Create a budget - I make a list of all the people that I am going to need to buy for during the year (birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas) and try to create a rough budget for how much money we are going to spend on all of these gifts.
Gift Closet/Nook - I am always on the look out in the clearance aisles and sale sections for items which I can tuck away in my gift closet. Some of my favorite things to pick up are things like games and small candle sets. The things that usually catch me off guard are birthday invitations or new neighbors who move into the neighborhood. Having items in my gift closet helps me to be prepared. Be way to stock our closet is at sales, after holiday sales and even yard sales (I have found plenty of unopened items).
Gift List - On the door of my gift closet, I keep a list of all the gifts I expect to buy this year. When I have made a purchase I write down what I have purchased. If it is something for the boys I just place a check mark.
Check out the Checkout - Stores typically put a lot of great deals around the check out counter.
Buy Bulk - If you find a great deal, consider buying several. Will you be giving the same gift to a lot of people? Sure. But is there anything wrong with that?
Share - Want to buy something a little more expensive? Consider sharing the cost with someone. Chipping in our money has allowed my sisters and I to buy some nicer gifts for our parents.
Consider Making Gifts Baskets (Here are just a few ideas):
- Favorite Things Basket - One year I collected items that were my favorites (coffee, books, a condiment bowl, etc...) and made a basket out of the items as a gift. Because these things were my favorites I knew when they were on sale which made it possible for me to give a personalized gift at a reasonable price.
- Movie Basket - Movie Rental Card, Popcorn, Bottles of Soda, and boxes of movie candy from Dollar Store
- Princess Basket - Princess Night Light, Princess Crayons, Mirror, Brush and Hair Band Set, Princess Necklace, Jump Rope, Shampoo, Conditioner, Hand Sanitizer and a Scented Pink Candle.
- Snack Basket (Great to send Hubs at work!) 2 cokes, 2 small Rold Gold Pretzels, Nacho Cheese Dip, Hot Bean Dip, Planters Peanuts, Single Serve Oreos, Microwave Popcorn, Peanut M&M's, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Nestle Crunch Bar, Skittles all in a basket.
- Get Well Basket - Plush Toy, Green Tea, Sunkist Fruit Gels, Get Well Gummi Aides, Fig Newton Cookies, Healthy Traditions Granola Bars, Ritz Peanut Butter Crackers and Word Search Puzzle Book all in a Gift Box.
- Garden Basket - Decorative Gardening Gloves, Decorative Gardening Tool, Instant Ice Tea, Hand Lotion, 2 oz. Crunchy Caramel Corn, Berts Bees Lip Balm, Chocolate chip cookies, 3 Seed Packs all in a Water Can.
Don't Wait To The Last Minute - This is probably the worst problem with gift giving. When you wait to the last minute then you get frustrated and you get stressed. That leads to impulse buying and over spending in your budget.
Personally, I hate crowds. If I don't have my Christmas bought by Thanksgiving I feel out of sorts. With a plan, my gift closet will be overflowing and I will be able to enjoy baking Christmas cookies and hot chocolate!