The past months have been extra tough for most people. But, as they say, time flies fast. Very soon, 2020 will be over and hopefully, the many challenges we are facing as well. However, this year will still end with rounds of merrymakings and gift-giving. For with or without the pandemic, there’s no stopping this generous and joyous season. So if you are thinking of what to give your loved ones, you can count on frugal but thoughtful quarantine gift ideas!

Cool quarantine gift ideas for the budget-conscious

1. Something handmade

If you practice artistic skills, this is the perfect time to use it. Handmade gifts are usually appreciated because of the time and effort that were put in them. During this quarantine, it would be the perfect gift to someone you are missing a lot.

Some of the handmade gifts that you can consider for gift-giving include:

  • Paintings - this could be a work of art relaying a special message to the recipient

  • Crocheted items - there are lots of items you can work on from hair accessories to wall features like macramé

  • DIY bracelets - remember the friendship bands that used to be a trend? You can also find stores that sell materials to help start your project

  • Tie-dye shirt - this is something that you can create in batches--perfect for your group of friends


As simple as they may seem, keep in mind that they’re also a way to share a piece of yourself and make your presence felt--even from a distance.

2. Something to nurture

Have you noticed the sudden increase in the plantitos and plantitas during the quarantine period? This new breed of plant lovers may include people who are addressing their boredom, those who miss nature and want to bring it in their homes, as well as those who find satisfaction in knowing that they are able to nurture life.

As it is, plants appear to be a remedy in keeping people sane during this period of isolation. Plants make people productive in some way. They make timely and affordable quarantine gift ideas, too. For as low as ₱50.00, you can buy succulents or indoor plants. If you have already started your mini garden, you’ll even spend less!

Here are some of the most popular but affordable plants that you can score for less than ₱100:

  • Spider Plant

  • Aloe Vera

  • Snake Plant

  • Spathiphyllum

  • Peanut Plant

  • Morning Glory

3. Something useful

The last thing you’d want is for your gift to end up collecting dust in the cabinet. But, this won’t be the case if you’ll be more thoughtful when giving gifts.

Look for something that’s useful and within your budget. Consider the interests of the people who’ll receive your gifts. This is also one way of supporting their talents and skills. Worried about the price? There are lots of options to give them what they need without going beyond your budget. See the examples below:

  • A set of measuring spoons or cups for someone who’s into baking.

  • An exercise garter or a jumping rope for a fitness buff.

  • A set of guitar strings or drumsticks for the musically inclined.

4. Something you own.

Do you own things that you haven’t even used? Or maybe, you bought items that are still waiting to be unboxed at the right time? This may be the perfect time to put them to good use--in the hands of their new owner. Giving second-hand items are practical and even sentimental. It’s like choosing the right person who will inherit your belongings. You just need to find items that are in good condition. You also have to choose the ones that would fit the needs and personality of a specific recipient.  

Here are some ideas on what second-hand items would be ideal for gift-giving:

  • A shirt that you bought on sale but still haven’t found the right occasion to wear it.

  • The scented candles that you may already have too much of.

  • The extra CD you bought from a buy 1 take 1 sale  

Just wrap them up and add a personal message to add further meaning to your quarantine gift!

The gift-giving season may put a lot of pressure to people. But during a time of crisis, you might need to rethink your options and consider your budget. That doesn’t mean you’d settle for something less. In fact, it also means putting more thought and love when sending gifts.

These frugal quarantine gift ideas will ensure that cheerful thoughts are sent your loved-ones while giving you no reason to regret decisions that affect your financial standings. It will also allow you to save up for things that are more important for your future. Remember, staying within your budget is a way to live within your means.

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Brighter Life Team

The Brighter Life Team is Sun Life's very own writing team. Sharing their own experiences, goals, and ideas, the Brighter Life Team is ready to make your day brighter.