One of the BIGGEST ways to save money is to create a gift closet! This is ESSENTIAL with today’s prices of gift wrap, gift bags, and the cost of your actual gift! I made the mistake several months ago of letting my gift closet dwindle, and I ended up having to BUY a birthday gift, card, tissue paper, and gift bag for a cousin. The cost was $50!!! I about fell over when I left the store, because the cost of the gift had only been $20 or $25!!! That means that the cost of wrapping the gift and the card was like $25!!! Craziness!!!
So, what is a gift closet, you’re asking? This is basically buying items you will use for gifts when you see something on sale that you would be able to give away. For example, the days and weeks after Christmas, I scour sale and clearance racks for items that are at a discount of 75-90% that I know I can giveaway to someone. I already purchased a beautiful item at Bath&Body Works valued at over $18 for my one of my son’s teachers. However, I only spent $3.75 on the item!
The purchased items go in one of our closets, along with Dollar Store Tissue paper, gift bags, and home made cards. I NEVER buy tissue paper at full-price. The cheapest price you can find in our area is at the Dollar Tree. It is $1.00 for 20 sheets, compared to $2.99 or $3.99 at Hallmark or even Walmart! For me, being caught without Dollar Tree tissue paper is like being caught without toilet paper! I LOATHE it if I have to buy tissue paper at full price, OR gift bags for that matter! I have found the most stylish gift bags at the Dollar Tree as well!
Homemade Cards (Or cards purchased for free/cheap through the same deals I post on this blog) are the easiest way to save money. I also have my son make cards for his friends’ birthday parties instead of paying $5 or more for cards that sing or do something like light up! A hand made card from a friend can be equally as special, and we always glue a picture of my son with his friend to the front, if we have one available. These have always been a hit at parties!
Again, your gift closet should include discounted baby items, home gifts, toys, and more! Think of all the special events throughout the year, and buy when the price is low! For example, I often buy Newborn or size 1 diapers on sale with coupons for $4.00 or less! These are normally $9 0r $10 when full-price! I include these in my baby shower gifts, and spend WAY less than most people!
If you’re someone who really likes to decorate your packages with bows and other adornments, just make sure to buy them on clearance! Our local Michael’s store has clearance ribbon several times throughout the year. I have purchased ribbon for $0.10, and have saved oodles of money buy not paying full price! A gift closet is almost a necessity in these economic times! If I paid full price for gifts and all the trimmings, I wouldn’t have any budget left for groceries! LOL
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