Reclaim Your Social Life - How To Give a Gift Without Going Broke

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The weather is getting nicer, and along with the sunshine comes invitations to birthday parties, wedding showers, baby showers and other gift giving occasions. Here's some tips for giving great gifts without going broke.
When you are out of work and looking for a job, every dollar counts. One of the hardest parts of being unemployed is that sometimes it feels like you have lost not just your job, but your identity. When your mailbox starts filling up with invitations to birthday parties, bridal showers and other gift giving parties, it's tempting to skip the party to avoid having to buy a gift. Don't let this happen to you, there are many ways to give a gift without spending a lot.
Here are some great gift-giving tips to help you save money:
  • Plan ahead – If you are out of work, the one thing you have plenty of is time. If you plan ahead and do a little extra research, you can find great bargains and even make all or part of the gift yourself. The internet is a treasure trove of really cool craft ideas, no matter what your level of experience is.


  • Don't buy brand names – Especially when you are shopping for kids, it doesn't take much thought to gravitate to the Barbie section or pick up a Lego set. If you are trying to save some money, think about some of the classic things that almost any child would enjoy. Bubbles, jump ropes, hula hoops and board games are cheaper and are much more fun.


  • Create a theme – This is one of my favorite tips. Plan a theme for your present and buy small things that all go together. For example, for a child's birthday pick an activity or their favorite color as a theme. If you are shopping for a girl who likes the color green, then maybe a green sand bucket stuffed with a green jump rope, some sidewalk chalk and a big green bow. All of these things can be had at a Dollar store.


  • Skip the paper – Wrapping paper is so expensive, and so are gift bags. What's worse is that the paper ends up in the trash within minutes. Instead of opting for the pricey paper, why not use package paper and use crayons or stamps to decorate it?
What are your favorite tips for saving money while still giving great gifts? I would love to hear your ideas (and I might even steal a few) in the comments.
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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for EducationJobSiteBlog, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.

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