8 Tips for Preparing a Gift Stockpile

#33 Presents
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.

6. Save up your free gift cards that you earn by using sites like Swagbucks and Irazoo.

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.

By |2013-12-10T06:49:52-04:00June 17th, 2011|Deals, Finance, Frugal Living|13 Comments

About the Author:

I'm a former sweet-tooth turned health-nut. After a difficult loss of a first pregnancy and having a second child with a heart condition, I became obsessed with health and wellness. I revamped our entire family's lifestyle, dropped seven pant sizes, and created a website where I could share our story and help support people wanting to make small changes day by day in order to live well. I also support my family by the work that I do here through advertising content, affiliates, and partnership/consultant links within content. When you click and/or order, it puts food on our table. Thanks for all your support, and may you live well and thrive!


  1. VickiRae June 17, 2011 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Normally I would but we PCS in Dec. and I don’t want our stuff left in storage if our house isn’t ready in time, which happened last time we PCS’d.

  2. Kelli June 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    This is so true and what I do absolutely every year. Well, honestly I started doing this two years ago and it has saved me tons, especially for kids. When the kids were raving over those pillow pets and paying $20 a piece for them, I got a box of six for $35.00 on http://www.graveyardmall.com. I used it for birthday gifts and christmas. I need to check out Irazoo, never heard of that one. Thank you Thrifty Mama!

  3. Jen M June 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    For Christmas, I am starting a new tradition.. which I am calling the giving tree.. I buy the holiday ornaments on clearence, and put a ribbion and tag on the ornament stating which”cause” ( their animal rescue, military services, reading programs) has been donated to in their honor.. Most of my family and friends ( teachers too) have everything they need.. SO I donate in their name. I think it will be neat to see how many lives we can help out…and show the TRUE meaning of Christmas.. It is not about the fancy presents, it is more than that…

  4. Leigh June 17, 2011 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    I take advantage of sales also. Example, Bath and Body Works has a buy 3, get 3 sale going on this weekend. I also have a $10 off $40 or more purchase.

  5. Tammie Renz June 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    There ia an awesome consignment store where I live called Revive, which is owned by a church and all the proceeds go to battered women and children. I feel like I’m a stalker because I go in there so often. I have two granddaughters, 2 and 1 day old. Yep, I’m a Nonnie for a 2nd time!
    I can’t count the amount of clothes I’ve bought for all THREE of my girls; my daughter, Moriah and now Eliza. This store is so well organized, extremely clean and very particular about what they will accept. They sell everything at about 75% of what the original value is. You can take your own items there to sell and either receive a check in 30 days or buy items and pay for them if you have sold something, if not, you pay cash. When I go I look for things for people I KNOW I will buy a gift for anytime that year or next year. The store accepts seasonal clothing, so I will buy summer clothes for this year AND next year for my girls. I have found so many household items there that I have seen in stores that are very pricey. A lot of items still have the original price tag, they have never been used!
    If you’re afraid of consignment stores, don’t be! As I’m preparing for my trip to KS to see my new granddaughter I went through the dresser drawers in one of my guest rooms where I keep things I buy throughout the year and low and behold, I found a beautiful platter that I bought back in the winter that exactly matches a bowl my daughter got as a wedding gift; but it only cost $4. There was a 2T dress along with it, which I had completely forgotten about as well. I think I need to start leaving myself notes regarding what I bought and where I am storing them!
    Here’s a GREAT tip: We ALL have particular items we want to make sure we take with us when we go on a trip, or if we haven’t seen someone for a while, going to a Dr. appointment, etc. but we don’t want to forget to take the item. OK, so I store these little gems in my undie drawer. Yep, that is THE drawer I go into EVERY day! My friends/family make fun of me, but I NEVER forget something that is very important!!!

    • Allyson @ A Heart for Home June 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      I love the tip about leaving things you don’t want to forget in the undies drawer. I need to do this with my cell phone charger, camera, and camera batteries charger when we have our next trip. Those are the things I’m always afraid I’ll forget. 🙂

  6. Dee Wolters June 17, 2011 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Check out my blog post about this same subject.

    I have stock piled gifts for years. It was a real life saver when my 4 children were young and invited to birthday parties. And now, I do the same thing, but with teen agers in mind because my kids are teens. I check the clearance section at Ross each visit and pick up gifts that we keep in the birthday box.

  7. Crystal @ Counselor Mom June 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    What a good concept. I have never thought about stockpiling gifts. Honestly I have been guilty of not buying gifts for people except immediate family due to finances. With all the freebies and coupons these days, I see where I missed out purchasing gifts for a good price.

  8. Rich June 19, 2011 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    I’ve been doing this every year for my roomate’s daughters and my gift bag is always the most anticipated gift of Xmas! I’d like to hear what people put all their stuff into when they give it to the recipient. I always use a huge gift bag but it always ends up ripped due to the weight of everything. I give them a year supply of the essential health beauty items, laundry and cosmetics plus other goodies! I’ve looked at baskets but they always seem very costly. Any cheap ideas out there? Thanks!

    • Christa June 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      I buy the large bowls or shower caddies that are $1 in the dollar aisle at target. Then buy a roll of cellophane and wrap the bowls and tie with ribbon. Holds everything in when I stuff it full of Health and beauty items. Then the person can re-use what the gifts came in.

  9. […] The Thrifty Mama – Crystal at The Thrifty Mama offers 8 tips for preparing a gift stockpile. It’s hard to believe that we are already half way through the year and the holidays are right around the corner! This is perfect timing to get prepared for the upcoming holidays so you’re not caught unprepared! […]

  10. Judy @ Christian Women Friends June 20, 2011 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    #3 is my favorite tip! I never thought of that but there are sales after every holiday not just Thanksgiving and Christmas and that is the best time to grab some great deals!

  11. Amber March 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Last year I found coupons for toys in the newspaper around Easter. I paired these with store sales and stockpiled them for Christmas presents. I don’t see coupons very often for toys, so this was a good time to take advantage of them.

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