Post # 1
In looking over our budget, a huge line-item is gifts. We way overspend on gifts… or, should I say, overspend on gifts. The current average is $50-$100 per gift. I need to cut that in half… but that also leaves me completely stumped on what to give!
Mother’s Day is coming up…. as are 3 of my nephew/nieces birthdays (ages 19, 15, 11)… oh, and my SIL’s 40th. Yikes – all within 2 weeks of each other. That’s about $400-500 right there (in my usual spending) and I do NOT have that kind of money right now. I’ll usually give all the kids $50, the mom’s another 50-100/each, and the SIL another $50.
Any creative ways to cut expenses on gifts without being completely cheap???
Post # 3
@oracle: I am lazy, so I always end up with gift cards and some little trinket.
I’m interested in the answers to this question too!
Post # 4
Wine! At least for the adults! My Mother-In-Law really enjoys cookbooks so we’ve gone that route a few times too.
I’ve never gotten birthday gifts from aunts and uncles. Just a card which I thought was plenty. If you really want some sort of gift, I’d stick a $20 gift card to somewhere they like in there.
Post # 5
One of my absolute FAVORITE birthday presents ever was from a friend of mine who, at the time, was still a college student. She and I had trained for our first marathons together, so we spent a lot of miles and countless hours encouraging, supporting, and pushing each other.
Anyway, she made a shadow box with some running stickers, photos from our training, and a few post-race photos as well. There were running motivational quotes and other sayings in there too. Seriously- BEST.GIFT.EVER.
Could you do something like that, where it’s maybe more personal but less expensive? You do have a chunk of birthdays/events coming up all together in a clump so it might be unreasonable to set aside the kind of time it would take to put something like that together, but it was probably the least expensive birthday gift I had that year, but it still stands out as a favorite item even after a few years.
Post # 6
I like to give a gourmet candy. I will order specialty chocolates from See’s. I also like to give magazine subscriptions, books or body butter sets from Costco, or luxurious wraps/scarves. Sometimes I will buy a groupon (like for a shellac manicure or dinner) and go get my nails done or grab a bite with a friend for their birthday.
Post # 7
I think events are cheaper than gifts-check out Groupon for local events nearby. I think doing something memorable with the person is worth more than the gift certificate I’d give them.
Last year for my mom’s birthday, we took her to a winery for lunch and the wine tour. It was great. This year for mother’s day we’ll be taking her to brunch and there is a local chocolate factory (Taza) that offers tours, that we’ll do afterwards.
For the nieces/nephews-take them to a matinee movie day (bring your own snacks and water). (Might just be me, but $50 per niece/nephew is a bit high, especially for their age. As PP mentioned I’ve never received gifts from aunt or uncle unless as a child at a birthday party).
Post # 8
I’m also lazy and do gift cards if the person is too old for toys. My family is large, and trying to keep up with sizes and tastes that change monthly is often not feasible. I do try to ask parents or spouses for recommendations, but if that fails I keep itunes, Amazon, and Disney gift cards on hand.
Post # 9
Wine, liquor, gourmet [whatever they’re into like coffee or chocolates], some sort of service gift card (massage, mani-pedi)…those are my immediate go-to’s mentally. Basically, I tend to give things that are consumable because 1) stuff that is meant to stay around just takes up room people may not have, 2) I don’t always know how stuff will fit on their bodies and/or with their decor, and 3) stuff they truly want is REALLY expensive and honestly inappropriate for me to purchase for them (i.e. laptop, car, bed).
ETA: For nieces/nephews, I think $25 is more than adequate. You’ll be a hero for giving straight up cash!
Post # 10
@oracle: How about manicures for mom and SIL? That’s closer to $30 with tip (depending on where you live). I agree with PP that $25 per kid is more than enough.
Post # 11
I like to do nice paper products, like a box of high quality “thank you” or blank cards from Crane & Co., for example. It’s usually around $30, it looks really nice and it’s useful!
Post # 12
@somethingaquamarine: that is a BRILLIANT idea! Unfortunately, around here, they run a little more… and I have a feeling Darling Husband will want to spring for a mani/pedi combo… but I LOVE LOVE the idea and think that’s the way to go! Thank you!!
ALL: And, thanks all for the kid suggestions. I have a feeling they are all ‘expecting’ something big, since that’s what I’ve done in the past. I feel bad starting a ‘new’ tradition of smaller gifts – but, guess there’s no time like the present! I’m thinking about giving the younger 2 a $25 iTunes gift card… what do you think? Cash? or iTunes? (this is for the 15 and 11 year old)…..
Post # 13
@HisMoon: Thanks for the awesome ideas! I think I did gift baskets one year the mom’s … I went a little crazy and they cost a small fortune… but maybe I can do some sort of consumable that won’t cost a fortune. I’ll be thinking.
Post # 14
How about homemade gifts? I’ve seen a lot of cute ideas on Pinterest. Some require “crafty” skills, but many don’t.
Post # 15
@FatherTed: That would be MY dream gift! Unfortunately, it’s something none of the adults I have to buy for would appreciate. But, I’m keeping a running list of gift ideas for the future and this will be on it!
@kmarie719: Is the outing your gift? Meaning, for Mother’s day – are you taking your mom to brunch and that’s it? I usually do that for my mom, but there’s usually a gift as well. I’m sure my mom would understand if all I could do is brunch.. but I’d like to get her a little something to open as well. 🙂
@mrswestcoast: See’s is usually my go to gift with the cash for the kids ($$$ – yikes!). I think I’ve created a gifting monster (myself)! I’ll have to start hunting on groupon. Unfortunately, most of the gifts are for out of state… but I will keep that in mind!
Time to get creative! 🙂
Post # 16
@everyheart: I’m definitely open to homemade gifts… I’m already brainstorming for Christmas present ideas. Have you seen anything recently that stands out?