The key to saving money on gifts is organisation and planning.
The key to saving money on gifts is organisation and planning. Picture: Chris Ison.

Present box perfect for gifts

GIFTS are given on a number of occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, weddings, baby showers – the list goes on. Shopping for a special present and keeping gift ideas original and creative often proves a challenge.

Miser extraordinaire and founder of money saving website Simple Savings, Fiona Lippey said a “present box” was one initiative that could help save time and money.

She said a present box was a stash of generic and classic gift items, put aside for special occasions. When an event pops up, instead of running around for a present, you already have a gift to give.

She said items to keep stashed away in the box included books, bath and beauty products and art and craft supplies.

“Buy these things when they are on sale or if you see a great bargain,” Ms Lippey said.

The key to saving money on gifts was organisation and planning.

Ms Lippey said making presents was the ultimate way to save money and also gave gifts more meaning.

Bath bombs, shampoos and biscuits placed in a beautiful tin were thoughtful gift ideas that were simple to make, she said.

Giving handmade personalised cards and buying high-quality wrapping paper in bulk were also other ways gift-givers could save money.

For those on the receiving end, creating a gift registry was a great way to help guests find the ideal present. The bridal and gift registry service offered by department chain Myer is an example of an easy-to-use tool that could be used for any special occasion. If shoppers find themselves completely stumped, gift cards are a convenient option. Most retail outlets offer gift cards or vouchers but consumer group CHOICE warns customers to shop cautiously.

“Gift cards can be a handy way to give a present but always check the terms and conditions carefully and beware short expiry dates and how stores handle lost and stolen cards,” spokesperson Ms Just said.

Founder of online gift store Girly Gifts Joanne Langstaff said we give gifts to enrich someone's life, cheer them up and make them feel good, let friends and loved ones know we are thinking of them, or to celebrate a special event or achievement.

Ms Langstaff said it was important to give some considered thought to your gift selection. She said shoppers should think about what the person wants, likes or needs.

“In times of grief, a large tray of lasagne is often a far better gift than a bouquet of flowers, while for friends suffering serious illness, scented bath products and a funny film or book can make them feel much better than a box of chocolates,” Ms Langstaff said.