Ten creative ways to say thank you on a budget.


Using a bit of imagination and a play on words, you can show your appreciation and thanks without spending a fortune.

It’s often said that it’s the thought that counts. We beg to differ. It’s gratitude that counts.

So say thank you and show your appreciation in actions as well as in thoughts.

Here’s our top ten creative ways to help you say thank you, without breaking the bank.

Each comprises of a suggested note and a recommended gift, some of which you can create, hand make, re/upcycle or buy for very little outlay.

1. “Thank you for all that you’ve done to help me recently, you’re a star.”

Home bake some star shaped short breads or cookies or make a delicious jelly in a star shaped mould. Go one stage further and present them in a star shaped box.

 2. “A big thanks for entertaining the kids – they tell me you’re nuts. They loved your impressions.”

Put together a selection of different, sweet and savoury coated nuts in a box covered in smiley faced gift wrap. Best check if they’re allergic to nuts first!

3. “Thank you for saving my bacon yesterday!”

Why not buy them a bacon butty the next time you see them or whisk them off for a breakfast treat. You might want to check if they’re vegetarian and if they are, there’s some great, vegetarian/vegan friendly alternatives to bacon to eat in or take away.

4. “Thank you for being my rock – I couldn’t do it without you.”


This is a perfect note to accompany a gift of their favourite sweets and seaside rock. Recycle jars that you’ve emptied of sauce or jam and fill them with their favourite candy treats. Go that extra mile and make a lasting impression by adding ribbon and labels to each jar.

5. “I had a fantastic holiday/time – thank you for being such good company.”

Send with this note the best cocktail, cocktail ingredients or bottle of wine you enjoyed together, recreate that snack you both savoured every day, or draw a scene of your favourite holiday memory on a card.

6. “Thank you for my surprise - I’m so egg-xited to be going with you.”

A chocolate egg (or two, or three…) will go nicely with this note. If you want to make your own, carefully empty the contents of a real egg and fill it full of chocolate. Once set, break the shell off and wrap it in tissue or the paper of your choice.

7. “Thanks for cooking dinner – the food was superb and I haven’t laughed that much in ages.”

Anything of comedy value would make a great gift in this instance, like a joke book, joke t-shirt or set of false moustaches, (especially if they have one of their own).

If you’re good with words, why not create a funny rhyme about the evening or about something harmless or embarrassing that was revealed.  

You could take a funny quote from the night - such as “you remind me of a flamingo!” and turn it in to a mug, or write it on a mirror and give it to them.

Or you could choose to recognise good food and great company by gifting something food related, like comedy salt and pepper pots or an apron that’s a Santa outfit. You could decorate a wooden spoon with a face and add a message to the rear like “nom nom nom.”


You could always have lots of passport sized photos taken of you pulling funny faces!

8. “Thank you for stepping in at the last minute – you’re a life saver.” 

You could either send them an inflatable rubber ring or emergency whistle, to represent ‘life saving’ or a new pair of shoes or trainers because they 'stepped in' to help you out.

9. “Thank you for your time – now it’s time for me to say thank you.”

Use numbers and focus on a time theme by creating an invitation to meet at a certain time and place, e.g. 9am on the 9th of September (to make it memorable) and show your gratitude with an ice cream treat, coffee or dessert.

Invite them to enjoy ‘elevenses’ with you at break time and organise coffee, cake and chat as their treat. Write thank you in eleven different ways on a card and present it to them.

Ask them to spare you a few hours and invite them to share your favourite walk, view or a journey that you know they’ll also appreciate.

Or gift a treat that lasts for a certain length of time e.g., a bath bomb that lasts for 30 minutes of bliss or a 20 minutes head massage which you can administer.

10. “Thank you for your advice – it helped me to avoid making a BIG mistake.”

Choose a supersize gift to go with this thank you note but remember to stick to your budget. Our suggestions to make a big impression are:

Create their favourite biscuit but super-size it e.g., bake and build a big bourbon cream, jammy dodger or custard cream.

A big inflatable balloon – choose a shape like a heart or item that’s meaningful to them.


Plant a seed for them that will grow into something bigger and beautiful – like their favourite flower, plant, or edible.

Or think clever and create or buy a small item that will add to their favourite collection of things.


Now that your creative juices are flowing, can you think of other creative ways to say thank you on a budget?

Thank you for your time!