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Friday, April 20, 2012

Gift Giving and The Broke Single Mom

When my three kids were younger they were invited to a lot of birthday parties. Between friends from school, church, baseball and cheerleading we were at a party almost every weekend.

But it got expensive and quick. Then one day a friend of mine called from Toys R Us and asked if I wanted a toy that was on clearance for my sons. It was a red pliable "monster" that looked similar to Muno from Yo Gabba Gabba.

I asked how much and was shocked when she said $2.50 with an original price of $24.99. I immediately said yes and asked her to get me 5 of them. I should have bought 10.

That weekend I wrapped one up and we took it along as a gift for a boy in my sons class, and he loved it. That night I remembered watching a segment on an old show (can't recall the name right now) where they talked about having a gift closet. They suggested stocking your Gift Closet with solid color gift wrapping paper and blank greeting cards as well as small items that are easy to wrap and gift at the last minute.

I lived in a 3 bedroom apartment at the time with limited closet space. So I created a Gift Box. Every time I found wrapping paper on sale (especially right after Christmas and Easter) I would stock up on any and all solid color rolls for as little as .25¢, I bought tape, colored gel pens and found beautiful and great quality Christmas cards that were blank inside and racked up at $1 a pack. I got lucky because the cards didn't have any of the usual Christmas pictures on the front. They were more neutral, little lambs or a snow filled street, that type of front.

And every time I came across a great deal I bought as much as I could afford. Barbies for $3 yep , gimme 10. Tonka trucks for $4.99, lemme grab 3. Even outerwear like hat and glove sets and fun stuff like flippers and floaties. It all went into my box and under my bed and on the side of my dresser :)
It saved me money and more importantly stress. No more taking an hour or two every week trying to find a gift in my budget, no more arguing about the choices of gifts my kids were making either.
The kids now knew that they could simply pick a gift we already had, grab a card and I would wrap it all up.

What you need:

A closet
A large Box
A shelf
Dollar store contact paper
A Keen eye for bargains

If you don't have an extra closet you can use a shelf or a regular large cardboard box (free at your local supermarket) and use contact paper to make it purty:) Then stock, stock away. If you want a head start on stocking your closet with great bargains you can sign up for blogs or sites that email you daily or weekly about steals to be had online. I use Bargain Buddy.

I just ordered 5 Hello Kitty Watches from an email I got from the blog. They were $2.90 each :)
Aint it cute?

And remember that this doesn't only apply to your kids friends birthdays. If you find a great Journal on sale or a gorgeous Pashmina at a ridiculous price, buy a few and you will be ready for any party you get invited to last minute as well.

Happy Shopping!

1 comment:

Kenneth Brett said...
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