It’s that time of the year, time to stock your Gift Closet! We have already seen some great Clearance deals on toys and the Target Toy Clearance is already happening in stores. Most stores are at 50-70% off which means you can get some awesome deals for your gift closet. If you have followed me for very long you know I talk about my Gift Closet frequently and I put together a quick post explaining what a gift closet is and how it can save you money!
How to Save Money with a Gift Closet
Creating a Gift Closet is one of the best ways to save money on gifts for friends and family members. My kids are at that stage where we probably have 2-3 birthday parties a month which can really add up and be tight on the budget if you aren’t planning ahead and preparing. We use something called a “Gift Closet” Which is basically a stockpile of toys or items we can use as gifts so we aren’t forced to head to the store and pay full price when an invitation comes in the mail. Here are a few tips for creating your own gift closet:
1. Find a spot in your house to store your gifts
When you’re first starting out this could be an extra closet, a large plastic tub or just a space in your Master Closet where your going to put any gifts you buy. Having all the gifts in one place makes it easier when you need to find something to wrap up for a party because you won’t have to go searching all over the house and it’s also easier to see what you have and make sure you’re not forgetting something.
2. Keep out of the reach of your Children
This probably goes without saying, but my kids tend to want to open everything they find so making sure you kids understand those gifts aren’t for them and they can’t be opened helps, but I also like to store my unopened gifts where my kids can’t get to them.
3. Buy for the ages and seasons of life you are in
If you have kids and you are going to a lot of birthday parties keep in mind the ages and genders of your children. I have a 6 year old boy and a 4 year old girl, we tend to go to a lot more boy parties for 6 & 7 year olds so I buy gifts for that age range, then I tend to buy more little girl gifts for ages 3-5 girls. I occasionally buy a few of the opposite gender in those ages for family friends, but I rarely buy things for a 12 year old boy because we know very few of those and we don’t go to many parties for that age range. Knowing what you will use is critical to saving money with your gift closet because it allows you to actually USE the gifts you buy, nothing worse then spending money on gifts you won’t use.
4. Know when to shop
I like to hit the Target Toy Clearance when it’s around 70% off, once it hits 50% at my stores I check it almost daily :) Waiting for things to drop to 70% off typically this happens in Late January and the End of July so watch your stores closely. Kmart also typically runs an additional 50% off clearance toys around the end of July. This is another great time to stock up!
One other tip, Amazon.com runs Toy Clearance all year long, but the few days before Christmas (When it’s too late to ship items) Is one of the best times to stock your closet shopping online! See all the Amazon Toy Deals Here!
5. Set a Budget
Just like anything else it is important to set a budget for buying gifts. We have an entire budget category for buying gifts which means that when I find something on sale I have the money to make the purchase. Also, I find that by using the gift closet method I’m able to reduce the price per item I pay for Birthday gifts and still have some great name brand gifts! I get asked a lot what an appropriate amount is to spend on a Birthday Gift for a friend, I typically like to be Under $10 per item but I have found that by shopping when items are 70% off I can get toys that normally would be $30-$40 for under $10 so you can still give a great quality item within budget!
I would love to know when your favorite times are to shop and what you think is a good amount to spend on a Birthday Party Gift! I know this varies a lot based on what your budget allows, but I think it would be a great conversation to hear what others are doing around the county!
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