• Ellen Vining

low-cost ways to make someone's day.

If you're anything like me, you love to surprise your friends and family with small presents when they least expect it. People don't expect nice things unless there's an occasion for it, which is why surprises can bring the biggest joy. However, I get very carried away with buying other people small gifts, so I have collated a low-cost list of ways to surprise your friends and family that have just as much love put in.

send a letter.

Most of us receive letters in the post from banks and insurance companies (unless it's your birthday, Christmas or other holidays.) Writing a letter to your loved ones is a guaranteed way to put a smile on their face and costs under £3 to send a large letter, which you can fill with other goodies such as a mini Haribo Starmix bag for 10p. Most of us do not expect letters in the post from anyone, so this small gesture is highly likely to make someone's day.


printed photos.

You must have seen the instant photo printing you can get at shops like Asda, Timpson's and Boots. These cost around 55p per photo and can go down in price if you're willing to wait a few days! You can include these in your letter or purchase a low-cost frame from most supermarkets to add a special touch. Online services can lower cost, too, with websites such as free prints offering 50 free prints every month by just paying £1.50 for delivery.


a flower.

Although a big bouquet is lovely if you're looking for a smaller gift, you can purchase singular flowers, such as a rose, from the florists for £2-£3. The florists will also wrap it up in nice paper for you. Alternatively, you can check for clearance bouquets at supermarkets in the evening. I have bought several which were still in perfect condition to give to friends as a small pick-me-up.


small bottles of wine.

You can get small bottles of fancy wine for £2-4. Although this isn't the big real deal, a picnic-sized bottle makes for a great surprise glass of your friends' favourite tipple.


lottery tickets.

What's more exciting than a glimpse of fortune? Or winning a fiver? A lottery ticket is a nice small surprise for a friend because it shows you want to give them everything! A small gesture that can go a long way and can provoke lots of excitement.


saying thank you.

Saying thank you is sometimes all someone needs to hear. Thank you for being there, thank you for listening to me and being a friend, thank you for simply being born. A sincere thank you is often the greatest way to make someone's day. I've been reading the book 'Good Vibes, Good Life' by Vex King recently; he says, "You can't feel joy without being thankful; being thankful is a vital component of happiness." Not only can we make someone else's day but also dramatically improve our own lives if we keep expressing gratitude towards those whom we love.


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