Love & sex

10 gifts for your partner cheap enough for you not to resent having given it to them when you break up

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What do you get for your partner of three months when you want to demonstrate your affection but have also sensibly set yourself a reasonable budget in preparation for a potential break up? We thought we’d help you out with a ‘how to’ for when you’re both a romantic and financial cheapskate. Here are our top ten picks:

A photo album

A collection of your photographs with your now ex-partner is something you definitely will not want back. Top tip: why not buy the album at a charity shop and help those in need while you scrimp? Someone should get some joy from this.

A re-gift

Q: What was it that your aunt gave your dad last Christmas that he never opened?
A: An ideal birthday present for your transitionary boyfriend.

A handmade gift

Handmade gifts are easy on the wallet, but beware of crafting it too well. You want that fucker to fall apart before they can use it as a conversation starter six months post-breakup when they haven’t binned it, even though you’ve binned them.

An edible gift

We can’t recommend food-based gifts enough. Single-use presents are your friend.

A pen

Classic. A nice pen. Gifting a pen will leave your conscience clear. Relatively inexpensive but classy – a useful gift – but not the kind of gift you’ll hanker after in your cold, newly-single nights.

A book (but not a CD)

A book is a good way to go, but a CD is off limits. CDs have music on them. The kind of music you’ll hear in random public spaces and will consequently force you down memory lane like an aggressive bouncer-manifestation of Seal’s Kiss from a Rose. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown is rarely flung at you in the aisles at Tesco.


Enjoy it while it lasts – not everything gets better with age.


Socks are the perfect choice if you’re going to go with clothing for a present. What you don’t want to do is buy them substantial, visible clothing which will make them more attractive to other people once you’re out of the picture.

A puzzle

Ideally of a landscape. Landscapes won’t come back to haunt you.

The IOU for an outing you may never have to take

An IOU can be beautifully penned, decorated, and wrapped. It still doesn’t mean that you actually have to take that trip abroad. You don’t owe them anything.

Verity Babbs

Verity Babbs is a stand-up, sketch and improvised comedian with the Oxford Revue and Oxford Imps. Her performance mostly involves sticking ham to herself and declaring that she is “Hamlips, Prince of Denmark”.