If you've been following along with my THRiVING feature this year, you'll know that September is "Gift Giving" month. It's about this time of the year I really have to buckle down with my savings or come up with some resourceful ideas for gifts and I've got quite a few to get ready to give. October was my Mum's birthday and she enjoyed a visit to a nice cafe or a nice meal made for her. November is both of my children's birthdays and December is Christmas. There's presents for family, teachers and friends. Yikes! Here's what I do to get ready for the gift giving season and to reduce the costs.
|Pistachio & Cranberry Biscotti|
My Mum loved nothing more than a homemade gift. The same with my sister. A package of homemade caramels, fudge or peanut brittle always went down well, all for the price of a bag of sugar and some butter (and whatever else I had on hand).
It can be cookies, cakes, biscotti, no bake slices or cheesecakes. The internet is a great source for recipes or you can check out more of my recipes above. A batch of any of the above won't cost you very much but a little bit given to all the kid's teachers, family members and neighbours will be well received.
With toys especially, I give second hand gifts sourced from garage sales, op shops, online sales, ebay and second hand stores. It's amazing what you can find. Some things are brand new. The last two years in particular, I managed to get most of my kid's Christmas presents (things they asked Santa for) from Freecycle and ebay for free or next to nothing. There were 1 or 2 new things but they honestly didn't know the difference. I always give the toys a good clean and the kids are none the wiser. They love it! Think of the land fill you're saving.
Giving the gift of time
All too often, people are so busy these days, time has become so precious. Giving someone the gift of time can be a great thing. Offering to mind people's children, bake for them, water their garden, mind their pets while they go on holidays, washing someone's car, mowing their lawn, help a neighbour with a computer problem. Anything you can utilise your knowledge and skills to help someone will be greatly accepted, I'm sure. You could type up a voucher book, gift certificate or card to present to the person.
Layby and buying the items when they're on sale
I avoid the mid year toy sales like the plague. I lay away toys for the kids when they were little for their birthdays and Christmas and the time the season came around, the kids didn't like what I'd purchased anymore. I'd rather pick up little things throughout the year when they're on sale, that I know they will like no matter what and put them away for birthdays and Christmas. Little things like classic DVDs, colouring books, reading books, pencils, small toy cars, crazy cups or plates with their favourite characters, balls, outside games like hula hoops, skipping ropes, balls. I've got a cupboard full already of little things that have probably cost no more than $20 all up but they will make great little stocking fillers and save me quite a bit of money at Christmas when all I have to buy them is the one thing (hopefully only one thing) they ask Santa for.
Stay tuned for more ways to save a few dollars when it comes to gift giving.