In case you are uncertain about something, you can always go up to someone close to the friend for whom you are looking for a gift, and get rid of your dilemmas.
Once you are sure that you have done your homework, you can go ahead with the task of deciding what to buy for that special friend. There are a variety of cheap gifts for friends ranging from the ones you can make all by yourself to the ones you can buy from the market. The former option is always a better choice for someone you have known for a long time, while the latter is a good option for friends you have recently made and do not know much about.
If you are gifted painter or artist, you might as well make a painting for your friend and incorporate all his favorite colors as well as themes such landscapes or flowers. You could also make a personalized card which will make him feel all the more special. It surely will be one of the most heart rending gifts you could ever give to your friend, and would make him feel truly special.
You could also make use of your talents & skills in macramé & knitting to make beautiful friendship bands, belts, stoles, sweaters or even bags for your friends. Also, if you are adept at the skill of candle making, you can easily make a lovely gift comprising of exotically designed candles for your friends. These cheap gifts for friends would not impose a big burden on your pockets and can be ideally used to strengthen the bond shared by you and your friend.