There’s nothing worse, as a parent, than feeling like you’ve let your child down on a special occasion. When his or her birthday rolls around, and you have no money, you’re sure to disappoint the child while feeling bad your own self. Forget all that sadness on a special occasion like a child’s birthday! Just because you don’t have any money doesn’t mean you can’t give your child a really nice gift. Make coupons for the girl or boy and you’ll give the gift that keeps on giving!
Birthday coupons can be made as fanciful or as simplistic as you want. Create the coupons on your computer’s print program and print them out on colored or theme paper. Or, just purchase cardstock and write the details with a magic marker. Enhance the coupons with colored tape stripes, stickers or even rubber stamping images. You don’t need lots of money to create really nice coupons. Create a single coupon or even a coupon book. Date the coupons or offer them for use at any time. These choices are up to you.
Make a coupon book by printing or making a stack of coupons. Staple them together at one end or poke holes and tie them together with pieces of yarn or ribbon. Make a different coupon book by using a small photo album. Place one coupon on each page of the album and present it to the child. Another way to make an album is to use paper sleeves from cd’s. Tie or staple the sleeves together and slide one coupon into each sleeve. Instead of a coupon book you can make a single coupon that opens up to show the offerings inside. Fold a piece of paper or cardstock in half to start. Open the paper and list each item you’ve giving. Place a square beside each thing and checkmark the square when you’ve provided that particular gift. You can list one or many different gifts inside the open-up coupon. On the front of the coupon you can use markers, stickers or other craft items to create an image and lettering.
Creating something totally different by using one piece of cardstock to make the coupon. Use markers or pen to write the details of the coupon then use scissors to cut the coupon into pieces. The child must assemble the puzzle to find out what the coupon offers. If you want, you can stick the coupon to a piece of magnetic sheeting, sold at craft stores, to make a magnetic coupon for the fridge or other metallic surface.
The coupons can be for things that will require a little money later, such as a movie rental, or can be for things you don’t need to buy, such as quality time with you. A partial list of things you can offer for little money include movie or game rentals, going out for an ice cream cone, going to the mall to buy squirt guns, going out for a burger, purchasing a couple dollar’s worth of supplies at a craft store, a couple of bucks to spend at a dollar-theme store or just going out for a candy bar. Things you can offer at no cost include a trip to the park, a visit to a cost-free museum, having a friend come spend the night, his or her choice on what to have for supper, baking time with you in the kitchen, watching a movie together, a sewing lesson (if you sew), a day free of chores, or even a “servant” for the day.
Sometimes, the money you need for that special birthday present is only a few days away. In this case, make an I.O.U. for the child. It can be made similarly to the birthday coupon but is specific on what the child will receive, and when. This can be presented in a picture frame, an envelope or even just on decorated cardstock. You can even print out the I.O.U. and glue it to an old cd to give the child.
It’s usually a sad occasion when a child’s birthday rolls around and you’re financially embarrassed. You can explain the situation to a child, and even if he understands, that doesn’t mean he’ll be happy. Why let the child down when some paper and pen is all you need to present him or her with a nice gift of coupons useable in the near future? Something’s better than nothing, and with the homemade coupons, it’s actually a gift worth getting!