Photo courtesy of Dippylulu.
As the heat scorches my yard, and makes me determined not to venture forth in the name of shopping and deal hunting, I’m still contemplating my gift stockpile. It’s getting rather sparse in that box that sits in my office. I have used it not only for Christmas gifts, but also birthdays and other parties.
It’s the middle of June, and pretty soon we will hear the marketers shouting “Christmas in July” sales. Then it will be Back-To-School sales, Fall Decor, Halloween, Thanksgiving and finally Christmas. When you think about the year in terms of seasons and sales, you realize that the holidays will be upon us before we know it.
That’s why I believe it is vital to have a gift stockpile in my home in order to save money. Here are some tips for starting and maintaining your own gift stockpile.
1. Keep a running list of people you are buying for and what their interests are.
Then while you are grabbing deals, you have a list to refer to. Evernote is a great way to organize your lists. With their app you can access your docs from your smart phone AND from your computer. This way you can edit the list while you are out from your phone, and access it at home on the computer.
2. Designate a space for stockpiling gifts.
This should be somewhere the family knows is off limits. Keep items in a locked box if you are concerned about nosey peekers.
3. Think of the year in terms of sales and holidays.
But more importantly, focus on the sales that will happen after these holidays have ended. After Father’s Day, gifts for Dad will be clearanced and drastically discounted. This would be the time to grab a special gift for the men in your life for the holidays.
After the Back-To-School season, items like crayons, crafts and other school supplies end up discounted. And even during the Back-To-School sales most office supply stores will sell items for pennies (seriously, they do!). This would be the time to grab up some great gifts for kids, or items to include in Christmas care packages and shoe boxes.
4. When you find that special item that you know would be perfect for a certain person, snatch it up!
In my opinion, these make the absolute best gifts. I would rather receive a gift from someone that was well planned, vs. something they just went out and grabbed at the last minute because they felt obligated to get me something.
5. Shop frequently during yard sale season.
This is a great way to find antique and vintage items, or even those big items that would be too expensive if bought brand new. Gifts do NOT have to be brand new to be special to the receiver. In this case, you would need to know the receiver well, so as not to offend him/her with a used item.
I know a lot of people that save up their gift cards all year long, and then use them to pay for Christmas. The only issue I have with this is that they are waiting until the Christmas season to spend their gift cards. Use the gift cards all year long when you find drastically discounted deals online, and then you are stretching how far those gift cards go.
7. Go to local auctions.
Again this is if you are shopping for those who like vintage and antique items. Auctions are a lot of fun, and if you visit auctions in more rural areas you can get some amazing bargains. Find local auctions near you with AuctionZip.
8. Watch your favorite companies for when they will be releasing updated products.
When a company is updating a product, it’s almost a sure thing that the soon-to-be out-dated version is going to go on sale and/or be clearanced. For example: Nintendo just announced that it will be launching its new gaming system, Wii U. Now is the time to watch for deals on the Wii if you are planning to get this for the holidays.
These are just a few of the things I do year-round in order to prepare and maintain a gift stockpile. What are some of your tips? You can leave a comment by clicking here.