Christmas is getting very close. How many of you guys are done with your shopping? I see like 1 hand raised….
For those of you that are in the same boat that I am in, you probably still have at least a few people on your list to mark off.
I invited Jason Feller, from Dealspotr to give us a few tricks and tips on how to save on gifts this year. He was gracious enough to let me guest post on his website this week as well about some frugal ways to celebrate New Year’s Eve.
Here are the tips that Jason has to save on gift giving.
1. Go the DIY Route
If you are the crafty type, this is a great option. There are so many different gifts that you can come up with yourself using existing materials lying around the house. Do you ever buy pasta sauce at the grocery store? Rather than throwing away the jar once you are done, just clean it out and you can use the jar as the basis for a slew of different presents.
Have any old wooden furniture you’ve been meaning to get rid of for a while? That wood can be very valuable in terms of creating unique trinkets that make for perfect Christmas gifts. Heck, even your old clothes can be turned into interesting gift ideas if you are creative enough.
2. Capitalize on Your Cooking Talents
People spend big money on food, dessert and candy gift baskets, but there’s no reason you can’t just whip up your own goodies if you have some skills in the kitchen. Whether it’s baked goods, finger foods or candies; all of them are relatively easy to make yourself.
Take a quick tour of Pinterest and you’ll be able to come up with 100s of ideas. Cooking not your thing? Not to fret. Simply buy a good variety of fruits at the grocery store and arrange them nicely into a pretty looking fruit basket or buy some cured meats and cheeses at the supermarket and compile them into an attractive gift box.
There’s no reason to pay full price for anything when shopping, especially during the holidays. Stores go all out in providing outstanding discounts leading into Christmas and with some research, you can find some incredible bargains.
Your relative will be impressed by the quality of your gift, not knowing that you got that $50 item for only $25. The easiest way to discover the best deals is by going to Dealspotr.com, an online community where savvy discount shoppers share the best deals they’ve found, so everyone can take advantage of them.
4. Shop at Thrift and Vintage Stores
Don’t sleep on second-hand stores. It takes a little more work sifting through all of their merchandise, but hidden among the piles of junk is often an under priced gem just waiting to be unearthed at a fraction of its value.
This technique doesn’t work as well for things like electronics that come with factory sealed boxes, but for other items like jewelry or artwork, it’s quite easy to make the gift appear new by packaging and wrapping it nicely. And for some items, you might want the recipient to know its vintage for that added “cool” factor.
5. When All Else Fails, Re-Gift
Despite its reputation, there is no shame in re-gifting. After all, it’s far better to give a perfectly good gift to someone that you think will enjoy it, rather than have it just collect dust in the back of your closet or throw it away. Obviously, the key is making sure that the gift doesn’t have your name written on it and hasn’t been opened or damaged in some way. Otherwise, it’s fair game.
Gift cards make for especially strong re-gift options. If you got a gift card for a store that you rarely, if ever, shop at, and know someone who does frequent that store, then why not re-gift the gift card to them? Of course, this only works if they weren’t the person who gave you the gift in the first place!
Jason Feller is a veteran blogger and journalist who writes about a variety of topics related to couponing, saving money and consumer protection.