Cheap Gift Ideas for a 30th Birthday

30th birthdays call for a special celebration.
30th birthdays call for a special celebration. (Image: birthday party image by Alexey Klementiev from

The 30th birthday is a pivotal one, as the celebrant leaves behind the memories of the early adult years and transitions to the first decade that offers all the perks of adulthood from the onset. At the same time, turning 30 results in mixed feelings for some, and can create a challenge when coming up with gift ideas. With a little thought and creativity, however, a perfect gift exists for all personalities and outlooks.


Three decades of memories can easily fill a scrapbook, and a 30th birthday provides a good opportunity to look back on life from early childhood years to teenage years to early adulthood and beyond. A scrapbook as a gift is symbolic because it displays fond memories of a stage in life, with 30 being the beginning of a new adventure.

Old Time Candy

Giving candy sold while the birthday boy or girl was a child doubles both as an effective gag gift and as a lingering nostalgic look back toward youth. With a growing variety of retail stores and online businesses specializing in the sale of retro candy that disappeared from the shelves years ago, finding Candy Cigarettes, Wax Lips and Peanut Pattys made fresh from the manufacturer is easier than ever before.

Gag Gift Tattoos

For those that take a light-hearted view to turning 30, a fake tattoo can function as an amusing gag gift idea. Comedic tattoos of various subjects depicting old age in a humorous manner are available, from a pair of crossbones depicting arthritis to a set of dentures to a picture of a pillbox with a slot for each day of the week.

Thrill Gift

Not all gifts to a person turning 30 need wrapping paper. For those who seem affected by departing the comfort of the 20's and need a little cheering up, a fun activity with a little rush included helps bring some excitement to a dreaded birthday. Activities like bungee jumping, rock climbing, surfing and kayaking all offer a way to shed the negative emotions associated with reaching a new decade in age.

"30 of Something"

Celebrating birthday number 30 deserves special recognition, and giving a gift that includes 30 of a select item places extra emphasis on the number. This gift can consist of anything, ranging from pictures, flowers, cupcakes or a favorite childhood toy. Depending on the nature of the gift, it has the potential to offer a humorous, sentimental or even romantic contribution to a birthday celebration.

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