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Blog: If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy
Shopping Secrets for Gift Giving…Impressive and Genuine Gifts that won't Break the Bank!



Did you start your dollar experiment last week? I am having a great time and it has been a hoot to talk about with others, if you don't know what to talk about with someone else well then do this and you'll even get to have some show and tell as well as some great conversation!  My husband is enjoying it too.  When you have a recipe for fun, excitement, a challenge to plan AND spending money all at the same time who wouldn't love it?   Oh and doesn't cost you lots, now that's well planned fun.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go check out my blog for last week and catch up to the rest of us…we're having fun with money even in the midst of a dismal economy!    I like to budget and this I CAN fit into my budget…yeah!  How about some good news about the dollar already?!  Last week I wanted to throw in a fun place to stop on my journey of sharing with you some great shopping secrets the previous weeks.  This week I am going to share with you some secrets on gift giving without breaking the bank.  I like the holidays but I also love to give gifts to my friends, kids and husband throughout the year too.
 
I like to give gifts but often like to put some thought into them.  Yeah, you could say I like to impress and let the recipient know how genuinely I wanted to make them feel special.  I have to admit that gift giving is not one of my strong points.  In fact, I am having to work on it, since finding out my husband's strongest love language right now is "receiving gifts" while mine is "quality time" (to find out more about your love language look in the book 5 Love Languages by Gary Smalley).  I don't know exactly how to "speak his language" as well as I could and I am really trying these past two weeks to learn his love language so he feels loved and adored. 
 
Some secrets of how to find some great gifts is learning to have a theme for the gift.  The dollar hot spots I mentioned in last week's blog are some great places to start finding things for friends, family, spouses, kids and putting together a few items and making it a fun filled gift that has flair and a theme to it.  For instance, since it is Spring go and find the dollar gardening items and a few packets of seeds in a terra cotta pot for your girlfriends and even throw a fun Spring Garden party or when you see them next give them their thinking of you gift.  If you are wanting to make it even more personable put a "coupon" in there that caters to them specifically like a "call me coupon" for a girlfriend who is going through a hard time and feels like she's calling too much but you know she really needs your support right now.  For the friend who loves to sit and chat over a hot cup of coffee make a coupon for inviting her over for "Coffee & Conversation".  Don't forget about your significant other, he may get jealous so make some coupons for him along with a fun gift pack.  Maybe he's been stressed at work and he needs a massage or a day with the guys.  If he's anything like my husband put a few drinks in a bucket (you might already have), a coupon for a "Guy Day" some outdoor/hobby stuff and maybe even a gift card for Bass Pro.  Maybe a quiet night with you and a movie is what he needs.  Put a rented movie, some popcorn and whatever else in a bucket with a coupon for a "Movie Date Night".  There are so many creative ways to give gifts to others without the big price tag.  It helps us give more often and stay connected with others and gives us a creative outlet too…especially when I am too overwhelmed to scrapbook, um well, start to learn how to scrapbook. 
 
Here's another secret from the "queen" of shopping secrets, my mom, with shopping for Christmas.  Yes, she is one of those who gets all the great deals during the year and makes me kick myself for not shopping like her when the holidays come.  She has one department store that she shops regularly throughout the year.  In fact I tell her Santa shops there because that is where almost all her gifts are from.  She likes quality and quantity when she gives, and she has learned that if you go at the right times of the year, achieving both are very easy.  Nobody knows what great deals she got or cares when they get nice, quality gifts. 
 
Don't forget about the card.  Use coupons during the year for places like Hallmark if you like to buy nice cards or look for card outlets.  Something one of my friends has gotten me into is using some of the scrap booking stuff I have bought but haven't used yet, for making cards.  I had a great time and it's not too hard to do but they look great and my friends have really enjoyed receiving them and it saves quite a bit of money too when you take into account that cards can easily cost four to five dollars each at the store.
 
Well wrapping it up literally and finishing up this blog.  Find some creative ways to wrap gifts that don't cost a lot.  I love giving my friends a little gift pack in the Chinese take-out looking boxes that come in a huge assortment of colors and patterns at places like Michael's.  You can fit some themed items and a cute little saying to encourage them all in a fun package that women just can't resist opening. 
 
One last gift giving secret that may sound the simplest but really makes gift giving easy.  Ask what someone wants!  When you know what they want you can comparison shop at different stores.  You know they are getting what they want but you get to find the price you can pay for it.  Great sales can help you buy great gifts!  If you know what you're looking for far enough in advance you can almost always find that item on sale sometime during the year.  You won't have to wonder if they'll like it since it was on their list.  Update their list of wants along with their family's lists and important dates through email.  You will not only get your gift giving lists but be organized and on time with your gifts. 
 
Well that's the wrap on secrets to gift giving for now…sorry I couldn't resist.  Have fun making memories with special gifts and not getting depressed over the cost.  You might just find the gifts you receive getting better too by inspiring others.  Happy smart shopping and spreading sunshine!
Triste
 
 

posted on: 4/16/2008 11:30:00 AM by Triste Horrell
category: Finances


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If Your Money Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy


by Triste Horrell

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About Triste:

Being an organizing expert makes one want to be a "showroom" in all areas of life. However reality can hit hard when you're a mother of small children and a military wife and own an organzing business. Of course Triste would like to have a picture perfect Better Home and an even Better Garden. Throw a Pottery Barn in the backyard for exceptional creative time to become the wiz-woman for all the ideas and inventions that the world could not live without. But Triste has settled on the fact of telling herself "I can be perfect in my mind and no one can mess up my space there!" In reality Triste is very self-motivated and has true business accomplishments like having SYSTEMIZE since 1997, the first home and business organizing firm in the state of South Carolina. She has been repeatedly recognized in her Greenville, SC area for her organizing expertise and makeovers on local NBC and FOX news, Greenville News, local magazines such as Greenville Magazine and Upstate Parent and NPR radio. She has turned people's lives around by focusing on what she calls the "four building blocks of being organized" consisting of space, time, financial and personal. This is even represented in her business logo. "That's what I'm in business for, turning people's lives around!" Also applying her popular 3 Steps to Systemize have not only organized her clients but KEPT them organized for years.

Triste's Website:

www.systemize4u.com


Downtime Activities

  • Reading Magazines
  • Spending time at our cottage
  • Keeping our Westie pretty
  • Putting tealights around after the kids are in bed
  • Adventures with my awesome hubby
  • Making microwave smores...just for me
    1 graham cracker, broken in half 1 small piece of chocolate 1 big marshmellow On one side of cracker put piece of chocolate and marshmellow on top. Place in microwave and heat for approx. 17 seconds (while cooking replace marshmellow on top of chocolate if needed). Put other half of cracker on top, eat and enjoy and watch out for oozing chocolate!

My Organizing Tool-Box

  • Time - Outlook
    This is a great way to keep papers off the desk and track where you need to go, task list, jot down quick notes on the virtual "post-its, keep up with contacts in the virtual Rolodex
  • Personal Finances - Quicken
    This simple yet practical program keeps your bank accounts in tact...did I mention simple?!
  • Business Finances - QuickBooks
    I have used this program for years and have set many clients up on it. It is a must for keeping track of business transactions and keeping tax time easy...push a few buttons and out come the reports, your done and your tax preparer loves you.
  • Space - turntables
    I love these things! You can put them in cabinets, the fridge, garage, and closets. They are inexpensive, easy to find and available at any discount store and you can even find fancier ones. If you are not sure what they are, they are the white (or other fancier kinds) and spin around like a lazy susan, you can have a single or double-tier one for spices.
  • Personal - Magazines and Internet
    I love to look at magazines and the internet for good articles on personal development, pictures for decorating inspiration and fun projects to do with my family. I keep my magazine subscriptions to a minimum (3) so I can read them and enjoy each one. I look for things on some of my favorite websites for whatever fancies me at that time.
  • Online Recipe Boxes
    Use these on some of your favorite websites, bring the laptop into the kitchen while the recipe is up and you never have to have the paper clutter. One of my and my husbands favorites is Williams-Sonoma.


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