Budget Gifts

How to Shop for Gifts on a Budget

One of the biggest questions I get as a budget savvy shopper is, “How do you shop for gifts of a budget?”  Oh my, we are in a time where there are gifts required for so many things!  Of course you have your holidays like Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s and Father’s Day…but don’t forget about Valentine’s Day, Easter, and a few other holidays you may like to give gifts on.  Then we have to remember other those other gift giving occasions that might pop up: weddings, wedding showers, baby showers, baby sprinkles, housewarming parties, graduations.  And if you’re a parent, school is just around the corner where you’ll have back-to-school gifts, Christmas, Valentines, Teacher Appreciation, and end-of-school gifts.  Don’t forget special day’s like Boss’s Day, Secretaries Day, etc!


Now, if you’re not one to give gifts on every single small occasion…then that is totally fine.  I love receiving gifts (even though it’s only my #4 Love Language), but more than that I love giving gifts!  But what is a gift-giving-budget-shopping gal to do when buying gifts can get so dang expensive??

I shop the sales throughout the year.  I also hand make a lot of gifts, but that’s for another blog post.

I try to keep a running list in the notepad on my phone of gifts I hear family and friends mention in casual conversation.  That way, if I see something they mentioned on sale…I snatch it up!  Even if their birthday or Christmas may not be for several more months.

Also, if I see something throughout the year that I think, say…my mom might like, then I buy it, and save it for a gift-giving occasion.

My Thoughts on Giving and Receiving Gifts

One thing that I feel very strongly about is the phrase “It’s the thought that counts.”  Both when giving and receiving gifts.  Now, that’s not a free pass to give someone a 50 cent gift that you picked up on your way to a birthday party.  But I think it gives you permission to be okay with not spending extravagant amounts of money on gifts.

Who cares if the gift you got me was half off, if you got it because you knew I’d enjoy it?  So what, I didn’t ask for a basket of handmade bubble bath and bath salts for my birthday….but you know I like to unwind with a bath at the end of the week, and you knew I would love this gift.  These are the kinds of gifts that are most special to me, and I try to apply that same philosophy when gift giving.

An thoughtful gift does not always equal an expensive gift.

Which brings me to today:

My 80% off Hobby Lobby Haul

Several weeks ago, I shared in one of my Friday Faves how Hobby Lobby discounts their items labeled “Spring and Summer” to 80% off in July…and eventually even 90% off.

Well today was the first day of their 80% off sale!  I look forward to this day every year, and it is probably my favorite shopping day of the year (followed by after Christmas sales, and Black Friday of course).

For the past 3 years during this time, I go and stock up on cute finds I can use as gifts throughout the next year.  I also use this sale to treat myself to a few home décor items, which I can buy guilt free at 80% off.  When I go, I usually have a few specific things in mind that I’m looking for: I have some friends and family who like wind chimes, others who like yard décor, while others have a specific kitchen scheme that I can match some items too.  But mostly, I try to keep an open mind and grab up anything that it cutesy, or that I can build some kind of gift basket with.

Here’s what I came home with this morning!

How adorable are these?  I’m not gonna lie…I bought these for myself.  And I’m not ashamed.  The strawberry lemonade sign was only $2.40, the lemon was $4, and the floral was $6.

All of these tumbers were under $2 a piece.  These would be cute to give as is, but my plan is to use my Cricut to personal them with the names of whoever I give them to.  Who doesn’t love a cute tumbler?


Pineapples are so in right now, and these little signs are so cute!  They each ranged between $1.60 and $2.40.  There’s a couple in there I plan to keep, but I’m envisioning most of these for end of year/start of summer teacher gifts at the end of next school year.  If you’re looking for a cute pineapple DIY gift, check out my pineapple mason jar tutorial.

These were probably some of my favorite finds!  I love when the bag or container you give something in is a gift itself!  The two baskets would make great gift baskets and were both less than $5.  The bags were $1.20 a piece.

These were just a few random things I picked up: coasters, table runner, shallow baskets, and a mixing bowl.  I think the mixing bowl would be the perfect ($4) “container” for a housewarming gift stuffed with kitchen goodies!

They had lots of garden flags to choose from, but I have some people in mind that would love these!  They were $1.60 a piece.

And finally, their 4th of July décor is also 80% off this week.  I like to shop for holiday décor after the holidays, and save it for next year.  The rug, table runner, and banner were all under $2 a piece!

Round 2

After I go through everything I bought when I get home, I always wish I would have gotten more!  I like to take pictures of the items I see at HL, and then get on Pinterest later on and see if anything sparks my creativity.  I usually go back later in the week for round 2 to pick up anything else I can use for gift baskets and such….I might even go to a different Hobby Lobby and see what they have!  Eek!!

I didn’t get to take any pictures in the store this time because my son was being kind of fussy after being hauled through Hobby Lobby for over an hour, and he was ready to go.  I begrudgingly checked out and when we got home, I discovered he had a 102.5 temperature!  Hi, I’m “Mother of the Year”….what’s your name?

One more quick note…if you plan on shopping this sale, it’s better to do it sooner than later.  All of these items have already been through a round of 50% and 66% off in previous weeks, so some of the stuff can be kind of picked over.  And by the time the stuff reaches 90% off in a couple of weeks, it’s reduced to slim pickings.


How do you save money on gifts?  I’d love to hear your ideas!  And as always, I appreciate all your feedback. 🙂



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