Ok, so I know I’m not the only one with multiple children who are in school or playgroups & are invited to a multitude of birthday parties throughout the year=Expensive! I took a tip a long time ago from a loved babysitter of mine who had 6 children of her own, and had created a “Birthday closet!” When her daughter got an invitation she headed over to where her mom “stashed the goods”, & chose an item from there as her gift. I asked where she got everything once, & she said she would pick up things that were on sale when she was out doing her errands……can you see my lightbulb going off even though I was just 7 or 8??!!
Now that I have 3 girls of my own, I have done the same thing over the years & like to affectionately call mine “The Birthday Closet!” Here’s how you can create yours!
1) The day after & throughout the week after a holiday hits, head to the clearance aisle of your favorite stores. Don’t forget grocery stores too. They have limited space & the toys they stocked for the Xmas holiday will land in the clearance aisle the day after at 50% off usually, and throughout the week they will fall to usually 90% off just to get rid of them! Most of the items are non holiday related (the barbies you see were just $3.00 at Ralph’s after Xmas, the same style you see at Walmart for $14.99).
2) Keep an eye out for “Store Closing” or “Clearance” sales when shopping at the mall. If you’ve headed to the mall for some clothes at Old Navy (hopefully with coupon in hand), don’t forget to scan the clearance aisles before you leave. Remember my tip to Think Ahead! Think of the size your nieces & nephews will be on their bday and/or at Xmas and look in those sizes for a STEAL! Most of my Xmas shopping is done by June or so because I do just this. I get GREAT stuff for family members,& can buy a bit more for them because I’m getting such a bargain. Another great perk is I don’t have to battle the crowds once Nov./Dec. hits! Target.com has a great clearance dept. too & you get free shipping on certain days &/or on orders $50+.
3) Shop online. We have Amazon Prime (if you don’t here are the benefits, we think it is phenomenal) and when you do you get FREE 2 day shipping on everything the offer. Not only do we save on gas by not driving to stores to find items we need but we save on time and many times things are cheaper on Amazon anyway….so it’s a win win. Here are 5 things I regularly buy to stash away in our Birthday closet (my rule of thumb is $15 or under per gift/child).
4) Create a wrapping station (pick stuff up at discount stores or after the holidays) & cards (you can buy nice cards for all occasions at Costco/Sam’s Club during Xmas time & use them throughout the year). Pick up several cards when Hallmark $.47 cards are at Walmart. Always ask for a gift box when you’re at a retail store! Even though you’re purchasing clothes for yourself or your kids you can save them (they usually come with tissue & ribbon as well) for a birthday or xmas present. If you keep everything in one spot you won’t lose anything, thus thinking you need to buy more. Buying cards in bulk & wrapping paper after the holidays can save you nearly $5 per gift which really adds up when you go to several parties each year!
So…..what are you waiting for??!! Until your kids have enough $$ to buy presents on their own there will always be parties they are invited to and it is nice to know that there are gifts to choose from that you found at a bargain….plus, those last minute parties aren’t a big deal since you don’t have to run out to buy something last minute!