American’s favorite way to say “thank you,” or wish a “happy birthday,” is to send a greeting card. While a card is certainly a thoughtful and much appreciated gesture, there are also other, more creative ways to show your loved ones that you care. Here are some ideas that are just as inexpensive, or even less expensive, than purchasing a card. They will fit into a standard envelope and often cost very little extra to mail. And the best part is, they won’t immediately end up in the recycling bin.
A great option for someone who likes to cook is to send a small cookbook. At the checkout at many grocery stores, you will find small cookbook magazines with lots of great recipes and full color pictures. Or, check out the “Season’s Best” cookbooks from The Pampered Chef. These books cost just $1.25 and are perfectly sized for mailing.
An easy idea for the book lover is a bookmark. These can be found in all shapes and sizes at larger bookstores and can be matched to the specific personality of the recipient.
At your local discount store or office supply store, check out the huge array of sticky notes. Most everyone uses these either at home, the office, or both. You can often find personalized notes with initials, special shapes, and interesting colors. Choose just the right notes for just the right person.
Chocolate is another great choice. Inexpensive, yet amazingly tasty, chocolate bars are cropping up everywhere. Send a fancy choice for around $2.00 to your favorite chocoholic.
Magazines are a great choice for just about anyone, even ever hard to buy for men. Bookstores carry magazines on every subject from crafting to sports, woodworking, and sewing. Just think about what the recipient likes to do, and look for an appropriate magazine to send.
If the recipient does scrapbooking, send her a few supplies. Generic items such as letter stickers, geometric shapes, plain papers, and stencils are all easy to mail and can be applied to various scrapbooking projects.
Notepads also make great alternatives to cards. Everyone needs little notepads for grocery lists, phone messages, etc. Magnetic ones for the refrigerator are even better. Check out the stationary and office supply aisles at your local discount or drug store for a nice selection at an inexpensive cost.
Photos also make great gifts. If you have any photos of you with the person you are sending the gift to, (especially older photos the person may not be familiar with) get copies of the photos made and send them along.
There are plenty of creative, thoughtful alternatives to the common card. The next time you are out shopping look around for your options. The recipient will be impressed and thankful, and you will not have spent a single extra dime.