Saving Money on Gift Giving #FrugalFriday

saving money on gift givingDo you find yourself constantly going to one wedding shower after another? Then there’s baby showers, then kids birthday parties, and oh no, here comes Christmas again. And at the end of the year you look at your budget and see that you spent thousands of dollars on gifts, again.

If you have an abundance of cash and can afford to do that, cool. But then again, if you have an abundance of cash, chances are you are not reading a post about how to save money on gift giving.

Or maybe you are. Who’s to say.

Anyways… gift giving can quickly become very expensive, but honestly it doesn’t need to be.

When I was a teenager I spent a lot of money on gifts too.

My nieces and nephews were young and I bought them many expensive toys and games, which at the time, I didn’t realize that they would soon end up being tossed out, as soon as they older.

When I look back on those days I think what a waste of money on my part. But I digress.

Giving someone a birthday gift or a baby shower gift isn’t supposed to put us into debt.

Shopping for gifts or making someone a gift is suppose to be fun.

Fun for both the giver and the person receiving the gift. It is fun to find a gift that is special and to watch the other person’s eyes light up when they open your gift.

But how can you find a special gift while still saving money? Here are some suggestions.

Watch for Sales

Watch for sales on small favorite gifts that would work well for kid’s birthdays, graduations, wedding and baby showers, and stock up so that you will have them on hand throughout the year.

For example, after Christmas you may find many toys and games on sale.

Grab a few and hide them away in your home until you need them as gifts.

As well, at different times throughout the year you may come across small kitchen appliances such as a nice blender or food processor on sale. Buy one or two and store them away to use as gifts.

And make sure to buy any wrapping paper, cards and ribbons at the dollar store. You get the same stuff as you would at a department store for a fraction of the price.

Credit Card Reward Points

Credit card reward points can be used for so many things these days. Quite often the company that you have your credit card with will have a website full of products that you can buy at a variety of different point levels.

Consider using some of your points to purchase gifts for special occasions.

Shop Online

When you shop online you can use coupons to help you save money on gifts. You can also find very nice, yet inexpensive gifts on

Etsy is loaded with special gifts for weddings, birthdays and Christmas.

And of course, you want to make sure that all of your online shopping is done by logging into your EBATES account first, so that you get a percentage of cash back. If you haven't created your account yet, click on the EBATES button so that you can sign up.

Enter Online Giveaways

Some people think entering online giveaways is a waste of their time. But they are wrong. It takes very little time to enter and when you win you can keep some of the prizes for yourself and use others as gifts. That's what I call being frugal.

Baked Goods

Depending on the occasion, homemade baked goods may be the perfect special gift. You could create beautiful looking cupcakes. If you are attending a wedding shower, arrange the cupcakes on a nice glass serving dish so that the bride will go home with a beautiful gift.

Another treat that is a big hit again are fancy donuts. I bet a big box of well decorated donuts would be a huge hit at any kid’s birthday party. The other moms may not appreciate all the sugar, but hey, it’s a party.

Gift Baskets

I love gift baskets. You can buy them pre-made, but the ones I love are the ones I put together myself. Let’s say you have been invited to a baby shower.

You could buy a large wicker basket and then fill it with simple cute things that you know the mother will need at some point. Socks, baby wipes, baby bottles, lotions, a cuddly blanket, etc. You get the idea.

So instead of blowing your budget year after year on gift giving, try a few of these ideas, and save some money.


    • Jake @ Common Cents Wealth

      Jake @ Common Cents Wealth 07/19/2013 5:45 a.m. #

      These are some good tips. My wife and I are still a bit too young to be into the whole gift giving years because a lot of my friends aren't married or having kids yet. I'm sure it'll be coming up soon, though, and hopefully I'll be able to put to use some of these money saving tips.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/19/2013 11:58 a.m. #

        Thanks Jake, and enjoy these years while they last.

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 07/19/2013 6:36 a.m. #

      My wife really enjoys making gift baskets. It can look like you spent a lot more than you did when you put them in a basket or make a kit (for our housewarming party one of our friends got us an ice cream sundae kit - definitely was a nice gift!).

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/19/2013 11:59 a.m. #

        An ice cream sundae kit. YUM!!! How creative too! I would love one of those too.

    • Brian @ Luke1428

      Brian @ Luke1428 07/19/2013 8:19 a.m. #

      For the love of everything holy, can we stop the weekend barrage of kid birthday parties already? With four kids in my house, it seems like we are receiving an invitation a week to go somewhere. It is costly (not to mention the time commitment) and we have a whole category in our budget just for gifts.

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/19/2013 12:01 p.m. #

        I was thinking about your exact situation when I wrote this. Your situation is quite common. One party after another and each one expects you to bring gifts. And you are right, it is a big time commitment too to get the kids ready, take the kids there, maybe stay sometimes and then bring them home.

    • Tanya @ The Heavy Purse

      Tanya @ The Heavy Purse 07/19/2013 11:13 a.m. #

      I LOVE putting together gift baskets too. It feels like a basket of love. :) I used to be a very generous gift giver but I've dialed it back quite back - both choice and necessity. Especially with my nephews and niece. I still enjoy treating them, but they go through things so fast! I love the $1 store for wrapping paper, gift bags and ribbons. It's amazing how expensive they are and most of it ends up in the garbage anyway! Have a great weekend!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/19/2013 12:07 p.m. #

        You are right Tanya, they do go through things so quickly.
        Good for you for cutting back on buying so much.

        For me, I felt like the more generous I was with the kids the more they expected the following year.

        My husband did things completely different when his nieces and nephews were growing up. Instead of sending them something for every occasion he would take them shopping once a year to buy something special. So much easier.

    • Anthony @ Thrifty Dad

      Anthony @ Thrifty Dad 07/19/2013 11:54 a.m. #

      Great ideas! We definitely try and give homemade gifts when we can and find ways to save money for birthdays and Christmas. Unfortunately that just isn't possible for weddings and showers in our family. Showers usually end up falling on a specific store registry and Italian weddings are almost always monetary. As crazy as it sounds, weddings are actually a separate category in our budget!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/19/2013 12:10 p.m. #

        I know what you mean. Sometimes you can't get away with being frugal when it comes to wedding gifts. I've been to Italian weddings and they are quite expensive affairs and the expectation is set high in regard to how much the monetary gift should be. Hopefully you aren't invited to too many of those every year.

    • Corina Ramos

      Corina Ramos 07/19/2013 1:29 p.m. #

      I love these tips Sicorra, especially the gift basket. I like the idea of putting a variety of items and a big ole bow, so festive :).

      I haven't been to a wedding in years but yeah, those gifts can get pricey. I don't know my friend, I might want to keep my giveaway winnings, just kidding LOL :) I never thought about that one.

      For Christmas, we have a gift exchange so that helps us save a little money too. Thanks for sharing these ideas with us!

      Have a great day and a wonderful weekend!

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/21/2013 12:36 p.m. #

        It's funny you mention the big bow. I too find decorating the basket a lot of fun. You can make it look so pretty and expensive.

        I don't blame you for keeping any giveaway winnings. You deserve to enjoy it too.

    • Corinne

      Corinne 07/20/2013 1:23 p.m. #

      Great tips and ones that I definitely need to work harder on. One thing that helps me during the holidays is to put away some money from each paycheck. Even with sales, Christmas shopping takes a big bite out of the budget. If I save throughout the year I don't feel it as bad

      • Sicorra

        Sicorra 07/21/2013 12:38 p.m. #

        It is great that you are well organized and able to save throughout the year for Christmas, esp if you know that you will need to buy alot of gifts and stuff. Having that money set aside just makes it a lot less stressful.

    • Chris Mayhew

      Chris Mayhew 07/29/2013 5:37 a.m. #

      Great tips Sicorra. You're so right about online competitions too; someone's got to win them, right?

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