Xx

  9. What great ideas! I love sending my family members, who live quite a way away, a little postcard or card in the mail with a nice message. Or, if I’m seeing them in person, buying them a small bouquet of flowers from Tesco/Sainsbury’s/Asda etc. They don’t have to be expensive, but they always appreciate it!

  10. I love this post, so many cute ideas! I love making tea and doing little things for my mum! I love buying little gifts, like £1 sweets and chocolate! xox

  11. I often make tea for my mum when she seems floopy and since tea is like 50% of her body she really does appreciate it hehe. I like that suggestion about setting a calendar reminder on the person’s phone, very sweet!

  12. This is such a lovely list, Jenny! I agree that it can sometimes be difficult to think of ways to spoil your loved ones that don’t involve spending loads of money, so this list is incredibly useful! Making a scrapbook is such a cute idea, it’s a gift that’s guaranteed to be unique to them and will bring back lovely memories of time spent together! Such a heartwarming post, thank you for sharing!

    Abbey 💗

  13. I do really like this post, Jenny. You’re so right, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to show someone how much you care and how much they mean to you. Making a cup of tea, getting a book I think they’d like, and, my personal favourite, writing a little note and putting it into a book, which they might find some days, weeks, or even months later. Flora found a note in one of her books last week (I’d written it last year!) and she was so happy. Love this post! X

    Lisa |

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