I don’t know about you, but during the fall and winter I get slammed with gift-giving obligations, which often require gift wrapping supplies. Birthdays, anniversaries, showers, weddings, Hanukkah, Christmas … it’s too much! Special occasions and holidays like these sneak up on me every year. The crazy gift-giving could get out-of-control expensive, if I didn’t avoid buying gift wrapping supplies. But I do. And you can, too. Here’s how:
Keep a stockpile of brown kraft paper and white ribbon.
It’s the ultimate versatile gift wrap! Try to think of a holiday or special occasion where this simple gift wrapping combination doesn’t work. I’ll bet you can’t. Brown kraft paper is recycled, so it’s a green alternative to traditional gift wrap. What’s more, it’s easy to buy both items in bulk so you never run out. I bought a large roll of white ribbon in a craft store last fall; after Christmas and birthdays and a bridal shower, I still haven’t made a dent. As for the brown kraft paper, I’ve seen 900′ rolls as cheap as $15 – not bad for a lifetime supply. Try wholesale sewing supply and discount craft stores for the ribbon and paper companies for the paper. Don’t want to buy paper? Just use a brown paper shopping bag.
Save all gift wrapping supplies that you receive.
Don’t throw away any of the gift wrapping supplies that you receive. When you get a gift from someone, open it carefully and save the wrapping, if possible. Why not? Don’t be embarrassed. The present belongs to you and so does the gift wrap! Just saving Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons and gift tags can impact your holiday budget for next year. You could do the same with other holidays year-round. Keep these supplies on hand, then reuse them whenever gift-giving occasions pop up.
Get creative with your wrapping.
People are usually delighted by another person’s creativity. Be that creative person! Comic strips, aluminum foil, blank newsprint, pieces of fabric, a colorful newspaper, Chinese food cartons, handmade drawings, magazine pages … all of these items could be imaginatively used to wrap or package your gifts. Imagination goes a long way when it comes to gift-giving. Let your mind go wild!
Buy a ready-to-give, prewrapped gift.
Avoid the wrapping altogether by buying a ready-to-give, prewrapped gift. Eliminate the gift wrapping step by purchasing a gift that’s already wrapped or doesn’t need to be wrapped. Some gifts come in their own gift boxes or baskets with ribbons, etc. Perfume, chocolates, champagne, flowers and gift baskets are just a handful of examples.
Give gift cards instead of merchandise.
It may seem less personal than giving a wrapped present, but gift cards save you money. Not only do you save money on the actual item — $20 on a gift card versus $20-25 plus tax on equivalent merchandise — but you’re also spared the gift wrapping expense. Many gift cards even come with their own envelopes. Gift cards are an effective way to reduce your spending and stay on budget during the holidays. Set a dollar amount for the gift, buy the card, and then you’re done. You won’t go overboard or let an impulse buy get in your way.
Hopefully, these suggestions will help you steer clear of spending your cash on gift wrap. Reusing and recycling these supplies will benefit the environment and your wallet. Best of all, you’ll never need to buy gift wrap again!