With the holidays practically upon us, now is the time to stock up on gifts if you have not already started! Stocking up on gifts allows you to save money by not being forced to shop for a last-minute gift at full price. It is best to make the process of purchasing gifts an ongoing endeavor throughout the year. The tips below will help you to save money by shopping clearance mark-downs and sales in advance.
In the process you’ll also have more opportunities to get gifts that are personal and perfectly suited for the ones you love because you’ll be on the look-out throughout the year. Preparing for the holiday season is a great time to start a gift stockpile, but I hope you’ll continue it or perfect your existing one throughout the years to come. Here at Bargain Blessings, we let you know about promotions on items that would be great gifts throughout the year that we hope will help you in keeping your gift stockpile well stocked!
While looking through the deals we share here on Bargain Blessings, make sure to look for this icon for items that we thing would work great in a gift stockpile!
Creating a Gift Stockpile
If you’ve never stocked up on gifts ahead of time, here are some recommendations for getting started. I know it may sound crazy, but when it comes to shopping for holiday gifts, it is best to start right after that holiday ends for the following year’s holiday gifts. I literally start shopping for the NEXT Christmas around December 26th. Keep in mind that you won’t want to buy anything that might spoil in a year’s time.
Depending on what holidays you give gifts for, be sure to shop the seasonal merchandise following each of those holidays. Yes, you’ll have to save the gifts for a year, but you’ll often save up to 90% off just by waiting until after the holiday has passed. Discounts tend to increase as merchandise stays around longer and needs to be replaced by new things so keep shopping for the seasonal items up to a few weeks after the holiday.
If you are just shopping for general gifts for birthdays or other occasions that occur throughout the year, always be on the look-out. I typically incorporate a little time to look for gifts each time I am at my preferred stores. You never know what you might find on clearance racks or on sale that suits a person perfectly, and you may not find an item like that again later on.
Organizing Your Gift Stockpile
Now that you’ve started to stock up on gifts, you’ll need to find a system that works for you to store the gifts. When you are buying gifts ahead of time, be sure the items are not too large so that they will fit into storage boxes. Keep in mind that the gifts you are buying may be for people under your same roof so choose a storage space that is out of sight and mind! I typically store our gifts in boxes on the shelves above where our clothes hang in our master bedroom closet. This is not a high-traffic area and is also easy for me to access.
When organizing the stored gifts, designate separate boxes for separate times of year. I have a box for Christmas gifts, a box for gifts already designated for a specific person (especially birthday gifts) that will be given throughout the year, and a box of more general gifts to be given as hostess gifts or to have on hand for last-minute situations.
Tracking Your Gift Stockpile
The goal of a stockpile is to save you money by not buying gifts last-minute and therefore having to buy items at full price. It is important to keep track of what you have purchased so you don’t end up spending just as much money by purchasing items for the same person multiple times. At the start of each calendar year, I create a list for that year of people I know I will be giving gifts to. I do one list specifically for Christmas since that is the one time we buy for a large number of family members and a separate list for birthdays. If you gift for other occasions, you can create a list for those, too. I put one person’s name on each line and leave the rest of the line blank to fill in as I purchase their gifts. My list is attached to the handle of the storage box with a paper clip. This allows me to easily add to the list when I place the purchased gift in the box while also making it easy to remove the list to take with me when I go shopping. I may not find gifts every time, but this allows me at least I know who I should be looking for and who already has a gift.
Remember, people will appreciate that you took the time to find items that suit them well even if that means you bought them months ahead, and you’ll save yourself some money, too! Your budget won’t suffer from a big hit around holiday time if your spending on gifts occurs in smaller amounts throughout the year.