Tis the season to start thinking about gifts! Fall and winter birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day, hostess gifts, or just 'thinking of you' gifts. It's such a relief to always be prepared. Establish a drawer, closet shelf, or bin as your gift stash and begin stocking up on things you'll need in the next 6 months. Here are some ideas to get you rolling!
1. Gift Cards...this is the newest idea I've had for having gifts on hand. So many times I've wished for a $5 gift card to send to someone that I want to thank, encourage, bless, or add to a b-day gift. Getting in the car and going to town to buy a gift card would now cost me about an hour of time and a gallon of gas, as we live in a country neighborhood. So, I've been starting to buy little gift cards for $5-$10 as I am out already shopping. Ideas include Subway, Target, Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Chipotle, Qdoba, Panera, and more. Today I remembered a friend's birthday is this Saturday and she lives 7 hours away! Her birthday tends to sneak up on me because it is at the beginning of the month. Thankfully I have a cute Target gift card on hand, ready to send her, along with my next idea. :)
2. Book Marks...I have had a great deal of fun the past few months making handmade bookmarks. These are listed in my new paper crafts Etsy shop called The Green Door Cottage. I sell them in sets of 3 or individually. The sets of 3 cost around $7 or $8 and that includes shipping, so each bookmark is just about $2.50 each and can be individually gifted. If you don't like to make your own, you can see my shop HERE. Or you can make your own and they will cost you pennies plus your time! This gift is so easy to mail in a card without additional postage or a trip to the PO.
3. Crafts...now is the time of year for lots of Craft Shows. Be watching for cute gifts that you can keep on hand to give to your friends and family. As pictured above, I like to make these altered art composition notebooks. They cost me .50 each, and are so much fun to make. I also have these in my Etsy shop but you can make your own if you prefer. It's such a fun creative project. No two are alike, and I love having that small blank canvas to work with. They are good for journals, school, meetings, and writing letters to give to your kids or grandkids someday.
4. Nice dish towels and dish cloths...I always watch for these on clearance at Kohls, Target, and the Homegoods/Marshalls/TJ Maxx stores. Kitchen linens wear out quickly, and nothing makes the kitchen a cheerier place to work than fresh new kitchen linens.
5. Seasoning mixes, dip mixes, bread mixes, soup mixes....I love to give gifts that can be used up, rather than sit and take up space. Our daughter gave us a soup mix and a bread mix last winter, and they were such a blessing when I needed a quicky tasty meal. Watch for good coupons for these and keep a few on hand. Homemade seasoning mixes are great too. There are so many recipes for popcorn seasonings as well as for meat, pasta, and more. Target sells fun popcorn seasonings too. And little jars of jams make nice gifts, as well as flavored syrups, vinegars, and oils.
6. Pretty Paper Products...I have so enjoyed receiving pretty packages of napkins and paper plates to use here at home for company. Cute, unique ones make great gifts. Target also has cute paper-crafting/scrapbooking supplies on clearance on a regular basis. I make a point of visiting their paper goods aisles each time I go.
7. Candles and Handsoaps...a candle during the fall and winter is always a welcome gift. Watch for good sales or clearance on those! And who doesn't love nice pump handsoaps as a gift? I don't usually buy them for myself, but LOVE to receive them for gifts.
8. Candy and Gum...Target is good about having gum and candy on clearance in their Food Department on an endcap. I have filled many a Christmas stocking with these that I start picking up in the fall, so that the freshness date will still be good. I haven't paid full price for gum for my purse in a long time, thanks to Target. :)
9. Children's Books...Target's Dollar Spot often has cute children's books for sale. So do Barnes and Noble and Sam's Club!
10. Nice Cleaning Products and Kitchen Helps...Sometimes I don't like to splurge on cleaning products and helps that go beyond the bare necessities for myself. But I would love having them as a gift. My daughter bought me an Oxi-Clean Gel Stain Stick for a gift last year, and it has been one of my favorite things in the laundry room!! Or how about the nice Mrs. Myers products, Method Products, or Melaleuca Products. A geranium scented kitchen product sounds delightful...think I'll put it on my wish list. :) Microwave Steaming Bags and Crock Pot Cooking Bags are also such nice helps to receive as a gift.
Things I DON'T buy for my gift drawer...I no longer buy notepads. They are so cute and I love them!! But I, myself, have jillions of notepads that will last me the rest of my life, so I figure my friends and family don't need them either. I am also careful about buying scented hand lotions unless I plan to give them right away. Their scents can go rancid after a year. YUCK.
I hope this has given you a few new ideas. Would love to hear your ideas too! Each comment is read and appreciated!