Our family has been of the long-standing viewpoint that it's not how much we spend on the holiday season, but how we spend it. Whether referring to time, good cheer, or money, this is our outlook. Therefore, when we're giving gifts, we don't put as much focus upon how much we're spending or at which stores we're spending it, but rather what we're giving. In our opinion, if we give a great gift, what does it matter if it cost us $10 out-of-pocket rather than $100? This outlook often allows us to find great holiday gift items without having to spend a dime.
Sometimes we come across offers at various stores for a "buy one, get one free" type deal when it comes to gift cards -- something along the lines of buying a $100 gift card and getting a $20 gift card for free. If we tend to do shopping at such stores or eat at such restaurants regularly, then this can be a great way to pick up an extra gift for free. We can buy the larger gift card for our future purchases, gaining the extra gift card to give to a friend or family member as a gift in the process.
Gift cards are a great way for us to buy gifts for others without spending a dime of our own money. This can happen in one of two ways. If we receive a gift card from someone else, or as a bonus buy like I mentioned previously, we could give the gift card itself as the gift to someone else. This is especially helpful if the gift card is to a restaurant or coffee shop since we won't be ordering takeout or to-go cups of coffee as holiday gifts. Otherwise, if the gift card is for a store, we can still give the card itself as a gift or use the card to buy an actual gift for someone.
Brand New Extras
I hate to sound unappreciative, but sometimes we receive gifts that we just don't need. We are fairly frugal people, and there's only so much stuff we can have and use in our small condo. That means that sometimes we receive gifts that we can't use or don't need but that we can't return for cash or store credit. This means that rather than just pack them up to sit unused, donate them to charity, or sell them in a garage sale, sometimes we can give them as gifts to others.
Such gifts are brand new, unused, and often in the container in which they were purchased and with the tags still attached. There is nothing wrong with these items and they can make for great gifts to others who can use and appreciate them more than we can; and in the process, they don't cost us a dime.
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