Who doesn’t love a good celebration? In the U.S and around the world we like to find any reason we can to celebrate. We celebrate engagements, wedding nuptials, anniversaries, arrival of babies, christenings, birthdays, graduations, moving into a new home, retirements, mother’s, father’s, grandparents teachers, and let’s not forget about all of the holiday’s.
That’s a whole lot of celebrating!!! It’s also a whole lot of gifts. None of us likes arriving to these celebrations empty handed, so we’re forever reaching into our wallets to buy something that represents our admiration for the guest of honor. This can get very expensive, especially if you haven’t planned ahead.
If you find yourself being invited to a lot of these celebrations, read on, because there are a few secrets that will have you reaching into your wallet less often.
Start a Gift Closet
A gift closet is a space reserved in your home that is dedicated to everything about gifts; wrapping, bows, ribbons, tape, cards, gift items. If you feel like you can’t spare a whole closet, a shelf , cupboard or even a storage container will do the trick.
Why do you need a gift closet? First of all, it saves so much time. When you receive that last minute invitation, you simply have to walk to your gift closet, choose a gift and your done. Oh yea, don’t forget to wrap it, everything you need is in that same closet.
You’ll also be able to save money, a lot of money and building up a stock of gifts is cheaper than you think. Here a few frugal tips to get you started.
- Wrapping Paper – Get creative, use newspaper, maps, decorate some craft paper, use a T-shirt, or fabric, you’re only limited by your imagination. You can also find wrapping paper on sale, check out the after holiday sales, surprisingly you can find good quality paper at up to 90% off. Another option is to reuse wrapping paper.
- Gift Bags – Dollar Tree has a large selection of gift bags for just a dollar, add tissue paper and a bow and they’ll never know it came from the dollar store. If you’re feeling crafty you could try your hand at making your own gift bag, Youtube has some great tutorials to get you started. Reusing gift bags is an option also.
- Greeting Cards – In some cases cards can cost as much as the gift. Avoid paying $5+ for a card by buying them in bulk. For the crafty folks making the card yourself is always a special treat for the guest of honor.
- Gifts – Stocking a gift closet with treasures doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a few ways that I beef up my stock so that I can get the most bang for my buck.
- Shop Post Holiday Sales – You can snag some pretty good deals after the holidays on toys, decor, candles, gift sets, even wrapping paper. One thing to keep your eye out for are items that are neutral and can be a gifted any time of the year.
- Clearance Sales – The end of a season marks the start of some really great sales too. Depending on the season you can pick up gifts from a variety of departments, like home decor, bedding, clothing, baby, outdoor. Throughout the seasons you should be able to stockpile that gift closet at a fraction of the cost. Check out the mark down schedule for Target it will help locate specific clearance items.
- Closeouts – You can snag last years style/model at a deep discount. Just because a new bell or whistle has been added to a product doesn’t mean it’s any better.
- Buy in Bulk – If you find a really good deal on something don’t be afraid to grab a few. There’s no rule that says you have to give a different gift at every baby shower, birthday or wedding.
- Thrift Stores – Believe it or not you can find some pretty great (new) stuff at the thrift store. Many times, department stores will donate unsold inventory which allows you to save a bundle.
- Regifting – I know some of you are against regifting for fear of hurting someones feelings. However, I’m hear to tell you it’s not taboo, as long as you do it right. When you receive a gift that you are not going to use, tag it with the name of the person who gave it to you. By tagging it, you won’t have to worry about giving it back to the person who gave it to you and you can avoid, giving it to someone in that same circle of friends, no harm no foul. Personally I feel better about giving the gift to someone who’s going to enjoy it rather than it collecting dust.
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