Whether money is tight, I want to give something personal, or I just prefer to give my time and energy rather than spending money on “stuff,” sometimes giving a homemade coupon is just the ticket. But it’s also easy to fall into a “coupon rut.” Sometimes offering to do the dishes for a week, or wash the car, just doesn’t whip me into a frenzy of holiday excitement. I needed some creative coupon ideas!
I sat down to think about what I would love to give and receive, and polled my friends. Turns out, in my age-and-stage-of-life group, a lot of people do want their dishes done… but I collected some other great ideas (cleaning related or otherwise) as well!
Here are 16 creative coupon ideas for the holidays:
Book reading: Volunteer to read a book out loud to someone who loves being read to.
Yes, Dear: A coupon your spouse can redeem when they ask you to do or agree to something you usually grumble about.
Get out of jail free: A “get out of the doghouse” coupon for the next time the receiver pulls a boneheaded move.
Wrapper extraordinaire: Wrap their holiday presents the following year, or give the coupon early for this year’s wrapping.
Foodie services: Aside from the obvious “cooking a fancy meal,” you could also offer a week of menu planning, grocery shopping, or lunch-making.
Baker’s dozen: Homemade pie or batch of cookies. If you’re feeling really generous, make it a “pie a month” coupon!
Babysitting: Offer to watch the kids so a parent or couple can go out. Even better, offer to take the kids out so the parents or your spouse can stay home in their jammies and do nothing!!
Chuck-E-Cheese: Related to babysitting, but this coupon offers to take kids out to a place the kids are excited about that their parents may have grown weary of. Think zoo, play gym, mall, toy store, or a certain restaurant with a giant mouse and lots of flashing lights.
Pet-sitting or house-sitting: A great idea for people who may have trouble getting out of town because of the stress or cost of having someone look after things while they are gone.
1-800-GOT-JUNK: Offer to help organize a room, go through an attic, or make trips to Goodwill to help the receiver start the new year fresh.
Taxes: If you’re financially organized, make a coupon to help the receiver get their receipts and records organized in January, in plenty of time for them to get their taxes done stress-free.
(Literal) remote control: Better than just picking the movie for the evening, give the recipient control of the remote for a week or a month. Or, if you and your partner/spouse have a long list of shows in your queue, let them choose which show to watch next.
Errand boy: A day of running annoying errands, like going to the post office, returning items, picking up kids from school, or trekking to an obscure store that carries a hard-to-find item the recipient needs.
Spring cleaning: Serious cleaning was a popular reply amongst my friends. The dirty, grimy, or just obnoxious stuff that’s just not in your weekly rotation, like cleaning out a fireplace, washing baseboards or windows, or dusting fans and blinds.
Diaper duty: For a co-parent, a coupon that can be cashed in for a full week of diaper duty, bedtime duty, or toy pick-up.
Fill in the blank: If you’re brave, give a blank coupon for the recipient to fill in something they’d really like for you to do. You may want to put some fine print on this one!
What coupons would you like to give or receive?