With nine birthdays in our family alone, birthdays can take quite a bite out of the budget. Last year I was able to use Swag Bucks to purchase our birthday and Christmas gifts. This year, while I still love my swag bucks, I am going back to my old ways.
The Birthday Box is a great way to save a lot of money on gifts and be prepared for those unexpected parties (or the ones you forgot about). Throughout the year I search the clearance aisle for great deals as well as yard sales and thrift stores for new items. I buy them and stash them in my birthday box. Then when I need a gift I check the box. I keep a large variety of items for different ages in the box and am always looking for great deals.
Just this week, I used the birthday box to help me out of a bind. I had planned on making an apron as a birthday gift for my daughter give her friend. But sick kids kept me out of the craft room, so I checked the birthday box and found some art supplies my daughter could give her friend.
Rather than make a last minute dash to Target and purchase a (not on sale) toy, I was able to find some cute items in the birthday box instead.
It doesn’t have to be a box, you could keep gifts under your bed, in the closet, in a kitchen cabinet, wherever you can make space for the gifts you purchase on sale. Just make sure you keep the gifts hidden from anyone in your home that might be receiving one of the gifts. 🙂
If you are hosting a birthday, read my ideas for having a frugal birthday party.
This post is linking to Works for Me Wednesday.
A Chase says
My mom did this when I was growing up! I cannot tell you how many times I have raided her prize pantry. She kept more than kid stuff–lots of mugs, gift books, bookmarks, trinkets, frames, etc. all new she bought for drastically reduced. Her love language is gift giving, so it just made sense to her to keep a stash. Mine is not, so I have to force it, but I do have a drawer with a few things in it.
Kimberly @ Raising Olives says
We do a variation of this, we have a birthday/gift closet where we stash gifts for the future.
I also include things to use as hostess gifts. You know when someone invites a family of 11 over for dinner, they deserve a little something to say thank you.
We do something very similar. I have several clear organization bins with gifts for upcoming birthdays and special occasions inside. It’s so nice to have presents on-hand when you’re in a pinch!
I have my stash as well, but it is nowhere near like yours. I only have 2 kids, so my stash is more for friends, neighbors, and my husbands coworkers.
Alison @ Hospitality Haven says
I love doing that too! I call it the re-gift box because there are most definitely some re-gifts in there. 🙂 It’s helped many times!!
Amy Whitley says
This is a great idea. I read your post on frugal birthdays too. My first child will have his first birthday in less than 2 weeks. I wanted to have a small gathering with just immediate family. But the tradition in my husband’s family is to invite ALL of his aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents plust our immediate family for a big 1st birthday bash. Maybe next year we can have the small intimate gathering. I don’t know what we will do for all of the children I want to have in the future (Lord willing :). Parties are expensive!
I have done this for many, many years. It is a time and money saver for sure!!!
I have always wanted to do this, just never done it. we are low on space, but i think this year we are going to try this, since we are limited on income and have all kinds of friends.
I do the same thing and generally keep them in a drawer. Of course, I also use unsold eBay inventory often as birthday, friendship or Christmas gifts as well.
I’ve never thought of that. This is such a money saving idea!!! Thanks so much for sharing, I’ll get started right away.
This is a great idea! Love it! I also love swagbucks.
I have done that for years as well. We have teens now so I go more for the CVS clearance on bath & body products, Burts Bees, some make up and the like. My daughters and I put together some nice gifts this past Christmas with our stash. We just added 1.00 bins and bath sponges from Walmart to make it look nice.
I have done this very same thing ever since my first one was born 9 years ago. My kids ususally have nice birthdays and Christmas gifts because we can buy alot more gifts for them when I buy them @ 75% – 90%off. I’m also usually done Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving which is nice b/c then I can focus on the “fun” seasonal stuff with my kids. I also love the fact that when I invariably get that birthday party invite 3 days before the birthday, we don’t have to go rushing to the store to find something… I just grab something out of the box!
ONE MORE THING that I do to save ALOT of money is to buy colorful but plain BLANK cards from Target when they are on clearance. Whenever one of my kids has a party to go to, instead of buying an expensive card for them, I let my kids pull out the stamps, stickers, and stencils to make a simple, personalized card. On average, we spend about .10/ card.
This is such a great idea, and I’m sure it does save a lot of money! I will have to start doing this.
Tami Lewis says
i have a birthday box too and boy does it come in handy!!!! i have 7 kids and 4 were born in the same week of july!!!!!!!!!!!
I love hitting up clearance aisles and having gifts readily available! Saves a lot of time, hassle & money!!
what a wonderful idea! I never thought of this — I will be sure to start doing that asap!! thank you!! I love love reading your blog posts — keep ’em coming!!
Young Wife says
My mother used to do this! She kept gifts in a trunk with wrapping supplies. I need to start doing this.
I do the EXACT same thing. In fact, today at the thrift store I found a new in shrink-wrapped plastic Cranium game for $2.50. Retail price is $15. Perfect for one of my daughter’s friend’s birthday parties! While we try to buy special presents for close family and friends, when it is a classmate or someone we don’t know well, a general present works great. I also buy American Girl doll clothing when it goes on sale. On Cyber Monday I bought 5 doll hair care kits for $5 each (regular price $15) and 2 doll outfits for $8 each. They make perfect birthday presents, and the perceived value is so much higher!
Okay, your comment cracked me up! We found a new, still in the plastic Cranium game at our thrift store too! I think it was $3. Too funny!
I started doing that when my oldest was little. She would come in and say can I go to so-so’s birthday right now. I keep it pretty well stocked still and use it for Christmas presents. I go through it at Christmas and see what gifts match who.
Great tip!!! I will have to remember this idea as my daughter gets older.
Serena Morrow says
I made your Baked Ziti recipe tonight and it was wonderful! My picky kids asked me to make it again tomorrow. Thanks!
What a great idea. I never thought of doing something like that. Thanks for the idea! 🙂
It’s always a good idea to have a stash of gifts (and cards for various occasions) on hand!
I like to take the coupons for Michael’s, if I don’t need anything from there myself, and go buy Crayola items for my birthday/travel/Christmas box.
I’ve started my own birthday/gift box this past Christmas. I scour the forums for good deals (my favorite is fishingfordeals.com). I also stock up on books from sortfloorbooks.com for birthdays, etc. The hardest part is hiding my stash from my kids.
I love this idea and can’t wait to get started. My boys were invited to two Birthday parties over the last couple weeks and because of a torn muscle in my back and some other health issues I couldn’t get to the store and had to ask some friends to go for me. The Birthday box would of saved me. I just came across your blog today and I love it!!! Thanks for all the great information you share.
missy @ it's almost naptime says
I do this too. I call it “shopping in Mommy’s closet” because that’s where it’s kept.
I also do this for teacher gifts.