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Year-Round Giving: Buy Gifts Year-Round

January 13, 2014

Buy Gifts Year-Round

How to Buy Gifts Year-Round and Save Money

Here is a strategy for saving a bundle of money by shopping year-round for gifts.
I have always waited until the last minute to buy gifts for my family’s birthdays, Christmas, anniversary, Father’s Day etc. Every year I know these dates are coming but I am never prepared and spend hours searching for that perfect gift at the last minute. Does that sound like you? This year that is going to change. Here is how I am going to buy gifts year-round.

1. Make a list of everyone you buy gifts for. (Husband, Kids, Parents)
2. In the next column next to the person's name write down the occasions you buy them gifts.
3. Decide on a budget per person and write that down in column three.
4. Finally have an idea column. 

Here is what my list looks like. 

Make notes of what the person likes and things they have specifically said they wanted. For example my husband likes tools, guns, and cooking. On several occasions he has said he wanted a new pair of sunglasses. Writing it down makes shopping so much easier than aimlessly browsing random items.

I write down ideas when I am talking to my mom on the phone. She will tell me something like, "I saw this pretty birdhouse at Lowe's". After listening to her description I write it down. She liked the birdhouse enough to tell me about it but she didn’t buy it for herself. This is the perfect opportunity to find that exact item, keep a look out for coupons, sales, or shop different stores to find the best deal. Even though her birthday is three months away I will have that birdhouse and it is something that she truly wanted. 

Shop store sales strategically and save a bundle. 
My mom loves Yankee Candle so instead of waiting till right before her birthday I am going to shop their semi annual sale. Bed Bath & Beyond is always mailing out $5 off or 20% off coupons. Use those coupons when you get them instead of shopping without coupons. If buying gift cards check with your grocery stores to see if they offer gas points on gift card purchases. See my post on How to Save at the Gas Pump by Spending Money on Yourself to get the details on how to save big with gas points.  Racking up gas points will save you money at the gas pump. Cruise the clearance aisle. My husband will most likely get some sort of kitchen gadget that was discounted for Christmas this year. Don't wait until the occasion to start shopping. Shop whenever you find a good deal.

Here are some other holidays/occasions to keep in mind when making your spreadsheet. 

Grandparents Day
Valentines Day
Baby Shower
Father's Day
Mother's Day

Do you have any tips for buying presents year-round and/or saving money? Please share your tips in the comment section.  




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