Are you trying earnestly to save money and just needs some tips along the way? While this is not a comprehensive, fix-all post for all your gift giving needs, these are some practical ways to help your dollars go a little farther.
My heart is totally there – I’d LOVE to give my family and friends ANYTHING they want. Seriously. I aim to please, what can I say? But while my heart is there, my money is not there. (Trust me, I’ve looked.) So this post may fall more into the category of “you gotta do what you gotta do” than “these are the best shopping tips for gifts I’ve ever seen!” Or better yet, maybe this would fit better in the category of “first world problems.” At any rate, may they help you along your frugal way!
1. Shop clearance and major sales – depending on how much of a shopper you are, this make take some time and patience. I might not shop as often as other women, but I do frequent clearance sections pretty much everywhere I go! If you have the storage space, you can shop after certain seasons (like Christmas) and hold on to your gifts till next year. I’ve found $5-$7 Old Navy polos in spring and saved them for birthdays or Fathers Day a few months later. (Sorry, Dad, now you know!) I’ve found some great Black Friday deals (like $10 crockpots) that made for some good wedding gifts. Like I said, it takes some time and patience sonetimes, but the savings is worth it!
2. Regift thoughtfully – this is the thing that so many people do and so few people admit to! Okay, so you have to admit that sometimes you receive a gift that is just not you. It was kind, generous, expensive, beautiful…whatever it was, it just wasn’t you. Take those opportunities to save some money down the road. Think of who that gift would be a great fit for and plan to give it to them on their next birthday or at Christmas, whichever comes sooner.
I was once given some jewelry, and while I’m grateful for it and appreciate being thought of, it was definitely not my taste. But I knew someone who would wear that jewelry so well (oh and it’s important to note that the person who gave it to me and the person I was planning to give it to did not and most likely will never know each other). So after holding on to the jewelry for a couple months, I gave it to this other friend for her birthday, and she loved it!! I’ve seen her wear it a few times which makes me so happy :). If you don’t regift it, it’s likely a waste. As long as you’re thoughtful about it, why not regift?
3. DIY gifts – this is my favorite. A homemade gift usually means so much more to the recipient than something you bought. (It all started as a kid when I would give my mom coupons for free foot massages or breakfast in bed… ) But seriously, when I know someone put their precious time and energy into something, it usually means much more to me than money or store bought gifts. Some gift ideas that don’t break the bank but don’t require sowing or ludicrous amounts of time include bath salts, sugar scrubs, baked goods (already baked or ingredients in a cute jar).
Tip: Here are 51 ideas for some awesome gifts in a jar.