As a kid, when I needed a present for a birthday, my mom wouldn't take me to the store- she took me to her bedroom closet. Inside was a little bit of everything. The “gift closet” was full of things she got on clearance for all occasions: weddings, birthdays, baby showers, whatever we needed, it was probably in there. This is one thing that I have slowly begun to imitate, because I remember how easy it was for her, especially in last-minute rushes.
Here's my gift “closet” (it actually all fits in a box in my garage, but that's beside the point. Some of these things already have homes- a pretty lighthouse picture as a Mother's Day present for my mother-in-law, a kid's devotional book for my niece’s birthday in November, some felt food for my daughter's birthday in July. Some of these presents have yet to find their lovely homes- baby items for a boy or a girl or a surprise, wedding gifts like picture frames and cutting boards and a- eek!- Kama Sutra book, I have no idea if I'll ever have the guts to give it as a gift!
These are items that I've found on clearance at the store, or online, or I've gotten for free in contests. The pillow I made, as well as a stuffed dinosaur, also for my niece, that my daughter is playing with right now. I dug through this box for a birthday party just yesterday, I had a dress and a puzzle for her, and I bought her a backpack that she loved. This saves me time and money because I have the opportunity to shop around instead of having to go out and pay full-price for whatever I need at that exact moment.
Do you have a gift closet or box? We'd love to see your pictures or other ideas you have for saving money on gifts for others!
Merry savings to all and to all some spare change,
P.S. Melissa's Bargain Blog (www.melissasbargains.com) gave me the idea for this post with her blog about her gift closet- of which I am totally jealous :]