By contributing writer Laura
Gift giving doesn’t just happen around the holidays. It catches us by surprise all year round as the need for presents on birthdays, housewarmings, graduations, baby showers, bridal showers, and other little occasions pop up. If you feel like you’re constantly running out to buy full price items at the last-minute, then I have some tips to help you save money and avoid procrastinating.
Here are my top tips for how to build up a gift closet:
Compile a List of Gift Recipients
Make a list of family and friends whom you know you will need to buy presents for throughout the year. Make sure to include the dates of birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions that prompt gift giving. List the names of gift recipients as well as some of their likes, latest interests or hobbies, favorite restaurants or food, etc., to help you keep them in mind when running across deals throughout the year.
Ask for Wish Lists
If you have friends or relatives who are hard to shop for, simply ask them what type of gifts that they’d like. I usually ask my sister and friends what they’d like as gifts, when approaching Christmas or birthdays. There will sometimes be an item on their wish list that is new or an act of service that I wouldn’t have thought of, such as babysitting, lending assistance with decorating, lending help with organizing a room, a meal planning/prep party, etc.
Set Up Price Alerts
If there are specific gifts you have in mind for your loved ones, be sure to set up price alerts for those products online. Sites like Camel Camel Camel will notify you when an item is for sale at its lowest price. If you have some flexibility in timing, you should look at the pricing history of that product and wait for it to drop before purchasing.
Check the Clearance Section
When shopping in store or online, I love looking for clearance items. Whether it is out-of-season products, markdowns, or discontinued products/styles, there are great deals to be found. Think strategically and swoop up post-holiday clearance items that will remain good until next year, particularly for stocking stuffers, gift exchanges, and holiday decor.
Use these tips to stock up your gift drawer or gift closet gradually throughout the year, so that you spend less money and are prepared for those last-minute parties or gift givings.