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Because we have many family birthdays throughout the year, I have tried to always purchase ahead to defray the cost of several birthdays that fall in one month. This year I decided to give three of our family members "a year of gifts". After each holiday, I purchased items for 50-75 off, such as Valentines towels for 75 off, fall placemats, hand lotion, and put them away. I also collected useful but inexpensive items such as paper notebooks, candles, and ornaments as I saw them for sale. I wrapped each item in tissue paper, labeled them with a month and gave them to the recipient to begin the year of opening one gift per month (an item that would be used in that month). Overall, the gifts were appreciated and actually cost less than we usually spend!
This year money is especially tight so I decided to challenge myself a little. I decided to try to spend $5 or less per person for our extended family. I have been able to do that and have come up with some wonderful gifts! It's really not hard to come up with nice things for just a little money!
By Robin from Washingon, IA
All year long, I love to go garage sale hopping. If you go early, you get the best stuff. Many people get gifts that are just not their thing and sell them at the garage sales. These gifts are bath sets, unopened games, oh the list is long. I get these gifts and hide them in my gift closet.
There is always someone that gets forgotten and you have a gift for them - co-worker newspaper carrier, even the mail lady. This also helps when I have been invited to a home party and they make great hostess gifts, too! I save about 10-20 dollars per gift.
By Lorna from Clinton, OK
One year my sister and I decided not to spend a lot of money on each other. We chose 10 different categories (5 each) example: Warm and Fuzzy, old home place etc etc. We then had to purchase or make the items in each category and not spend over 5.00 for each item. The purchased items could only be from a yard sale or "Goodwill". It's amazing what you can come up with and not spend a lot of money. One example of a gift was: "old home place" I found a old city licence plate dated the year of her birth and the city where she was born.
I know it is only March, but I am finding HUGE sales on sweaters, since stores want to get in the spring fashion. For those friends or family members I know I will be getting a fall/winter/Christmas/Birthday gift for - I have bought a number of very expensive sweaters for just a few dollars each. I also do this in the fall for picking up spring/summer gifts. Just don't forget to put a tag on them and remember where you hide them.
CJS in Maine