I have learning to shop for gifts in advance thanks to my sister-in-law, Cathy. When there is a family birthday or holiday, Cathy is always prepared way in advance. I use to scramble at the last minute searching for the perfect gift. I would often wonder, how does Cathy do it? How does she find the time to be so prepared? Also, Cathy is very generous with her gifts. How can she afford to give so much?
I then started shopping with Cathy. She is a bargain shopper like me. However, she is great at thinking about future events. We went shopping after Christmas last year to hit the clearance items. We both ended up getting many stocking stuffer items for this next Christmas. I began to see the light of planning ahead! (On a side note, Cathy and I also went shopping on Black Friday last year which I don’t think we will ever do again! Walmart is just plain crazy and did you know you can order the items online?)
I am happy to report that I have birthday gifts and Christmas gifts for many of my family members well in advance. Now, the key is remembering where I put them! I am trying to organize a small cabinet dedicated to gifts. I have also gone a step further and started marking in my birthday book what items I have for each person. That keeps me from wondering six months down the road… who did I get this for?
So why do I shop in advance? Well, it is simple. To save the most money on gifts; I search for sale items. I shop end of season sales and clearance items. I want to be able to get my family members the most for the money I allocate to each person. This is how Cathy is able to give so much. She finds great bargains and therefore she is able to buy more. Having gifts on hand puts me at ease. I have mommy brain most days and birthdays have a way of sneaking up on me! Spending money throughout the year on gifts is easier for me then spending money in one big chunk at Christmas.
Keep your eyes open; you never know when you will come across a bargain!