Frugal Gift Giving

I have issues when it comes to gifts.  Serious, elitist issues.  See, I like the recipient to know I spent time and put thought into picking out the absolute perfect thing, try to make sure I don’t come across cheap, and absolutely despise giving gift cards (can we say cop-out?).

The part I have the most difficult time with is the whole gift wrapping thing.  Shoving the item into a flimsy bag with a wad of tissue paper (or even worse… too little tissue paper) is like a dagger into my little snobby heart.  Of course, I’ve been known to do this if I’m in a pinch, but ONLY when absolutely necessary and ONLY with the cutest bag available (none of those plain, $1.99 Target crummy things).  Are you seeing the elitist thing coming out?  I’m ridiculous, I know.

Justin (a frugally-minded fellow) is highly bothered by this and likes to stress the point that we don’t have a ton of extra money to be spending on gifts for everyone we know.  He gets frustrated with me for wanting to give the gift that ‘little extra something’, when all those little extras add up.  This is also the same guy that wanted me to give a $10 gift card to his sister for her 25th birthday.  Yeahhh, we’re just not on the same page here.

I have come up with a little plan in an attempt to please everyone involved in this gift-giving fiasco — do it the Semi-Homemade way (à la Sandra Lee, minus the .15 blood alcohol level).  What I’m doing is purchasing either the gift wrap OR the gift, and while keeping a budget in mind, I make the other item.  It’s interesting to see how your creativity comes out when you’re working with a budget.  And the bonus: The recipient can see the time, thought and effort that was put into their gift.

A Recent Example:

Supplies before...

Basically, all I did was wrap the boring, plain box in some cute scrap booking paper, tied some ribbon around the edges and secured it with one of those super cute labels.  I LOVE those things!

The finished product

Happy Birthday, Mom!

How do you all keep gift-givings within your budget?   Is it rude of me to ask?