Giving gifts is one of the best things you can do. It’s true that giving is often better than receiving. If you love to give gifts, you can spend a lot of your time looking for the perfect presents. All sorts of occasions call for gifts, so you probably be buying them year round.
Unfortunately, this can eat into your finances. Gift giving can be costly, especially if you’re always looking for the perfect gift to give. Here are some great ways to cut down the cost of gift giving and still make those gifts extra special for those you love.
Make Your Own Gifts
One of the best ways to save money on gifts is to make them yourself. It can be more time-intensive, but it’s worth it when you make something that you know someone will like. Check out these patterns and ebooks for some AMAZING ideas on gifts you can make! However, before you make anything, be aware that it’s not always going to save you money. Mass-producing products can be done very cheaply, so you can often buy something for less than you can make it. But it all depends on what you want to make and whether you want to personalize it. Don’t forget to think about quality too. Spending a bit more to make a better quality item is ALWAYS better than buying something cheap.
Buy Gifts in Post-holiday Sales
The holidays, especially during winter, come with plenty of gift giving. But it’s after these holidays when it can be a great time to stock up on gifts. You’re guaranteed to find items on sale, which can keep until next year or until you next have an occasion to give a gift. Some people even keep a box or cupboard full of gifts that they’ve bought at the end or beginning of the year that they can dip into at any time. If you spot something you know someone will love, you can buy it at a discount and keep it until there’s an appropriate time to give it.
Save Money on Gift Cards
Gift cards make excellent presents for people who are tricky to buy for. They’re also a good choice for anyone who prefers to pick their own gifts or is always unsure about what they might want. A gift card from a favorite store or a more general brand with plenty to choose from makes things a lot easier. If you want to buy gift cards for less, you can get them online. Pay less than what’s on the card thanks to people who don’t want the cards trading them in for cash. Some cards may only have small savings, but others can get you more than 20% off.
Make a Gift Pact with Others
When other people spend a lot on gifts for you, you feel like you have to do the same. It can create a lot of pressure and sometimes lead to you one-upping each other in the gift game. If you want to try and rein in your spending, it can be a good idea to make an agreement with the people you regularly trade gifts with. You might decide to set limits on how much you spend for different occasions, or perhaps agree on a number of gifts you will buy for each other. With some people, you might even decide not to buy gifts for some occasions. Instead, you could spend some time together.
Reduce How Many Gifts You Give
Sometimes, you can’t help going overboard with gifts. You buy someone a present, but then you spot one, two or three other things that you’re sure they’ll like too. Or you might decide that buying lots of small gifts is better than getting everyone a single larger one. However, buying lots of small gifts can be more expensive. If you stick to one per person, per occasion, it could help you spend a lot less. You might also want to reconsider who you give gifts to. I only buy for close family, and usually Christmas time, we do a family gift instead of individual gifts.
Get Secondhand Gifts
The idea of buying a secondhand item to give as a gift doesn’t appeal to some people. They feel like they’re being cheap or not putting enough thought into their gift. But secondhand presents can still be special. In fact, they could be even more special than a mass-produced item from any old store. You might find a collector’s item, something unique or simply something that you know someone will love. You just need to make sure that anything you buy is in good condition. You can look in thrift stores, buy things from eBay, try used bookstores and even look for garage sales.
Give Your Time
If you’re really strapped for cash, and you don’t want to spend too much at all, consider giving your time and an experience as a gift. You could promise to do something with someone that they’ve been asking to do for ages. You could make a book of “vouchers” for different activities with you, from going for a coffee to hanging out at home. There are lots of experiences that you can create for next to nothing.
Save on Shipping
If you have gifts to send to people far away, the packaging and shipping can be another expense. You can save on these costs too if you’re careful about what you buy and you choose the right service for shipping. Try to avoid getting any gifts that are too large or heavy. The bigger they are, the more it will cost you to ship them. You can save on packaging by using materials that you already have, whether it’s using newspaper sheets for cushioning or reusing boxes and envelopes. If you buy gifts online, have it shipped directly to the person you’re buying it for.
You don’t have to stop giving people gifts if you want to save money. You just need to change your mindset and focus on staying within your budget.
Check out these great blogs for more tips and ideas for getting your life/work/money balance under control…
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