I love to give gifts, but often my funds are quite lacking in that area. So I do what my mom and many other frugal ladies do- I keep a gift box going all year long. Many of these items are bought on sale, from the clearance rack or yard sales. The dollar store is also a great place to find little gift items. I try to keep my selections pretty generic so I can use them for more people! I thought I would share some of the items that I like to keep ready for gifts:
1) Baskets and other little containers- I often do little theme baskets so these come in handy and are found easily at thrift stores or yard sales.
2) Candles and/or potpourri
3)Books- mostly inspirational, poems or devotional types that I have found very cheap($1 or less) at a discount Christian store in a neighboring town. I also find some nice small cookbooks at yard sales that are great for a kitchen-themed basket.
4)Coffee Mugs-to fill with tea bags or drink mixes.
5)Coloring books, bubbles, notebooks, art supplies for the kids.
6)Journals, stationary and cards- I love these so I figure other people do too!LOL!!
7)Bath soaps and lotions
8)Baby items-I try to keep this for either boy or girl unless I'm buying with someone specific in mind. Murphy's Law states that if I have adorable girly outfits in my gift box, then all of my friends will have boys in the next 2 or 3 years or vice versa!!!!:-) Lately, I have been making flannel receiving blankets to give as baby gifts.
9)Christian CD's out the wazoo- Now these are not the most inexpensive items to purchase, but when you have a bunch given to you like we did, they make great gifts! My husband won a whole brick of CD's on the radio one Christmas and then a month or two later a friend gave us another different brick of CD's. We had a lot of those already, so we've taken to using them for gifts. Unless the recipients read this blog post, they will be none the wiser!!!LOL!
10)Homemade cookies or other baked goods-Now I don't keep these in my gift box, but I do give a lot of my own baked treats as gifts. I try to keep my baking center stocked well, so I can easily whip something up! So few people cook and bake from scratch these days, so these items are usually quite well received! I also give some of my own cooking and baking mixes for a thoughtful gift.