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Gift giving is an expense that doesn’t only happen around the holidays.
There are plenty of other occasions that pop up throughout the year where a gift would be expected. This is when having a gift closet would come in really handy!!
I’m sure you plan for Christmas, family and close friend’s birthdays and such. But what about baby showers, graduations, bridal showers, housewarming, among many others that pop up throughout the year?
All the unexpected expense of gift-giving can really take a bite out of your budget.
The key to staying on budget, and still be able to gift gifts is to be prepared for any and all occasions that might come up unexpectedly.
The easiest way I’ve found to keep my gift-giving budget on track is by creating a gift closet.
If you have never heard the term “gift closet”, it is basically a stockpile of gifts that you buy throughout the year and store away until a gift-giving occasion arises.
Why build a gift closet
The idea of creating a gift closet is to save money by purchasing great gift items when you can buy them at low prices. If you have great gifts on hand to give for all occasions, you will avoid having to run to the store last-minute and purchase gifts at full price.
I first started a gift closet when my children were in their first years of school. It seemed that they would get invited to classmate’s birthday parties every other week and the invitations would sit in their school bags until the day before the party. I would then need to run around last-minute buying gifts at full price.
Once I implemented a gift closet, I not only save a bunch of money, but I also saved myself time and a bit of stress as well. Here are some tips to get you started on building your own gift closet to save time and a bunch of money all year-long.
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Select a storage location
Find a place to store your gift stockpile, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a closet. It could be a cabinet or storage bin, maybe in your basement or garage. If you have children, you probably want to find a discreet location.
It’s also best to find a location that you don’t need to access frequently. This way you don’t have to move your gift stockpile out-of-the-way just to get to some other items you may use frequently.
Stocking your gift closet
Every time I go out shopping, I keep my eyes open for great deals. I always check the clearance aisles and shelves in every store I go to for great deals on gifts as well as anything else I might need.
The best time to shop for clearance items is right after Christmas and other holidays. You should also stock up on plain-colored wrapping paper and other gift-giving essentials that are not holiday-specific.
Another good time to keep your eyes open for great deals is the end of season clearance sales. Another great place to find inexpensive gifts is the clearance selections of your favorite online retailers. Every shopping website I have gone on has a clearance section, although some might make it a bit difficult to find.
And as a bonus, you could get cashback on top of your already low prices by using cashback sites such as Ebates (sign up for Ebates through this link to get $10 deposited into your account for free).
I also like to used coupons to purchase drugstore items, for really cheap prices to stock my gift closet. I use these items to create great and inexpensive gift baskets full of related stuff. Just think how much a teenage girl might like to have a basket full of makeup and toiletries, or a gift basket full of baby essentials that every new mother will really need and will definitely appreciate.
Here are more ways you can save money on gift-giving as well as everyday items.
Track your treasures
Finally, you should keep track of the items you have in your gift closet. It makes it so much easier when a gift-giving occasion arises. All you need to do is look at your gift closet inventory tracking sheet and you will be able to quickly determine if you have a great gift to give.
Your inventory list will also help you determine what types of items that you may be in need of and items you are all set with for a while. You can download a free Gift Closet Inventory Tracking sheet below.
Here are nifty little ways to keep your wrapping supplies organized.
Building a gift closet is a great way to stay on budget and still be able to afford to give to others.
Get your free Gift Closet Inventory Tracking Sheet below.
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Do you have a gift closet? What strategies do you use to save money? Please leave a comment to share with us.