You can read the rest of the Ways to Make & Save Money series here.
I've mentioned the gift box before - it's a stash of gifts bought on sale for when you need to give a gift. But being out with a friend who bought not just a birthday gift but also a gift bag and tissue paper reminded me of the corollary: The Gift Wrap Center.
My gift wrap "center" is actually a bunch of containers in a closet. There's a tall plastic bin for rolls of wrapping paper, a bag stuffed with gift bags, and boxes of ribbon. I also keep some cards on hand - inexpensive all-occasion and blank cards. Back in my pre-motherhood days, I also kept some handmade cards around but I don't have time for that anymore.
The paper, bags, ribbon and cards are items I've collected over the years, and which I'm constantly collecting. I buy wrapping paper when it's on clearance after the winter holidays - there are always a few patterns and solid colors that can be used year round. The same goes for ribbon and tissue paper.
I'm also a big believer in reusing gift bags. They're expensive for what they are, and it's rough on the environment to discard them after just one use, or even a few uses. So whenever we receive a gift and the bag is in good shape, it goes into the closet for when I need to give a gift.
My gift wrap center reduces stress, because I'm never scrambling to find wrapping paper or a gift bag. And it also saves me money, because I never have to over spend on last-minute supplies.