GIFTS and TRAVEL
CEO and founder of www.thegrocerygame.com Teri Gault has some smart saving tips:
• Gift Baskets: A great and popular alternative is a gift basket that you can make for about 80% of the regular price! And in this economy, this type of gift full of expensive household products will be a big hit at the shower! First, check thrift shops for a good size basket, that you can buy for about one tenth the price of a new one. Fill the basket with deals from the supermarket and drugstores. You'll get cleaning products, scented candles, furniture polish, laundry soap, and more for 70-80% off the regular price. In the weeks before the shower, keep an eye out for sales. A good sale is about 50% off the regular price. Add a coupon to a sale to save even more or even get it for free! Stack the deals even further. Look for "store coupons" in the circular to use in conjunction with the sale and manufacturer coupon. And look for a fourth deal to stack manufacturer rewards at the register. This is when a manufacturer will give you money back at the register for buying a specified number or dollar amount of their products. This total is usually based on the "pre-coupon" amount. So you save even more! I can make a basket of $100 worth of products for under $20. Start early. The longer you have to gather your contents, the more deals you can find each week to save!
• Consignment stores: Want to give a beautiful gift for less? Consignment stores often have beautiful high couture crystal, silver and other timeless treasures for a fraction of the going rate. I've found Lenox, Swarovski and more, sometimes even with tags or in the box. This is re-gifting at its finest. Figure lots of people get gifts they never used, so they sell them at a discount. New, at a "used" price!
And from "Always Order Dessert", Eva Windsor says:
• Save money on costly registry presents by offering the bride or groom your services as a gift. If you're a talented baker, offer to bake a cake or other sweets for the shower, rehearsal dinner, or wedding dessert table. A photographer can offer to take engagement photographs. An artist or graphic designer can offer to create custom signs, programs, or invitations. Whether you like to sew or dabble in carpentry, figure out what your talents or skills are, and see if you can help in any way. The bride and groom are probably looking for ways to save money too, so they'll likely be really excited you offered.