Friday, October 29, 2010

Resourceful Gifting - Gift Stockpile

Back to the Resourceful Gifting Series! I've reordered the planned posts for this series so that topics applicable to Christmas will be coming sooner rather than later.

Gift Stockpile

One way to keep gift prices low is to purchase quality items when you find an excellent price any time of year. These should be general/neutral gifts that you could give to a variety of people.

As Christmas approaches I keep an eye out for small gifts that would be appreciated widely in case I receive an unexpected gift and want to reciprocate or if I inadvertently leave someone off my list (teacher, mail delivery, girl scout leader, swim coach, a gift exchange, etc).

Some things you might consider year-round:
  • Baby Gifts
  • Toys that are age-appropriate for your children for birthday parties they will attend
  • Hostess Gifts
  • Gift Cards (look for good deals around Christmas like a free $5 card with purchase of a $50 card)

Things to avoid include:

  • Any food items
  • Perfumes - really anything with a scent that can sour over time
  • Baby gifts if you don't get invited to baby showers
  • Baby gifts that meet specific needs like preemie clothes or cloth diapers
  • Wedding gifts
  • Toys that are not age-appropriate for the children in your life
  • Fads

In general, a gift purchased with the recipient in mind is much for fun for me to give. However, my gift stockpile has been helpful many times including:

  • A busy week and no time to shop for a gift
  • An unexpected invitation with no gift money budgeted
  • An out-of-town birthday sneaks up on me and I have to send a gift immediately

Having a few things tucked away has served me well. However, I would caution you not to overbuy for your stockpile. Don't go buy 20 packages of Silly Bandz just because you find them for $2 each - your kids won't want to give them as gifts when they lose popularity. Don't buy 15 items from the Gymboree clearance rack just because you have Gymbucks on top of the sale - your friends will stop having babies eventually.

Just keep your eyes open as you shop the sales this season. If the price is right, let yourself buy an item or two for the gift stockpile instead of just the people on your list.


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