Sunday, April 27, 2008


Baby Gift on a Budget
The Christmas onesie (which says, "Who needs Santa? I've got Grandma!") was
10 cents on a K-Mart clearance in February. The Aveeno baby lotion, part of last week's Walgreens deals, was around $1. The cute little stuffed lamb was $2 on after-Easter clearance sales at the local grocery store. A very nice baby gift for around $3!

When a friend reminded me at church about a baby shower for a gal we know that is tomorrow, I didn't have to panick, thanks to my trusty "Gift Stash." I always keep a gift stash out of habit because my mom had one and they are so useful. My gift stash is divided into 2 boxes and 2 bags which sit on the shelf in my bedroom closet. I have one large gift bag full of used gift bags, tissue paper, ribbons, and wrapping supplies. Then I have one large gift bag full of baby gifts only. I have so many friends having babies in this stage of life that I find it helpful to separate my things. The baby gift bag is where I stash brand new baby clothes I have found on clearances or at the thrift store for a quarter. Walgreens freebies that are for babies or great deals I've gotten on wipes or other baby items also go in there. When I need a baby gift, I can whip one out in a jiffy! My other couple of boxes hold all my excess freebies, gifts I've picked up for specific people on great deals or general gifts that can be used for a variety of holidays and occasions. Even though I have a gift stash, I still try to choose gifts for friends and loved ones that are special and useful to them. I don't just give someone any random thing at the top of the box. Last Christmas, I was trying to think of things to give my bachelor brother when I realized I had lots of men's products on hand thanks to freebie deals. He was living on a very tight budget at the time and so a gift of men's shampoo/deodorant, etc. was much appreciated! My mom and mother-in-law often appreciate the quality body washes or lotions I am able to get for hardly anything by shopping the deals. I also dig through my gift boxes frequently to make missionary care packages or look for something to bless someone who is sick or having a tough day. Of course we still buy gifts specifically for special people in our lives on top of having the Gift Stash, but the Gift Stash is so nice to have on hand.

For example, one day when my Grandpa first went into the hospital, my dad planned to make an emergency drive to MN late that night to be with his dad. He stopped by our house on the way out of town and I had already packed a lovely care package for Grandpa out of my Stash. The funny thing was, just 30 minutes before he came by to get the package, we got an e-mail from some friends of ours whose little girl was having heart surgery the next day. It turned out that they were in the exact same hospital, 1,000 miles away! So, quickly I dug through my kids' gifts in the Stash and found a couple of cute little things that any 2-year old girl would love, things I keep on hand that I got on clearance for Ali's friends' birthdays. We were able to send an encouraging suprise gift to this little girl, via my Dad! There have been lots of other times I have benefitted from my Stash and it has saved me lots of money, considering that the choices in this town are few and far between and a last-minute gift could be expensive! Whether you need party favors, shower prizes, birthday presents for last-minute parties (our Mexican neighbors usually ask us to a birthday party on the day of), or little gifts for Valentine boxes, your children's schoolteachers, May baskets, or Mother's Day, it's great to have a Gift Stash!


Becky said...

I love your Gift Stash idea! I need to do something like that too. I normally know when events and bdays are coming up but I always seem to be running around at the last minute. Also a small gift on the spur of the moment is such a wonderful Christian thing and a great way to show your love. Thanks for the inspiration!

The Three 22nds said...

I have one too, and it has saved me a trip (and money!) more than once!

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