Birthdays. December holidays. Get well wishes. There are many occasions throughout the year it’s customary (and fun!) to give gifts. The only drawback? Gift giving can get expensive.
Here are easy ways on how to save money giving gifts.
Purchase Gifts At Least a Few Weeks Early
Your mom’s birthday might be a month away, but you should buy her gift early to save money. That way, if there’s a sale item that has to be shipped from another store, it’s okay if it takes 3 weeks to come in.
Buy in Bulk
Whenever possible, save money by buying gifts in bulk. For example, if there’s a sale on Ghirardelli chocolates or football fan gear your friends and family would love – do it! Trust me, you’ll end up using them.
Go DIY: Make Gifts
Let’s be real though, buying gifts can cost a lot – even with good deals. There are so many awesome things you can make DIY for little money. Making gifts also allows you to customize them too, so they’re far more personal to your receiver. For example: bake their favorite type of cookies, make luggage tags for someone who loves to travel, create a Sharpie mug (yep, that’s designing a mug…with nothing but a Sharpie you probably already own) or peppermint bark you can make at home.
Nazia from Peanut Butter Cookies by Your Sunny Side Up
Make Gifts in Bulk
Make gifts in bulk, such as the peppermint bark described above or the basket idea in the section below. This saves time and money gifting.
Put Together Themed Baskets
Make themed gift baskets, such as ones all about cooking, gardening or playing baseball. A basket could include a subscription to a related magazine, food item (like chocolate covered pretzels) and pair of silly socks that match the theme. Thoughtful, not expensive.
(As suggested in the previous section, buy 10 baskets at once, such as at the Dollar Store, so you have them on hand.)
Nazia from Chocolate Dough Whisky Your Sunny Side Up
Don’t Buy Gift Cards at Full Price
Don’t buy gift cards straight from retailers. Instead, purchase them from sites like Cardpool or Gift Card Granny. On these platforms, you can buy gift cards for cheaper rates, such as paying $75 for a $90 gift card to a restaurant. You can also sell gift cards. (Perhaps you were gifted one last year for a store you’ll never go to!)
Go on and see what’s available now. If there are gift cards for places you, your family and your friends love at a good price, don’t wait. Buy them now, in bulk if possible. You’ll save money (and stress) in the long run by having them on hand.
Set a Holiday Budget
Especially around Thanksgiving and December, it’s easy to go into fast spending mode. So you don’t spend $50 extra on that bottle of wine for your neighbor, set a budget at the very beginning of the holiday seasons. From there, break down how much you can reasonably spend on each family member, friend, colleague, etc.
Suggest Secret Santas at Holiday Time
I can guarantee you are not the only person concerned about money spending during the December holidays. Your family and friends may well be thinking the same thing. Save money on gifts and gifting by suggesting a Secret Santa in which each person draws someone else and simply gives one gift. This puts a lot more focus into just one item, often making it far more special and awesome.
How to Gift Party Hosts
Bake or cook your loved specialty instead of bringing a fancy bouquet of flowers or an Edible Arrangement. It’s an easy way to save money on gift giving.
Nazia from Chocolate Cupcakes of Your Sunny Side Up
Group Gift Giving into Tiers
It’s easy to decide what to give to each person or group, if you go in with a game plan. Do so by dividing people into tiers:
- Tier 1: Family & Close Individual Friends
Set aside a specific budget for each of these people. You know them well and probably want to give them something special, whether made or bought.
- Tier 2: Family Friends & Friend Groups
Give group gifts rather than individual items, like a pack of tickets for a movie or a basket full of food items to share.
- Tier 3: Colleagues & Organized Groups
Bring a general gift that will cover everyone, so you don’t miss someone or spend a lot. For example, bring an awesome baked goods. (Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? That’s all I’m saying.)
Featured Image Credit goes to Victor Hanacek (“Ready to Christmas Baking“)
Ask Close Relatives or Friends What They Really Want
Some people may already have a lot, especially as they get older. Maybe there’s something else they’d prefer, a service that will help them and save you money gift giving. For example, they may love:
- You to cook or babysit for one night
- For someone tech savvy, to get help setting up a computer
- For the handy types, to get help repairing something around the house
Give Experiences, Not Items
In the end, we are far more likely to remember experiences than physical gifts. Instead of an expensive toy or jewelry accessory, take someone to a matinee movie. Bring treats to eat inside the theater and then take them out for hot chocolate and/or a nice walk after. This doesn’t only save money on gifts, it sounds really nice, doesn’t it?