How to Save Money with Great Gift Ideas
Want to save $1000 this year for very little effort? Gift giving
is an area where impulse buying is a frequent occurrence. I was
amazed to discover I was spending over $1500 or more per year
for gifts. What have you spent for gifts in the last 12 months?
In my experience, gifts were last minute purchases for which
money was no object. I now spend less than $500 per year for
gifts. Take two hours of your life and save yourself $1000 or
more per year on gift giving.
Label 12 manila folders January - December. On the front of each
monthly folder, write the days of the month. Next to the
appropriate date on the folder, write in the occasion for which
a gift and/or a card will need to be purchased. Then, write the
amount of money you will spend on that gift. Inevitably, a
wedding or birthday will come up that you didn't know about, so
be sure you leave a little money left for these unexpected
The key is, don't exceed what you budgeted for each gift. For
example, for Mother's Day, I will write $15 next to the holiday.
I only allocate $400 for the known holidays and set aside $100
for the unexpected gifts such as a wedding or birth of a child.
You may find that you are unable to budget $500 a year for gift
giving. Just determine what you can afford and STICK WITH IT.
Don't deviate from your budget.
There are very real benefits to planning your gift-giving in
advance. And, with a little creativity, you can bring your
overall cost down substantially. Because you're prepared, you
can actually enjoy the holidays. You won't feel financially
strapped since you've budgeted for the gifts in advance. Since
you've anticipated the gift-giving occasion, you will
undoubtedly find the gifts on sale. It goes without saying, but
the ideas is, NEVER PAY RETAIL - EVER!
Frugal Gift Ideas
Buy gift-wrap and greeting cards on sale, or better yet, make
Shop for gifts all year long to get the best price. This may
mean you could be buying Christmas cards in January.
Plant an herb garden for a friend. And, while you're at it, make
one for yourself too.
Treat your partner/spouse to a homemade spa. Give him/her a gift
certificate announcing a full one-hour body massage and facial.
This gift is easily worth over $75!
Organize personal negatives and photographs for a friend or
family member. Create a scrapbook, photo books, or even Photo
Make some creative hand puppets for a child if you have
mismatched socks and buttons lying around your home.
Create a care package for a friend who recently got a new job.
In a box or basket put some instant coffee, tea bags, aspirin,
bandages, travel size toothpaste and toothbrush, along with a
If the friend is a female, add some trial size products such as
perfume and hair spray. If you want to increase the value of the
gift, give a portable umbrella.
Design a similar package for a recent high-school graduate
student who will be entering college. You may want to even
provide a $5 phone card instead of an umbrella.
Buy movie tickets... a gift where one size fits all. When movie
tickets are purchased in advance from movie theatres, you can
usually get them at half price!
Offer to make dinner for your friends if you're a good cook.
Give a single friend or elderly family member freshly frozen
dinners for a week.
Mail out holiday cards for an elderly family member. if you're
computer literate, put their address book into a database so the
information can easily be updated.
Make a year's worth of greeting cards and personalized
stationery for someone if you're a bit crafty.
Make enough birthday cards, anniversary cards, and blank cards
for a year's worth of holidays. The thoughtfulness will go a
long way throughout the year.
Help someone else get organized. If the person you need to give
a gift to is an entrepreneur or extremely disorganized, make a
filing system for the upcoming tax year.
Purchase gift-with-purchase cosmetic/perfume specials and split
the gifts. Usually the gift is nicely wrapped, generic, and
valuable enough to give away for an upcoming gift in your
In a drawer or closet, place the gift giving manila files, the
greeting cards, gift-wrap and purchased gifts in chronological
order. This is now your tickler file and shopping list to remind
you what holiday is coming up.