Money-Saving Monday: Good gifts

I love giving gifts. It's quite fun to pick out presents for bridal showers and baby showers (really, what better excuse to look through teeny tiny clothes and find the cutest ones and ooh and ahh), discovering stuff for birthday gifts, and thinking about what I should get the person I randomly chose in the family Christmas gift exchange.

But let's face it: Gifts can add up.

As usual, I'd love to hear your ideas for saving on meaningful gifts. Here are some of mine:

  • Shop all year. As I find quality clearance items in online and brick-and-mortar stores, I purchase them. For example, I take advantage of Black Friday sales. In 2009, I only made it to a couple stores' sales, but I scooped up Christmas gifts for my son and gift exchange person, a birthday gift for my father-in-law, and a Father's Day gift for my dad—all great deals. My husband chuckles that I purchase gifts so early, but why not? It saves not only money but also later time and the stress of finding a suitable present.
    Some items that I purchase are more generic, which I use for prizes at parties or hostess gifts or something similar. Some are just perfect for a particular person, and I tuck them away for that individual's birthday or other special occasion, even if it's months away. If online, I purchase several gifts at once so I have the minimum purchase amount for free shipping (for stores that offer such deals).
  • Ship in a suitcase: I only visit my far-away family a couple of times a year, but when I do, I try to bring with me gifts for the next several months' birthdays and celebrations. This saves me shipping costs and no doubt the gifts are a little prettier since I bring wrapping supplies with me and put the presents together there.
  • Offer your talent: It's true that the most meaningful gifts come from the heart. Use your talent to offer a loving gift or a thoughtful act of service.
    I'm not too crafty, but it's fun to make my own greeting cards on occasion, which save a little and seem more personal. I've also made people small photo albums of memories and written and framed poems.
    A few years ago, I purchased a frame with three photo openings to give my dad for Father's Day. On one side, I inserted a picture of my little-girl self with my dad; on the opposite was a picture of the two of us walking down the aisle on my wedding day. The center photo opening held a poem of gratitude that described our close relationship through the years.
  • Recycle: You might think this is terribly tacky, but I know I am not alone: I re-use gift bags and tissue paper that are in good condition. I think I'm set for life for baby gift bags after many generous people gave me beautifully wrapped presents in anticipation of Jack's birth.
    I admit I have on occasion also recycled gift cards. If I receive a gift card I am not particularly excited about using for myself, I use it to purchase a gift for someone else.

1 comment:

Glenda said...

I love fabric and buy it when it goes on sale. That way i can make baby shower gifts and gifts for family and friends all year long.

I do black Friday every year with my mom and love it so much fun, but i never stop to think about getting gifts other then Christmas gifts great idea- i will have to do that this years. thanks

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