Friday, September 10, 2010

A Peek Inside My Gift Cupboard

In Wednesday's post, I promised to share more details about my gift cupboard, so here you go!

My gift cupboard is both a money and a sanity saver. Since I make a point of regularly collecting gift-worthy items while out and about on my various "treasure hunting" expeditions, it's rare that I have to make a special trip to shop for a gift. Instead, I open up my gift cupboard, and voila! The perfect item is right there waiting for me. I really don't know how I survived before I had my trusty gift cupboard!

Just to illustrate how well this works for me, I'll give you a specific example. Back in July, I had a weekend where I attended a niece's birthday party on the Saturday, then on the Sunday we visited with a close friend of mine that I hadn't seen for a few months. Since she and her son had both recently had birthdays, I needed gifts for both of them as well.

For my niece, I had stashed away a brand-new condition, never opened Rush Hour game that I'd picked up for (I think) $2 at a yard sale. We have this game and love it, so I thought she'd enjoy it, too. I also happened to find a silver heart shaped box at a yard sale the week before her birthday, which was the perfect package for the necklaces my boys had made her (she was thrilled with both the box and the necklaces!)

For my friend, I had tucked away a Gardening Journal and a "practical gardening" book - both very high quality and new condition, that I'd paid $1 each for at a yard sale. She was just getting ready to move into a new home, and was very pleased with these; she can now keep detailed notes on everything she does (and plans to do) in her new garden.

For my friend's one-year-old son, I had picked up a series of three Beatrix Potter board books at yet another yard sale. These were in such new condition that they still made that crackly sound when you turned the pages - I don't think anyone had ever so much as opened the cover of these books before! I basically got these free as I bought a huge load of stuff at that particular sale and bargained with the lady for a low price on the whole lot. Again, this gift was very well received - I know my friend enjoys "classic" kids' books and wants to share them with her kids, and she commented that she had never seen this series in board book version before and would be glad to read them to her son without worrying about him trying to rip out pages!

So, for all three of the gifts I put together that weekend, I spent under five dollars total, while still being able to give great gifts that I was sure the recipients would enjoy.

How much did my gift cupboard save me on this weekend alone? The Rush Hour game is $19.95 new, the gardening books were approximately $20 each at cover price, and the board books are listed at $9 each on Chapters. That's $86.95 before you even add in taxes or shipping - so potentially this could have added up to close to a hundred dollars. By picking these items up when I saw them for great deals and storing them away, I saved myself somewhere between $80 and $95 just for these three gifts alone! And I didn't have to do any last-minute running around to purchase them, either.

Right about now, I'm taking an inventory of my gift stash to see what I already have tucked away for Christmas, and who I might need to still pick up a gift for. I had such a successful yard sale season this year that my gift cupboard is packed full and I've had to store a few items in my closet as well. So, what's in there?

-a variety of interesting books for everyone on my gift list from young children to adult
-games and puzzles for the young kids on my list
-a Lord of the Rings 100 piece puzzle for my younger son
-a Harry Potter trivia game for my older son
-a still-in-the-shrink-wrap Blokus game (specific recipients in mind)
-a small Brio train set I picked up LAST summer, waiting until my friend's son was old enough for me to give it to him (he's getting it for Christmas this year!)
-high quality blank journals and a still-in-original-packaging "spa" kit (candles, essential oils, etc)
-a couple of goodies for my husband

I still need to sit down and make out a detailed plan, however after a quick survey of my "inventory", I'm pretty sure I have almost all my Christmas gifts covered for this year, except for stocking stuffers and a couple of larger items for my kids and hubby. For most people on my gift list, they'll be getting something from the stash plus some homemade goodies (canned and baked goods, and/or something crafty if I have time).

It gives me such peace of mind to know that I have something wonderful tucked away for almost any gift-giving occasion, and that I don't have to bust my modest budget to give a well-received present!

Do you have a gift cupboard? If so, what do you have stashed in there?


  1. I have a gift shelf? Does that count? lol
    I mostly have stuff for my blog giveaways in there though like books and gift cards. I guess I never really found anything at a yardsale that I look at as a gift possibility. I may have to start looking over yardsales with new eyes now. ;)

  2. I think this is a fabulous idea! I want to start one now.

  3. I have a gift drawer, but it's really just odd usable things that I accumulate and sometimes incorporate into gifts. Yours is amazing! Reading your Xmas post the other day got me thinking about my list of people to buy for, and I'll be looking in my drawer first to see what I have!

  4. I have worked this system for a while too - and have a metro shelving unit for it all (huge family)

    I love hitting Black Friday sales and getting $1.99 games, $2-3 DVDs, etc. I have the shelf of undecided items on top and then 12 boxes (one for each month) that lists dates/names on the outside. The approcpriate gifts go in the monthly boxes and then fill in with home made goodies.

    That top shelf is for surprise events/birthday parties, etc.


  5. Wow, the box for each month is a great idea - I don't have enough space to do that in my current setup, but I can see how that would make things a lot easier if you have many people to buy for. Thanks for sharing that!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails