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Giving Gifts for Cheaper


Hi all!

I know some of you may be rolling your eyes after reading the title of this post (especially after I admitted to buying my boss some pricey flowers last month), but overall I’ve done really, really well with cutting down on the amount that I’ve been spending on gift giving since I started my debt reduction journey.

I now average about $15/gift, a full $10-$15 less per gift than I used to average.

I want to give one of my little tips about how I like to give gifts that the recipient will love, while saving some cash!

Whenever there’s a big gift-giving occasion on the horizon (lately I’ve had a few baby shower invites and, of course, my friend’s wedding), here’s a little trick I use. I will browse the Momma-to-be (or bride-to-be)’s gift registry, but then use those ideas to find the perfect gift somewhere else for cheaper.

Here’s an example….

One of my life-long best friends (since 10 years old!!!) is having a baby shower this month. Sadly, I won’t be able to make it as she still lives in Austin. But I want to send her something she’ll appreciate. She is registered at two places:  Babies R Us and Amazon. I don’t particularly love either of those online sites. Babies R Us is pretty pricey. And although I can find deals on Amazon, I am not a Prime member (and have no interest in it whatsoever, as I don’t do a lot of online shopping), so I would have to pay an extra fee for shipping.

So what do I do?

I check out the registry and notice the types of things my bestie has registered for. I don’t zero in on one specific thing, but rather look at several of the options she has selected. Then I do a  little research to find the same or similar products for less.

In this particular example, I noticed that my friend had registered for a smattering of Burt’s Bees products (to the tune of about $14.99 each at Babies R Us, not including shipping). Instead of only giving a single bottle of baby wash, I did some googling and found a lovely gift package with all of the baby basics (lotion, diaper cream, baby wash, and more) at Target for only $17.99. Plus, I have a Target card so I can get 5% off and free shipping (side note:  Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned my Target card because it’s never carried a balance the whole time I’ve been blogging. But I do like to use it for this type of thing since I get free shipping. I still track any purchases like normal – gifts come out of my “other” budget – and I pay the balance in full each month).

I did find a couple Burt’s Bees gift packages cheaper (like this one on Amazon for $11.69), but I didn’t like them nearly as much. The packages were smaller, had far less product, and just weren’t packaged as nicely (and, again, the cost doesn’t include shipping, which would take the price up to being the same as the Target package).

I like using this method to find gifts for cheaper because then I know its something the recipient will use and appreciate (it’s basically the same as the things she’s registered for – just put together in a package instead of being separate bottles), and I’m able to score it at a price that works for my budget! Plus, who doesn’t like gift packages? It just looks more “put together” than receiving a single bottle of baby shampoo and its essentially the same price. Am I right or am I right?

BONUS:  Buy your product through the swagbucks website to get even more bang for your buck! Why not??

What tricks do you use to save money on gift-giving???

Disclosure: There were several links provided in this post. NONE of the item links (to Target or Amazon) were affiliate links. The Swagbucks link does give me a referral bonus if you sign up, but it’s tied to points (not straight cash) and if you’re a member you can use it to refer your friends/family to earn points, too!


  • Reply Mary |

    Good for you for finding gifts that fit your budget!

    For Christmas, the first thing I do is create a budget. Flylady.com has something called a, “Holiday Control Journal” where you essentially map out your holidays ahead of time, everything from your budget, to your meal plans, traditions, etc. and then you purchase your items ahead of time. I’ve used this for years now and have it down to a science. (I even have a spreadsheet for Thanksgiving and Christmas with every task that is done ahead of time and then the exact times things go in the oven, lol.) Anyway, for Christmas, I’ve already created my budget and will pay cash for everything out of my next paycheck. With the holiday control journal, I write down everything I might want to buy for a person and then keep that list for the following year so I am not starting all over! Once I know how much I’ll spend, I’ll start in November and when I see a deal, I get it. If I am looking for a specific thing, I’ll use Bizrate.com to find the lowest price, etc. or some other website. Once I’ve found the lowest price, then I google for coupons for that website so I can get the price down even lower. I rarely purchase anything without a coupon at Christmas or any other time of year. Also, I’ve found I can start early with regards to my son so I might start purchasing items for him much earlier, just an item here or there and then by the time the holiday shopping arrives, I am done with his shopping and it’s one less person to fit into the budget since I’ve done my shopping all along. Sticking to the budget can be a little more challenging, lol, but I find it I shop online, it’s easier to stay within my budget since I am now walking through a store looking at this or that. For gift wraps, etc. I’ll use Walmart. They have a savings catcher app that I have on my phone so as soon as I leave the checkout, I scan my receipt and if they find a lower price for anything I’ve purchased, they’ll give it back on an egift card. Other tips are shipping it right to the person (saves shipping, time and wrapping). I love online shopping too because everything is delivered to my door and with all of the free shipping deals, it’s just so much easier. For brick and mortar shopping, I have a coupon and errand manual where I have any coupons organized so I just grab my errand bag with the manual in it and I am ready to shop. I only take in the coupons I need for that store so I don’t lose it. I also only run errands one day a week so that cuts down on time and shopping. Planning ahead saves me a lot of money. For groceries, my local grocery store sends out great coupons in November ($10 off a $50 purchase!) so I take advantage of those coupons and try to purchase what I need for holiday baking/meals ahead of time. Every little bit helps but I can really save some good money with those coupons I also try to save a little money for myself for January so that I can take advantage of online clothing sales.

  • Reply hannah |

    One of my biggest money savings tips is to buy discounted giftcards at Cardcash.com. It’s legit, I’ve been buying cards there for a while now.
    So for instance, JCpenney has sales days, where they also have $10 off $25 coupons. I buy discounted giftcards, often up to 20% off, and combined with 10 off 25, makes for a cheap item!
    This is how I bought baby clothes for a friend recently. Giftcard discount + coupon allowed me to give her more clothing than I could have afforded without the savings!

  • Reply Dimity |

    About your Target card–do have the credit or debit version? I have the Target Debit card and works the same as the credit one (5% off and free shipping), but it comes out of my checking account. Might be something to look into if you ever get tempted to crazy at Target!

So, what do you think ?