I asked on our Facebook Page what areas they you need help budgeting for; one answer that frequently came up was how to plan ahead on gifts. I would recommend that everyone starts a gift closet; this is place where you store gifts that you have found at a discounted price. I have my gift closet in tupperware bins in my basement, the only downside to this is that my kids have often found presents in there for them, so I have to find a sneakier place to hide them!
* Mark has 3 siblings + his parents. On his side of the family we have 10 nieces/nephews. All of them are under the age of 9.
* I have 2 siblings + both my mom and dad are re-married. On my side of the family we have 4 nieces/nephews with another one on the way. All of them are under the age of 5.
* That means that we have AT LEAST 1 birthday every 2-3 weeks in our family. That can get SO expensive!!
Here is what we do to budget for gifts. We set aside an amount of money every month dedicated to buying gifts, some months we spend it all and some months we spend nothing BUT the money always stays in an envelope labeled as GIFT MONEY. I look throughout the year for good deals on toys or gifts for my siblings etc. When I find a good deal I use my gift money to buy it and set it aside for later. Whenever there is a Melissa and Doug puzzle sale, I usually pick a few of them up and set them aside. If I see a good deal on a scarf or earrings that I know one of my sisters will like, I set it aside for later.
By carving out a set amount of money every month into our budget we are rarely empty handed when it comes to their birthdays parties. If we get invited to a last minute party I have something on hand that I can give as a gift.
What ways do you save money on presents?
Do you have a gift closet?