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7 Thoughtful Gifts To Give Someone You Just Started Dating (That Cost Little-to-No Money)

So, here’s the scenario: you just started dating someone new and now it’s the holidays. You want to get your new boo something to show that you care, but you also don’t want to go overboard and potentially scare them off with a pricey gift.

If you want to keep things low-key but still let the other person know that you’re thinking about them, here are a few thoughtful gift ideas that cost little to no money and are perfect for the person that you just started dating.

  1. A home-cooked meal.

In the age of take-out and frozen entrees, who doesn’t enjoy a home-cooked meal made from the heart? Make something simple and tasty that you know they’ll enjoy, light a few candles and even throw a seasonal beverage into the mix for a cute but lowkey holiday celebration. If your date is super busy with work or finals, offer to bring the meal to them. Note: if your cooking skills haven’t advanced beyond microwaving a package of ramen in a bowl of water, you might want to forgo this option.

  1. Baked goods.

Looking for something sweet but relatively non-committal? You can’t go wrong with some homemade baked goods. Extra points if you manage to include a favorite treat (for example, your date’s life-long love of Snickerdoodles). Pro tip: make sure you take into account any dietary restrictions. In other words, now is the perfect time to bust out that paleo friendly banana cookie recipe.

  1. A tin of their favorite snack.

Maybe your date is always talking about how much they love Hot Cheetos or has mentioned a particular affinity for animal crackers. Show them that you’ve been paying attention and gift them a festive tin full of their favorite snack. “I hate it when people bring me my favorite snacks” – said no one ever.

  1. A bottle of wine or their favorite brew.

In case it wasn’t obvious yet, if you’re not sure yet where you stand with someone relationship-wise, consumable gifts are always a great option. Pick up a bottle of your date’s favorite wine or craft beer and include an invitation to share it together.

  1. Something that pays homage to an inside joke.

Similar to gifting their favorite snack food, show your date that you’ve been paying attention by picking up a small item that reminds you of an inside joke you share. (FYI, this is how I ended up gifting my ex a giant roll of bubble wrap — and yes, he loved it).

  1. A handwritten note or card.

Kick it old school with a thoughtful handwritten note or card that lets your date know exactly how you feel about them.

  1. A photo ornament.

If you’re already racking up quite the selfie collection together, print one of them out and turn it into a commemorative photo ornament (you can easily purchase the supplies at your local craft store for a couple of bucks). If your date is a total Instagram addict and/or camera ham, this is the perfect way to honor an aspect of their personality while creating an adorable memento of your time together.


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