I definitely love giving gifts, even more so than receiving them. I get excited just watching people open what I have gotten them, and seeing their reaction. I really put thought into what I think people would like and listen to little queues throughout the year to determine what I should get them.
I have come up with a gifting strategy that I want to share with you that allows you to save money, prepare throughout the year, and provide thoughtful gifts to your loved ones.
Let’s start with the set-up… a while back Jon and I purchased some shelving units from IKEA to clean-up and organize the garage. We had one left over that I decided would be the perfect fit for the use of a “gift drop” location in my closet. With the shelving unit built and in place (thank you Jon 😉) it was now time to set up the rest. We have several brown grocery bags in one of our storage closets at home so I decided to re-purpose those for this project but you have several options: boxes, plastic bins, etc. I began by labeling the bags with the names of each person I would be buying gifts for and a general one with the word “friends” that I would use as a place to hold gifts for well you guessed it, our friends. With the bags labeled I put each one neatly on a shelf and they were ready to go.
Throughout the year I find little gifts here and there that I think people would like and drop them into paper bags I have labeled with their names. At the end of the year (or even for birthdays or other special occasions), I have presents for everyone and instead of spending a larger chunk of money at one time I am able to spread it out throughout the year, find great sales and save money. And a bonus is that I don’t have to deal with the stress or last minute shopping that this time of the year sometimes brings. To top that all off I don’t miss out on fun, unique finds throughout the year!
Tips and Tricks:
Make a budget and stick to it!
Keep track of the gifts you purchase by creating an Excel Spreadsheet (there are several templates available) or keeping a list.
Some of my favorite places to shop to find unique gifts are: HomeGoods, Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Hobby Lobby, etc. They always have one off items, imported items and discounted prices.
Don’t forget to check out Amazon lightning deals throughout the year for some good finds as well.
Kohls is another one of my favorite places to shop because the coupons and discounts they offer are amazing!
You’d be surprised by some of the interesting things you can find on Walmart.com. Their clearance prices are especially exceptional.
Of course you have to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales! You wouldn’t want to miss out on some of the best discounts of the year.
Use Ebates.com for all of your online shopping. You can’t beat cash back on an already discounted purchase.
Follow more tips and tricks on these blog posts I wrote all about how to save money!
Finances: Penny Pinching Series Pt. 1
Finances: Penny Pinching Series Pt. 2
Finances: Penny Pinching Series Pt. 3
Finances: Penny Pinching Series Pt. 4
Finances: Penny Pinching Series Pt. 5
I hope this was helpful and of course if you have a system that works for you or ideas you would like to share, comment below!