Whether your bestie is dealing with a mean boss, a bad breakup, or just feels stuck in a rut, showing your friend that you care about what she’s going through will help make her day so much better. And while texts with the kissy-face emoji are always appreciated, these moves are a way to level up and really show a pal that you’ve got her back. Plus, it’ll make you feel pretty good too. Here, 23 ways to make your friend feel amazing for just a few bucks.
1) Send a gift card to her fave coffee shop. You don’t even need to buy a physical card — a virtual one is a super-simple way to say ILY.
2) Send her a book. A used book can often cost $1 on Amazon or at a used bookstore. A kid favorite like Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Doctor Seuss or The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein will make her remember to slow down and not get so caught up in adult nonsense.
3) Buy a physical greeting card (remember those?), add a funny saying, drawing, or even just a big “I LOVE YOU” and then stamp it and put it in the mail.
4) Buy them $5 worth of their favorite candy, and wrap it up in cellophane.
5) Donate $5 to her favorite charity, or one that you know will make her smile (Sloth Sanctuary, anyone?) and forward her the receipt.
6) Buy a pint of ice cream and bring it over to her house. (If you live far, have her neighbor or favorite coworker deliver it for you.)
7) Buy a box of 64-colored crayons. They made you happy when you were 3, and they’ll make you happy when you’re 28, too.
8) Write her a poem. Uninspired? Use Fiverrr.com and hire a freelancer to write her a poem.
9) Buy an inexpensive frame and print out a cool Insta from her feed.
10) Make her spa-style fancy water — buy some water bottles, put cut up fruit inside, and deliver to her door.
11) Venmo her $5 with a mysterious chain of emojis:🌵🦄🐥. Why not? It’ll make her smile — and intrigue other people.
12) Join her for a DIY yoga class. Find a park with WiFi, stream a class on YouTube, and get your zen on together.
13) Lip Smackers lip gloss never gets old. The more glittery, the better.
14) Head to a “pay what you wish” museum and try to find each other’s art doppelgangers.
15) Call her mom for her. Chances are, her mom would be just as psyched to hear from you as from her — and it lets her off the hook for a bit.
16) Buy a piece of fresh fruit — the more exotic, the better. A single dragonfruit tied up in a bow can put anyone in a good mood. Rule of thumb: The more fun the fruit (or veggie) is to say, the more fun it is to eat.
17) Get $5 in quarters so they’ve got an easily accessible vending machine cash stash.
18) Buy 5 postcards and write an ongoing story that stars your friend. Place them in various hiding places for a scavenger-hunt style story. Or just send them at different points.
19) Buy an inexpensive bottle of nail polish and give her a manicure.
20) Do a photo shoot for her, taking pics at the best angles, even if you don’t consider yourself a “good” photographer. Having photos without that awkward streak of an arm in the pic always beats selfies.
21) Comment on every single one of her IG posts since 2015.
22) Buy her a song on iTunes and send it to her account. Pick something that will remind her of a happy time you had together.
23) If she brings lunch to work, pack her one that’s a major upgrade to the usual turkey on white.