Since retirement and becoming a one-income family, it was evident that I no longer would be able to buy the gifts that I had bought in the past for birthdays, Christmas, and special occasions. I did however come up with ways in which gift giving would still be a part of my life without going into debt.
The first thing I did was make out a birthday/anniversary calender, writing everyone’s dates down so I would not miss out on their special occasions. I have four grown children, with spouses and five grandchildren. I have my parents, in-laws, siblings, and then my nieces and nephews. This makes for a very large family. It would be impossible to buy for every one.
For my immediate family I began to buy gifts a couple months in advance, looking on eBay, searching at Goodwill, and some other thrift stores. It is amazing what you can find with a little investigating.
My dad’s birthday was coming up, and I found the cutest cowboy birdhouse, brand new for $12.00 at Goodwill. While his birthday was a month away I decided to go ahead and buy it.
My husband sometimes buys these “junk drawers” from eBay. It is amazing what is sometimes found hiding in them. We found a darling silver Butterfly necklace that will given to our 11 year old granddaughter on her upcoming birthday. My husband even surprised me with a beautiful Turquoise necklace that was found hidden in one of these deals. I wear it all the time.
We all have jewelry we no longer wear. It is amazing at what you can do with old jewelry, just by changing out a chain or replacing a gem can make for a beautiful gift.
For Easter I wanted to send the grandkids something special for Easter but shipping alone would cost more than the gift. I found a cute card from the dollar store and placed a couple dollars in the card for their piggy bank.
For the two grandkids near us, I bought two small Easter baskets from the dollar store, filling them with a new toothbrush, some candy, and Easter socks, all from the dollar store, costing me less than $12.00.
I buy all my cards at least three months in advance so I know I will have them for upcoming celebrations. I purchase them at the dollar stores where sometimes you can buy two for one price. It is possible to find cards at the thrift stores that have not been opened as well.
When I balance my check book, I always round up so there is some extra money for gift buying when the check book is balances. Say I buy something for $42.30, I round to $43.00, saving 70 cents. While this sounds like a tiny amount, believe me it adds up. I also put all my spare change in a big bowl.
A gift card to a local car wash, coffee emporium, or grocery store is always nice. It does not have to cover the whole cost but who does not like to add a gift card of $10.00 towards a $20.00 purchase when they know this is saving them half the cost.
Little girls and young women love Bling! It is possible to buy some summer hats, socks, flip flops, or t- shirts cheaply, adding some sparkles to the gifts, using iron on patches, sparkly ribbon, or anything else that sparkles and shines.
Facebook is something everyone uses these days. It is always nice to send a nice song from YouTube with a special message on someone’s page.
In gift giving, it is truly the thought that counts.