Mar 8, 2012

Tips for Managing Your Gift Box

I'm a big advocate of keeping a "Gift Box," which is basically a stash of items you can give as gifts so you don't have to run out on each gift-giving occasion and pay full-price. It's a great way to save money and reduce stress.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your gift box:

If you buy a gift on discount with someone specific in mind, use a post-it to tag the gift so you'll remember your intentions when you go through the box. You can even wrap the gift and put a gift tag on it, but I personally prefer to look at the gift one last time before wrapping it up.

Don't hold onto gifts for too long. They might go out of style, or be discontinued, and at some point, it'll be embarrassing to give them as gifts.

Don't buy more than one or two of the same item. You don't want to accidentally give the same gift to someone more than once! The exception to this rule would be if you see a great deal on an item you want to give to a group of people - a good example would be Amazon's inexpensive jewelry. During the holidays, I picked up several of these crystal bracelets for less than $7 each and gave them to my son's preschool teachers.

When in doubt, don't gift. If you're not sure if you should give something, don't. It's better to be out a little money and time, than to be embarrassed about the gift you're giving.

Don't be afraid to re-gift. If you receive something that's just not for you, there's nothing wrong with giving it to someone else, as long as the original giver will never know, the item is in good condition, and it's appropriate for the new recipient.

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