Friday, December 14, 2007

Frugal Fridays

Frugal Gifts can be very easy to do, it just takes some time, ingenuity, and patience.

I love keeping a gift closet filled with all sorts of items that I pick up on clearance. The trick is that I do not pick up just any old thing. I keep a running list in my bag of what my friends, family, and my teenagers friends like and enjoy. This is where you really listen when talking to family members or as you are driving your children and their friends from point A to point B. Hear what they are talking about: cd's they are wanting, things they enjoy and make a mental note.

After Christmas is the BEST time to stock up on great items that can be given throughout the year. I also keep an area of gift bags, wrap, tissue paper, ribbon and the like and add to this as well after a season ends. Four times in the last month I have had children attending birthday parties or functions where they needed to bring a gift. There is such freedom knowing what you have and heading to the closet and pulling out the gift, wrap, and various items that one needs when giving a gift. My teens have come to expect it and know that I always have cool, cute items in my gift closet. One of my favorite places to stock up is Mardel Christian Bookstore at the Black Friday sales. I have been able to purchase cds for 5.00, best selling books for under 7.00, stationary items, home decor, and seasonal merchandise at great discounts. After Christmas you can be sure I will be visiting Target, Kirkland's, Mardels, Bath and Bodyworks,and Hobby Lobby to hit their sales.

A couple of things to do is take inventory of what you may already have set aside or if you have not started a gift closet purpose to do so in the next year. Make a list to keep in your handbag of those you normally buy gifts for such as teachers, family, friends, and of course your children's friends. Begin to listen when engrossed in a conversation and seek out those items of interest.

Get your older children involved. My daughter loves to help me seek out these items. If you would like more frugal ideas head on over to Chrystal's blog at Biblical Womanhood.


Tiffany said...

I do the same thing. I start buying after Christmas and stash things away all year.
Oh! I miss Mardels. Our Christian bookstore here is nothing like Mardels. I used to go there all of the time!

EdibleEducation said...

I have a similar system...I keep an eye out throughout the year. No way can I brave the stores and checkout lines around Christmas and part of why everyone complains about Christmas is b/c they wait until the last minute to do their shopping.

It's less overwhelming when you just have to pick up a few things to finish off what you already have.

Vanessa said...

Great post! I do just what you do. I have a couple stacking tubs in my closet full of gifts I pick up throughout the year. I try to keep a fairly updated inventory list in my purse. I definitely agree that the best time to shop is right after Christmas. Love the sales!

Vickie said...

I just left you a post on your site just a few seconds ago! How funny! Yes, I agree, I love the sales and can't wait to see what beauties I can pick up this year! I have already been working on my lists of birthdays and such for next year.

Vickie said...

I am so sorry you do not have a Mardel! Since you were at OC I am sure you shopped at the one on 33rd Street and Blvd.

I have not found another Christian bookstore that can compare.

Have a blessed day!

Tiffany said...

You are correct. I made my rounds between Mardels and Hobby Lobby all of the time. Being so close to school, it was a good way to kill some time between classes. :) How is the weather around there? We got ~5-8 inches of snow in the past 24 hours. It is beautiful!