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Buying Gifts Ahead of Time To Save Money

Updated on August 3, 2008

I have a gift box do you? Do you even know what a gift box is? It doesn't actually have to be a box; it could be a drawer or closet, or even a space under your bed. The best way to save money on gifts is to have a designated space to keep gifts that you find on sale throughout the year.

I know you can't always shop this way, but for many gifts that a person gives, especially when children are involved, they can be bought throughout the year on clearance or a really great sale. If you have children, then you know they will probably be invited to other kid's birthday parties from time to time.

You probably know what kids like, so if you see it on a really good sale, then buy a few. This will save you money on the actual purchase of the gift, but will save you time and the hassle of going out to find something in your price range at the last minute. I can't tell you how many times we have received invitations to parties within just a few days of the party. It is much easier to shop from my gift box, rather than hauling a bunch of kids to the toy section of the local Target.

This same concept applies to adults as well. There are office parties, house warming parties, holiday exchanges, etc. For these sorts of things, having a gift such as stationary, candles, books, etc can make your life a lot easier.

I have added things to my gift box recently for both adults and kids. A local store was running a special on Webkinz recently 3 of them for $30. For those with children I am sure you know all about Webkinz and the fact that this is a great price. I have already given one of these as a gift and have the other two set aside just waiting for a child to be invited to a birthday party. I also recently found some nice picture frames on clearance and purchased a couple to have on hand to give to adults. Shopping this way just makes my life easier.

Another reason to shop throughout the year is so that you can find the perfect gift, at the right price. The past couple of years I have made a run to Target or Wal-Mart a couple of weeks before Christmas to try to fill stockings for my kids. This has not worked well for me at all. Not only do I need to find things that my kids will really like, but that are also in my price range and small enough to fit into their stockings. This has been very hard and I have felt that I haven't been getting the right things and have been spending more than I should in order to get something that will fit into the stockings.

This year I have changed the way I do things. I have been picking up things that I find throughout the year and already have numerous perfect items to go in the kids stockings. I have found wonderful items on clearance at several stores. I know my kids will be happy with this change in shopping strategies and my budget certainly is too.

Aside from stocking stuffers, this same concept applies to most everyone. Especially adults that can be harder to shop for, because frequently it seems they already have everything. Keep these people in mind when you are out and about and I bet you will find the perfect item at the right price at some point during the year. This will save stress come gift giving time and you won't have to settle for something that isn't quite right.

By planning ahead and having gifts ready to go you will save stress, hassle, time and money. This type of shopping will help you handle most gift giving situations that occur throughout the year.


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    • profile image

      Chris 9 years ago

      Good article!

      I am a year-round shopper who frequently picks things up on sale and saves them for when they are needed. It definitely makes a difference around the holidays, when shopping for a lot of people all at once can get expensive. If you have pre-shopped for at least some of the people on your list, you won't run up the huge holiday shopping tabs that can hit you hard in January!

    • Pam Pounds profile image

      Pam Pounds 9 years ago from So Cal Girl in the Midwest!

      You sound so organized! But this is very true! Taking advantage of sales throughout the year not only saves you money, but time. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Pete Michner profile image

      Pete Michner 9 years ago from Virginia

      Great Hub, thanks! You can also find huge discounts buying seasonal items out of season like coats in spring or summer and summerwear in winter(if you can find them, of course). I once worked in retail at a store where there were still some winter coats on the racks that hadn't been sold yet and it was almost spring. They were originally about $60 and the store marked them down to a little over $12 each trying to get some sale out of them.

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

      Wonderful tips and ideas. Thanks for taking the time to write.

    • Judy Cullins profile image

      Judy Cullins 9 years ago from La Mesa, CA

      Hi Jennifer,

      Great hub and wonderful frugal idea. I still have a gift box for the many friends I have since my child is now an adult. We honor one another at birthdays and it's great to have something ready to go. If not used, then Goodwill gets it. I have great income today partly because of being frugal like you. Good reminder.

      Judy Cullins,

    • profile image

      cvaughn570 9 years ago

      Great advice! I have not yet mastered the skill of shopping early, but my daughter has and it seems that she has something for every occasion. I am going to have to work a little harder at it. ;-)

      Carol :-)