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#1 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am not sure if this is the right forum, but here goes...

Yesterday, I took the kids to the lunch to get out of the house. I saw Valentine gift sets at Bath and Body Works. They were half off and packaged nicely. I looked them over and decided to buy 2 as future gifts...niece will love the little red bag and whole set of bath stuff and my sister will love the peony candle set. We grew up with peonies. She is a single mom who doesn't treat herself to anything. I just thought they were good bargains and will be appreciated later.

Do you buy gifts like this advance, or do you consider that impulse buying because I didn't have a list or intention to buy these things?

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#2 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 01:02 PM
 
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nak

i buy gifts in advance. besides, it's not like you just picked those up randomly, they're for specific people, you're just waiting for an occasion to give them.

Homeschooling mom to four kids, ages 18, 18, 10, and 6. 

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#3 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 02:57 PM
 
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I buy things throughout the year for specific people as I find things. I also pick up a few "emergency gifts" to have on hand -- but only a few. I keep everything in a "present bag" in the closet.
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#4 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 03:40 PM
 
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I think it's a great idea. I once read the tip to write out how many gifts you will need in the year, and then divide it by twelve so it's all spread out.

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#5 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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I think its a great idea when you can make it work....

for a long time I did this, but then forgot about them or "lost" them because I wasn't organized. So at that point in my life, it wasn't a good idea because it ended up being a waste of money.

Now, I write them down in a notebook that is always in my purse (otherwise, I would end up buying the "easy" people 10 gifts and still be scrambling around for the "harder" people two weeks before Christmas!) and they all go in one place in my attic.

Now that I have some amount of order to the process, it makes it a lot of fun and very worth doing!
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#6 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 06:08 PM
 
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I buy gifts ahead. Saves me time and money. I especially like buying kids gifts when I spot a deal, so that I have birthday gifts on hand and don't have to make a special trip to the store. Sometimes those invites only come a week or two ahead, and fitting that extra trip into our schedule is surprisingly difficult!

aisling, I like your idea of keeping track in a notebook for my purse!
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#7 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 06:10 PM
 
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I would like to be able to preplan and get into a rhythm for making gifts,
Annette

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#8 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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I do this a lot and it's really bad b/c I stash them away and forget I bought them, and end up buying too many gifts for that person. I got way too many xmas gifts for my mom, so when I was at her house for xmas, I wrapped the extras and hid them around her house in places she will never find them. I figure the next time she tells me she's having a really bad day, I will say "Hey could you do me a favor and go see if there is a blue plastic bag inside a box on the 4th shelf in the garage...." And she'll get all irritated at me, thinking I'm being so self-absorbed asking her to dig thru the garage when she's depressed. But then it will be a special treat for her! Ok, it's not frugal of me, but it is sweet, no?

I was at the bookstore the other day and they had some incredible prices, so I bought a bunch of gifts for people which I will doubtless forget about before it's time to give them. I guess I need a centralized list.
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#9 of 26 Old 02-16-2005, 06:17 PM
 
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I do this all the time. It actually saves you money in the long run. We once covered tow of ds' birthdays and Hanukkahs this way. We spent about $150, but the store was closing and we got loads of things. We also used a couple of the items as birthday presents for other children. I love to shop this way.
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#10 of 26 Old 02-17-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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I plan to start doing this. I'm going to designate one box to future gifts. What I want is to not be so stressed every time a birthday comes up(all hte time in my family! lots of kids) and freaking out about christmas in december . I think it's a great idea as long as you have one place to keep it all so you don't forget about it. My mom does it, but she always ends up with huge loads of stuff for her easiest people(me and her mom) and doesn't keep it all together so she doesn't know where they are, then she's still panicking two days before a holiday because she forgot to shop for someone. At least twice a year she gives me little gifts that she bought for christmas or a birthday, tucked away somewhere, and couldn't find in time for the event.

I think as long as you're organized about it and don't lose stuff, it's a great way to save money by buying when stuff is on sale.
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#11 of 26 Old 02-22-2005, 11:10 PM
 
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I definitely do this! I have a huge plastic bin that I keep them in and I also keep gift bags that I receive that can be reused, gifts I get that I could do without, some wrapping paper, etc. I do buy items for specific people for specific occasions but it's been great for when I need a quick gift for a forgotten occasion or if someone gives me an unexpected gift. It especially comes in handy during the holidays because it always seems to be that one or 2 people who I wasn't planning on exchanging gifts with gives me something and I grab something from the bin to give them!

If you can designate a specific place you can definitely give a lot nicer of a gift than you paid for and not have to scramble at the last minute and spend a lot more than you planned to.

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#12 of 26 Old 02-24-2005, 04:21 PM
 
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I love doing this, but I always love finding a bargin. As long as I keep it in the big plastic tote with all the others, I remember and use it. I find it saves money, time, and I give more thoughtful gifts then just running out last minute.

Now I need to work on organizing for Christmas Gift buying, I never really think that far ahead...
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#13 of 26 Old 02-25-2005, 06:32 PM
 
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I've just started buying Mason's bday gifts for his 2nd bday after the holidays. I snagged a wooden dollhouse w/furniture and 5 family members and a wooden race car set w/track for under $20! from Target. Today I picked up some wooden fruit and veggies from Cost Plus World Market for $24. Since I'm not buying 'junk' toys, I really try to find good bargains and stash them away in a special closet until they are needed.

I have been buying clothes for all the kids that way for years though. I always have at least their next 2 sizes in my special closet for gifts or when they wake up and BAM they're in the next size and nothing in their dresser fits I usually hit the sales after the holidays for clothes and only pay $.99 to $3.99 for shirts/pants.

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#14 of 26 Old 03-28-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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I'm going to start doing this err force myself to do this. It kills me to see stuff 2 days after xmas 75% off or Easter night 50% off yet I never buy it because after the holiday is over Im just not in "the spirit" any longer. But it really would save a lot in the long run. I think the cabinet I was planning on getting rid of-Im going to designate as the gift storage cabinet.

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#15 of 26 Old 03-30-2005, 04:41 AM
 
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I got a leappad for my son's 4th b-day in July for $13 last week. Brand new. I keep gifts in a plastic bin. NO more than that space, though.
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#16 of 26 Old 03-30-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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I buy kids' b-day gifts whenever I see a good deal and keep them all in one cabinet in the garage. I keep wrapping paper, cards, etc. in a long plastic bin under my bed so that when there is a party, I don't have to rush out and get a last minute gift and spend too much also. It doesn't add to clutter for me because the gifts and the wrapping paper have contained places they are stored. It is a big help!

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#17 of 26 Old 03-30-2005, 03:16 PM
 
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I love doing this. It makes Xmas and bdays alot less stressful.

If you find you have extra gifts, great then you're that much ahead for next year or you can give them at other times of the year to other people.
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#18 of 26 Old 04-03-2005, 06:21 PM
 
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I also do this - its hard for me to pass up a bargain if the item is something that can be used in the future (non-perishable, specific gift for a specific person, etc).

What I do as far as organizing the gifts is this:

1. When I get home from the store I immediately enter the gift information into an Excel spreadsheet in my computer. I have different sheets for everyone's name then I'll enter a brief description of the item and then list the holiday that its for (birthday, Christmas, just because, et).

2. I put the items in the top part of my closet (big walk-in closet with shelves) and organize the items by person (ie. son's stuff goes on the bottom shelf, left side, first half - etc).

3. When a holiday approaches I look at my spreadsheet to see what I've already purchased and to see if any more shopping is needed.

4. Once a gift is given I remove it from the spreadsheet.

I started using this because a few years back I discovered that I had *way* too many gifts for my son (pre-daughter days).
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#19 of 26 Old 04-03-2005, 06:36 PM
 
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I do this - have for years. I keep them in boxes in the top shelves of our master closet. Whenever I see something good on sale (cool book or art supplies or game or whatever), I buy it and put it away. Sometimes I know who it is for but sometimes I don't. Many get used for birthdays/Xmas/Easter baskets for my own kids - some are birthday gifts for my kids' classmates. Some get donated to the giving trees at Xmas or for Bingo prizes at school fundraisers.

My kids get invited to a TON of birthday parties, easily two a month per kid if not more. If I take them to the store to buy a gift, it takes a lot of time and there is much argument over which gift and "can't we spend just a little more... she is my very good friend!" (they are all her "very good friends"...) If I just take three choices out of my gift boxes, set them on my bed, call her in and ask which she wants to give, it is infinitely easier for all of us - and I spend less than half the amount. If I take her, we often end up $20 in. If I buy a $15 gift when it is on sale for $7.99 - big difference when you multiply that out by how many parties they go to per year!

Sure, I occasionally forget a gift is up there and buy another or get something that never seems to fit for what is later needed. But that is fairly rare.
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#20 of 26 Old 04-04-2005, 11:29 AM
 
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We do this, too. My mom has always done it, so it just rubbed off on me, I suppose. Although my purchases are rarely from retail stores. I buy new or like-new items that are giftable from yardsales & thrifts. I have a box in the closet for the boys & DH, and a box under my bed for friends/relatives. We buy things half the time knowing to whom they will go. The other half, we just buy something nice and wait until we find the perfect recipient. All of my friends and most relatives are frugal and live a 'natural' lifestyle, so they don't care if something doesn't have the tag on it, and all the kids would want the same sorts of items my kids would use, so it's easy to find good stuff!

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#21 of 26 Old 04-17-2005, 08:21 AM
 
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I do do this, and would have gotten those gifts that you got, too! Good buys for specific occasions will only be much more expensive when you really "need" them.
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#22 of 26 Old 04-19-2005, 08:32 PM
 
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This is a big thing for me because it's one place were we save a significant amount of money. I'm pretty organized about it now -- separate boxes for families and friends, along with a spread sheet. I buy general things too -- mostly boy toys for my son to give to his friends. I figure, if it's a "good" toy for a great price, then if I don't find a person for it, I'd feel comfortable giving it to toys for tots. At this point, I'm able to give most gifts paying only 75%. We don't give to a lot of people and my son is only 3, so he's had only 4 birthday parties this year, but we really do save.

My husband is all for it, but I spent a ton of money on toys for tots for this year. In the future, I'm going to limit those toys to things we may be able to give as gifts. It's hard to pass a bargain, though.

We're trying to make more and more gifts, which will save more money in the future, but I get pretty lucky with store purchases, thus the full shelves in the basement. (I'm not going to tell how much space this stuff takes up -- only my husband knows!)

ETA: My mom did this, but she was indiscriminate and just bought things because they were inexpensive. She still has a lot of that cheap stuff around. Blah. It definitely taught me to be thoughtful about what I buy ahead.
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#23 of 26 Old 04-19-2005, 09:25 PM
 
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Yes! I buy most of my gifts in advance. Especially now that my dd is on the "birthday party circut."

All of the gifts go in a large rubbermade in the basement.

You will laugh, but I still have gifts for my dd that I bought 4+ years ago in there. I am just waiting for her to be old enough to enjoy them.

My stash of gifts came in very handy this Christmas after dh last his job. I only had to buy 2 gifts for our family and kids. That's it! Everything else I had stored away from sales and when I saw the perfect something.



I totally reccomend finding a good birthday party gift and sticking with it. I have a bunch of letter stamp sets and clay tool sets stashed away. Tomrrow we have yet another party, so I will just pull one out.
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#24 of 26 Old 05-01-2005, 11:28 AM
 
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Well, actually, now that I've been a mama for ten years, I DO buy gifts in advance. The reason I'm mentioning the mama part is because this is mainly a thing I do in the area of children's gifts. I buy my own dc's gifts for holidays, birthdays, etc. whenever the opportunity arises for a good deal/rare find/ etc. This helps break up the cost of holidays so we're not spending a lot of $ all at one time.

Also, when it comes to the verymany children's birthday parties my dc have been invited to over the years, as well as the verymany they're still yet to be invited to in the future, I find this way of gift-buying really pays off. I used to go out and buy individual gifts for each birthday party we were invited to. But I found that, not only was I spending much more money doing it that way, but more time as well, because I had to make a trip to the store for just one gift on any given week.

So I'll be in a close-out type of store and see something very cool like sturdy metal cash boxes that come in different colors and with their own set of keys for just a few dollars each because they're 'overstock' from another store (or whatever) and I'll snatch up a few -- kids love these things as gifts. Just one example.

Really I think this way of doing things just takes the imagination/visualization necessary when you happen upon something -- you would need to be able to see it's potential. I've trained myself to do this, now. So when I'm out and about it's easier to quickly identify items that would be good to buy for this purpose.
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#25 of 26 Old 05-02-2005, 01:27 AM
 
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I did alot of that for my children when they were young.

The problem was I would see something in May that my DD simply loved and I would plan to give it to her for her birthday in October or for Hanukah; when these months came, five to seven months later, she was no longer interested in this.

It works better for adults, IMHO. I just found the last batch that I bought years ago, some Harry Potter things for my then second grader...he is now in seventh grade...I was caring for DH and my Father, both of whom have since died, so you cannot forget.
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#26 of 26 Old 05-03-2005, 06:05 PM
 
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I do this. But I'm so crazy I not only buy them, I wrap them and put a post-it note on it so I know what it is.

At the end of December, I go to Target : and buy lots of things that are on clearance. Then I wrap and tag.
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