GET GIFTS THAT COUNT MUCH AND COST LITTLE
Gifts can often become a grudge purchase – especially when they’re for a special occasion that happens in a really tight month. This month’s five fresh saving tips cover alternative ideas to gifts and clever ways to entertain yourself (and your family) for the day, get more business and spend no money!
Check out these 5 fresh saving tips and see how you can start to save, even more, today!
1. GIVE A GIFT OF A SERVICE INSTEAD OF AN ITEM.
We tend to think that special occasions have to be graced with physical gifts. Something we’ve bought and spent a lot of money on. But here’s some good news: you don’t have to buy something for every special occasion!
If your friends have kids (and you get on with them…), give an evening of babysitting as a gift. Let them go out and have some adult company together. If you know pet owners, offer to take care of their pets when they travel. How about a garden cleanup to a friend who’s just bought their first home. If you have a friend who’s just been in hospital, take them a meal instead of flowers and chocolate. These are always spectacular gifts for anyone!
2. DO HOLIDAY SHOPPING RIGHT AFTER THE HOLIDAYS.
Most people use this technique for Christmas, but it works for every holiday. Wait until about two days after a holiday, then go out shopping for items you need that are themed for that day. Get a Mother’s Day card for next year the day after Mother’s Day. Get Easter egg decorating kits the day after Easter. Get wrapping paper and cards and such the day after Christmas.
Many supermarkets have good discounts on traditional foods and disposable food containers (like foil trays, which you can use to deliver that meal to a friend in…) over the Jewish and Muslim holidays. The discounts are tremendous, and you can just put this stuff in the closet until next year, saving you a bundle.
3. JOIN UP WITH A VOLUNTEER PROGRAM.
It’s a great way to meet new people, get some exercise, and involve yourself in a positive project that can lift your spirit. It also comes without a cost to you and can provide a lot of entertainment and a fulfilling day when you’re in the right mindset.
Another spin-off is networking with people who are often business owners or high-up in the management chain. The opportunity to get new clients from your new friends is excellent! I’ve spent my time volunteering, serving on various committees and groups in the community – and it’s always been a valuable experience.
4. RE-EVALUATE THE STUFF IN THE ROOMS IN YOUR HOUSE.
Go into a room and go through every single item in it. Do you really need that item? Are you happy that it’s there, or would you be just fine if it were not? If you can find stuff to get rid of, get rid of it – it just creates clutter and it might have some value to others. You also improve the perceived value of your house – and you’re likely to get a lot of cleaning done in the process. It’s a frugal win-win-win.
5. TRY GENERIC BRANDS OF ITEMS YOU BUY REGULARLY.
Instead of just picking up the ordinary brand of an item you buy, try out the store brand or generic version of the item. Likely, you’ll save a few cents now, but you’ll also likely discover that the store brand is just as good as the name brand – the only difference between the two, often, is the marketing.
Once you’re on board the generic train, you’ll find your regular grocery bill getting smaller and smaller and you’ll be saving!