Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide

I was asked to teach a little fun class for church for preparing for a stress free holiday.  Talking about gift giving and different ideas to do.  I thought "hey this will be great!  I start planning Christmas gifts starting in October, so this will really get me organized."  I love making gifts and using my talents and resources, but I also love buying gifts and using the sales on Black Friday (yes I am one of those people who shop on black Friday, or should I say thanksgiving evening.)  I realized while preparing for this that I have a lot to say on the matter and advice to give so yall get to hear it too:)

1. DIY or BUY$ ?
-I love making gifts, when it is things that I littereally have in my house already and don't have to go purchase all the things to make it.  To me, DIY = Cheap.  I don't really enjoy all things crafty, so I don't go and buy a bunch of supplies for things I will probably never make again.  I have quite the sewing studio any way with my business and with such a large brand and range of product, I have a lot in my drawers for making something different.  Chances are I may need just one little thing to complete a project and that's fine, I will go buy it.  Buuuut there are people out there who just love crafting and giving great unique gifts and they are definitely fine with spending the money to make it.  So whatever your budget is you can do it.  Find something you know you can do with what budget you have. 
  *wood diy tips- Pallets are often free when you look on your local craigslist site.  Also Wood is really cheap and you get a lot of it, usually more than what you need for a small project, so make multiple of the same thing for different people.  Don't have a saw? That's fine! they can cut it for you no problem.  I go up there so often now, Eric, sees me coming with the blasted race car shopping cart and laughs.  He asks to see the project I did before and then we get to the current reason for my weekly visit.  Be friendly with them.  They love seeing your projects and they love to help. 
 *coupons!!!!  With smart phones taking over the cellular world, most craft stores have a store app with craft ideas and mobile coupons.  Save them up and use them.
   -Michaels only takes 1 coupon per transaction with a different form of payment.  They will take JoAnn's 40% and 50% off coupons as well. 
   -Joanns coupons come in the mail all the time.  Here is a secret about their coupons.  You can use how ever many coupons you have in one transaction per item you have.  Use your 50% and 40% off first for however many items you have with coupon capabitlity.  Then use your discount off total purchase coupon for the rest of the transaction that hasn't used any coupons yet!  I can't tell you how many times I threw away extra coupons thinking I could only use one per transaction. 
   -Hobby Lobby has been my favorite store for anything.  They have so much to offer in the hobby and craft sections its just so fun to walk the isles.  There fabric department is really small, but I find their quality and selection is really good.

  Don't craft?  Great!!!  You can still give unique, one of a kind gifts!  I mentioned earlier that I do black Friday shopping.  I have found that Kohls has great unique gifts and their sales are great and you get Kohls cash.  win win.  There are more deals to be had on the internet.  So many businesses carry more online and the possibilities are endless.  We have such great resources now to help with gift giving. 
Do you have a friend or family member who seems to have everything?  Its hard to buy for them huh? sometimes they also don't appreciate unique gifts, so what do you do for them?  Make a donation to a charity in their name and make them or buy them a nice card.  They will appreciate it.
Now to shopping!!
  Here are some websites and info about them for purchasing. 
Amazon smile is shopping on  amazon, but it donates a percentage of your purchase to an organization of your choice.  So instead of going to Amazon.com, head over to Amazonsmile.com
log in using your amazon account info and get shopping!  Also often times you can qualify for free shipping!

We all love Etsy right?  I admire all the creative out there living the American Dream.  I love that you can shop by category and you are destined to find a unique item that you love.  Etsy.com

Don't be scared of Target cause of the breach that happened last year.  It has happened to a bunch of other large corporations and they are on top of it.  Now because of mishap last year, Target is offering free shipping to everyone, not just Red Card Holders.  I love Target.  They have the great Cartwheel app that allows you to add various coupons to your list that are for specific items in the store and you get an additional discount anywhere from 5%- 50% off.  I have saved a lot with that, and price matching and using coupons and then my Red Card for an additional 5% off your entire purchase.  Did you know that you can double up on coupons for Target?  If you look at the coupons you get from them, most of them say "Target Coupon" on the back.  You can use these WITH a manufacturer coupon to get even more savings on the product.  Make sure you read all the fine print.  And you totally score when your item has a gift card deal attached to it.  I got a ton of shaving cream and razors for free one day.  Just paid for tax.  I also got Dove Shampoo AND Conditioner for 50 cents each!  So Make your shopping list, then go through cartwheel, if you don't have a smart phone you can also do this from your computer, then print out the cartwheel barcode to scan for the discounts at checkout.  I love Target!!!!

We all love Pinterest right?  Man I am so thankful for it.  I can't believe how much I turn to it for most aspects of my life.  It's like using google or something.  I also Love their categories you can browse by, then click and be directed to the source!  Yay!!

Now this I hold dear because I am one of those "locals".  I am a small business living the American Dream.  There are lots of boutiques and craft fairs so you can shop shop shop all the goodies in your area.  I try not to say no to business cause when I am busy, it allows me to hire someone to help giving them extra income.  Also, small businesses have a sense of loyalty and love their customers.  Be different and support a small business near you!  They also usually have one of a kind gifts for you.  Chances are you know someone with a small business.  They would much appreciate your support and business.  Whether it is your hair dresser and you you get a gift card from her, or your buddy who makes skate boards.  That's why I love my Instagram community so much.  I have lots of resources with I need something different. 

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