Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Gift Giving on a Budget (aka Why I Love Dollarama)

I love giving gifts to people.  It is so great to see someone's reaction when they open a gift and know that they are going to enjoy it or have a practical use for it.  I also love putting gifts together.  I don't really know why - I just do.  I love gifting.  This can be a dangerous thing because sometimes we can buy gifts that are junk (maybe not to us) which people will never use.  When I am shopping for a gift I try to ask myself what the person could use, what they might need, and what might they enjoy?  Sometimes the gift is a thing, other times it is an experience.  I also love edible gifts.  These questions are always followed by, what can I afford to give?  The budget always dictates the gift.  Buying gifts for someone that you cannot afford is unwise.  I have seen people do this (especially for their own children), and trust me, it never ends well.  Sometimes people may think they want to give their kids a "special" birthday or holiday, but then they confuse special with expensive.  Special and expensive are so not synonymous.  When I think back to some of my favourite gifts that I received as a child, none of them were expensive.  None.  There is nothing wrong with an expensive gift - if you can afford it.  Debt free gift giving is really paramount to financial stability.  Anyway, I am getting sidetracked... 
One of my favourite places to shop for gifts is a Canadian dollar store called Dollarama.  True, dollar stores are easy places to collect junk - but they are also places where a careful shopper can curate a beautiful gift.  I am going to share below some of purchases from a recent trip to Dollarama and how they can be used to make beautiful gifts.  Did I mention I love Dollarama?  I totally do and they definitely have not paid me to say this.
One Egg Is A Fortune Cookbook and Coffee Table Book - $4.00
I picked up this stunning cookbook and coffee table book, One Egg Is A Fortune, for $4.00.  It was still wrapped in the publisher's plastic.  It is a fantastic book (I found it at online retail outlets for between $30.00 and $45.00).  This was actually a purchase for myself, and I bought one for a friend.  However, it would be an amazing gift on its own or paired with some cookware.
Williams & Sonoma Kids Parties book, $3.00
This Williams & Sonoma Kids Parties book was $3.00.  For the person who loves to host parties, this would be fantastic when paired with some party supplies (perhaps craft supplies to go with an activity in the book, mason jars, a cake pan, cookie sheets, etc.).  There are some really cute and affordable ideas in this book for various themed kids parties.
Star Wars Hot Wheels, $3.00 each.
I picked up these Star Wars Hot Wheels to go with one of my nephews' birthday presents.  They were matched with a pair of Star Wars Crocs (bought on clearance through Crocs using Ebates) and a Star Wars t-shirt ordered from The Bay (also using Ebates).

Children's books, assorted prices from $1.25-$3.00
Dollarama often has a great selection of kids books.  On this trip I picked up some hardcover books, including some Backyardigans storybooks, a bilingual (French and English) Paw Patrol book, and a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse storybook.  These books will all be used to go with gifts for my own children as well as nieces and nephews.

These are just a few examples of things that can be purchased at Dollarama and used in gifts for people of all ages,  Needless to say, trips to the dollar store help me to stay on budget and give great affordable gifts to the people I care about.

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