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How to Save Money When Giving Gifts

How to Save Money When Giving Gifts
No matter how well you know someone, finding a meaningful gift to give is always a challenge, especially when you're on a budget. Do you follow any of these tips when picking out gifts? Or are you defaulting to Olive Garden gift cards yet again?

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All this great advice and just  2 days to Christmas, oh well. Long story short: practical and useful gifts are the best gifts to receive, at least for me.  Really who among us has enough dust collectors that often become relegated to a closet or drawer and later when we 'declutter' donate these unwanted and unusable things or regift them to someone we think (and hope) might enjoy them and use them? I couldn't tell you how many useless and nonsense gifts I 've received over the years at work with 'secret Santa' that went into the donate box after the holidays or I gave to someone who'd use them and enjoy them . Now at work, I 'opt out ' when asked to contribute to this nonsense by saying ' sorry, can't do it, the budget's tight' this year'. this usually shuts them up and avoids unnecessary conversations that are really none of anybody's  damned business. I recall my mother always asking me what I wanted for Christmas up until  I was well into adulthood. I used to say 'only kids tell Santa Claus what they want for Christmas'  She then said, just tell me what the hell you want for Christmas as i don't want to get something you' wouldn't like or use . I work too hard for my money to waste it on BS and nonsense. Having gone through the wars and the depression taught my parents the value of a dollar and never to waste money on nonsense. No truer or more timeless words were spoken. If someone wants to give me a gift I say" if I can't eat it or drink it, I'm not interested thanks'' and so far it works for me. My friends and I exchange wine and or food gifts so in the end there's only good memories and no clutter to complicate our lives. Genius advice if I do say so myself!

Because I'm a fatty and my friends are fatty, giving cheap gifts is easy. I just buy some food online and ship it to them, and they me. Examples include, say, olive oil from a boutique place in California. Or if I just went to Italy and really enjoyed some biscotti, I might buy that specific brand of biscotti (+optionally amaretto for them to dip the biscotti in) and ship it to my friends.

The great thing w/ food is that 1) it's much cheaper than like a watch, and 2) it's much easier to buy because you can easily get someone something expensive that they *don't* like -- but pretty much everyone likes tasty food.

The only thing to watch out for with food is if your friends have allergies.


Among gifts that don't end up being clutter ( like knicknacks aka dust collectors, unwanted clothes etc. that often end up in a drawer or closet and end up being donated or regifted to someone who hopefully would like or use gift provided it hasn't been used or regifted to the original giver or a friend of the giver, tacky), I have a saying about Christmas gifts: 'If I can't drink it or eat it I'm not interested, thanks". Over the years I like a lot of others have accumulated a lot of useless 'stuff' that ends up clogging closets and drawers and when it's time to downsize, we are overwhelmed with having to get rid of things. With drink and food gifts, there's no clutter  but only good memories. This has worked for me for years

If you don't know what they want or need, novelty t-shirts or hoodies are great go to's for me, but then you have to agonize over getting their size right. Also, books are great and so are subscriptions to magazines or an online publications.

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