Thrift stores are amazing places to find gifts. I don’t mean just clothes or gently used toys. These type of stores are also a great place to find discarded and gently used collector items. Here are a few examples I have found of fun collector gifts.
Do you have a book collector or history buff on your shopping list? Some thrift stores have an amazing variety of books for these types of people. We have found an economics book from the early 1900’s. We have found a very detailed personal account of World War II from Poland. We have even found historical and collector’s editions of news magazines. These items are just dropped off at Goodwill or The Salvation Army and then sold for pocket change, but they are invaluable to your book collectors and hobby historians.
Thrift stores are where home decor items go to die or be reborn. There are baskets, candle holders, vases, and fake flowers. I have found full tea sets and beautiful tea pots for your tea pot collector. I have even found a ceramic kitchen canister set for a quarter of the in-store price. There are wall hangings, curtains, and a diverse selection of lamps. There’s even a section filled with little figurines. I have seen everything from Precious Moments to Hello Kitty. Before going out and buying a new item, stop by the thrift store. Who knows, you may stumble upon a collectors dream come true.
There are more than just waffle irons and mixing bowls in your kitchen department at your local thrift stores. There are also donut and bagel makers. There are cake molds, egg pans, and fondue pots. These are the discarded tools of unrealized kitchen projects, but to your hard core baker these items could be a real find. You can most often find the correct color for your kitchen decor. These items will make your resident cook happy, and when the cook is happy so are you.
What awesome things have you found at a thrift store?
Tis the season to panic about how you are going to get a decent amount of presents under the tree. Relax! There are ways to finance your Christmas that don’t require taking out a loan. In fact, between click sites and freebies, Christmas doesn’t have to be as costly as it used to be at all.
Look at the Child Product Offers
Christmas is one of the few times I look at offers that require money on my click sites (such as Swagbucks.com). It may be a subscription for children’s books in the mail or free DVD offers. When looking at a way to get a bunch of cool stuff under the tree this year for your little ones, look to your click sites. Most sites have offers or membership sign ups. Keep a notebook of all the offers you take as well as confirmation numbers and ways to cancel the memberships if needed. Worst case scenario is that you will need to cancel a few recurring services after the free offer expires. With the points coming in you may be able to break even or, in some cases, make a little money off your Christmas shopping.
You may find the perfect Christmas present on a freebie site, but it isn’t likely. Instead look for freebies that have a minor Christmas role. Look for gift wrapping samples, free Christmas cards, and envelope labels. If you have a massive Christmas card list or just don’t want to pay for postage this holiday season, send e-cards (such as Punchbowl.com). Also look for stocking stuffers like free samples or calendars. Freebies are a great way to fill a stocking.
If you are a big online shopper, shop from the click site of your choice and earn some of that money back (my favorite is Ebates.com!). Also, keep in mind that many Black Friday sales will be online as well. Unlike in-store there is no waiting in the cold, and is far less physically aggressive. Then stay tuned for Cyber Monday right after Black Friday. Granted, I’ve been noticing a trend where the best online prices are actually on Black Friday and may just extend all weekend into Cyber Monday. Either way, take advantage of the convenience of shopping online, getting some cash back, and scoring those awesome deals from home!
Many parents feel bad if they don’t give their kids the Christmas they think their kids want. Some will go into debt to make the perfect holiday happen. Sometimes however, the only thing needed is a change of habit and perspective to help save money during Christmas.
Get Rid Of Commercials
Nothing says that the holidays are here like being bombarded with advertisements. Luckily my parents knew how to combat this phenomenon. Regular radio and television became very limited. We watched videos and DVDs instead. Junk mail was thrown out immediately so we didn’t sit drooling over toy advertisements. We still heard about certain toys and items at school, but by the time we got home most of those things didn’t surface in our minds.
When they had to take us to the store they would get us to think about what we could donate to Toys for Tots or the charity of the store that year. It took our minds off the things we wanted in the store and instead focus on what we could give to someone else.
The Top Five
My parents soon discovered I could write a novel if given the opportunity to list all the toys I wanted for Christmas. My mother sat me down and explained that as nice as Santa was, he had to make toys for every child in the world. To show a little kindness to Santa I should limit my Christmas list to the five things, so he could get to everyone without too much stress.
Focus On Giving
The only time my parents asked what we wanted for Christmas was when we made our lists for Santa. The rest of the time they would ask us what we should get our siblings. When we were older this carried on by us being more focused on what we would be getting somebody else for Christmas, rather than what we wanted ourselves.