Creative Cash Gift: Dollar Scavenger Hunt - Unique Gifter

Creative Cash Gift: Dollar Scavenger Hunt

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[Photo – CC Attribution – Jinx!]

“If I had a dollar…”

That phrase, my friends, is the start of your super-awesome, unusual and creative way to give a cash gift!  The concept is very simple, and easy to do, but should be lots of fun and definitely memorable.  All you need to do is get a collection of dollars, totaling the amount you want to spend.  They might be coins or they might be bills, depending on where you live.

Creative Cash Gift - Dollar Scavenger Hunt
Dollar Scavenger Hunt


You will need:

  • Dollars
  • Paper
  • Pen(s)
  • Tape (optional)
  • Envelopes equal to the number of dollars (optional)

All you have to do is take your dollars and put one in each envelope.  If you have dollar coins, you could tape them to pieces of paper instead.  Next, we’ll write on a slip of paper (or the envelope, if you don’t want to reuse them).  You want each dollar to lead to the next one, so think it through a bit before you start!  Figure out your starting point.  It may be inside a coffee cup, under the Christmas tree, in a stocking, in an advent calendar, in a birthday card, next to their bed, on their windshield, anywhere you can think of really!


Here are a few examples that I would use… note that some of them *may* be passive aggressive!

“If I had a dollar for every time I had to tell you to use the garbage can.”  (Ahem, bottle caps and packaging tops do not find the garbage on their own!) This is the first one, so I would put it under the tree, or at breakfast!  The next one would be taped to the top of the garbage can.

“If I had a dollar for every time you managed an NFL team.” The next one would be inside the xbox game case.

“If I had a dollar for every worn out sock you tried to keep.”  The next one would be inside the sock drawer.

“If I had a dollar for every bottle of scotch you collected.”  The next one would be somewhere hidden in the scotch collection.

“If I had a dollar for every time you bought a manual transmission.”  The next one would be in the car.

“If I had a dollar for every time I said ‘check the alarm clock.'”  The next one would be stuck to the bottom of the alarm clock in question.

And Finally!

If I had a dollar for every time you said, “I love you,” I’d be rich!


These are just a few, very specific, examples that work if I was making this hunt for my spouse.  Obviously that only adds up to a few (7) dollars, unless there is a big pile in the final envelope.  Feel free to adapt as you see fit.  It can be fun to make them go through town, or further distances.  For example, going to our car means going all the way to the parkade.  You could send someone to a favourite coffee shop, playground, restaurant, hockey arena, etc. etc!

Obviously this gift idea is adaptable to almost any age or event!  Here are a few random ones that I brainstormed.  Please add more ideas in the comments section!

“If I had a dollar for…”

  • every time you fed (or forgot to feed!) the cat/dog/rooster.
  • every hockey/football/curling game you played.  (Stick the next one in their gear, to the upright, on a rock)
  • every cup of tea you drank.
  • every power tool you used.
  • every blanket you cuddled.
  • every time Will Ferrell says “I’m in a glass case of emotion.”
  • every beer we drank.
  • every time you pet the dog.
  • every hoodie you own.
  • every hike we went on.
  • every merry-go-round ride.
  • every juice box I drank.
  • every photo you took.
  • every ornament on the tree.  (Could take awhile to find!)
  • every lawn you mowed.
  • every banana I froze.
  • every tub of ice cream in the freezer.
  • every cupcake we baked.
  • every steak you barbecued.
  • every book you read this year.
  • every toilet handle you flushed.
  • every piece of change you put in the jar.
  • every sunburn I got.


When thinking of ideas, try to think of things that your recipient likes to do with their time, or things that everyone does!  The more outlandish, the better and the more ridiculous the clue (see “every toilet handle you flush”) the better.  This creative and unique money gift idea should keep your loved ones entertained for awhile, plus give them a story to share!  For a children’s birthday, consider starting the hunt off with the gift of a piggy bank with the first clue stuck to it.  You could also adapt this to a destination wedding gift, especially with the help of some hotel staff and several members of your group.  Make sure there is time for it and that the money doesn’t go missing, though!

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