Reader Question: How Can I Use My Stockpile For a Holiday Gift?

Jessica emailed me and said:

” Hi Shannon. We are in a very tight financial situation this holiday season.  I am wondering if you think it would be inappropriate to use my stockpile to give gifts to a few people, just as a token of our love?”

First, Jessica I believe that gifts are secondary to spending the holidays with your family and loved ones. So first and foremost, your time is a precious gift. However, I do understand you feel the need to give them some sort of gift.

I think using your stockpile is an awesome idea! I am by no means crafty or artsy, so please be kind. I didn’t wrap the baskets because I was just using it to show you some ideas.. Anyway here are a few ideas for you…..

1. Make a “pampering basket”.  I used a $1.00 store basket and filled it with things from my stockpile – most were free. Add some cellophane and a bow to make it pretty. Some items I included:

  • Nivea Body Wash
  • Hand Lotion
  • Bath & Bodyworks Lotion & Hand Soap
  • Ghiradelli Chocolates
  • Glade Candle
  • Loofah

2. Use items like coffee, teas, creamer to create a “Coffee/Tea Lovers Basket”   Just find out what they like and add it to the basket.

  • Coffee
  • Tea Bags
  • Instant Coffee
  • Coffee Scoop
  • Sweetner
  • Creamer
  • Coffee Filters

3. Movie Night basket – I used free candy from Rite Aid, some popcorn I got cheap. I bought a few items to add from the dollar store.  Find a classic movie that everyone can enjoy (they are much cheaper than the new movies – I found Christmas Vacation earlier this year for $1.99).

  • Skittles
  • Nerds
  • Boxes of Orville and Smart Pop
  • Cheap DVD
  • Pop Corn Seasoning

Jessica, have fun with your holiday gifts and don’t let the lack of financial means get you stressed out.  We can only give what we have and thats the end of it. Always remember that your time and love is much more valuable than anything you could ever buy anyway!

What ideas do you have for Jessica?


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  • Desireee

    I LOVE all the ideas on here. I love to “theme” presents so I am always drawn to baskets like these. I have found some good deals at stores like ” Christmas Tree Shops”. Worth a trip in if you have one close to you. I do have a question though… I am not a big coupon person- not because I am rich lol ( Macy’s sends me coupons weekly lol) but rather because alot of the coupons in Sunday’s paper I don’t use. Every once in a while I find a coupon, or get an e-mail with a promo- however I see that all of you have “stock piles”. Can somene tell me the best way to start this- and how do you all get free items, like the Olay items? I read something about a rewards program at Rite Aid? I want free candles too lol. Thanks everyone and enjoy the upcoming season!

  • Amy

    I’m SUPER late on this, but I just found it! I do this all the time for people!!! I have 2 younger brothers who are 6 and 8 and they absolutely love bubble-wrap.. A couple weeks ago I found out that they have a roll at the Dollar Tree down the road, so guess how I’m wrapping their presents and padding their gift baskets this year?!

  • S. Davis

    I love the basket idea & the stockpile idea. I wonder, though, if you have watched Christmas vacation recently? We watched it last year or the year before, and were surprised at how funny we remembered it to be, compared to how rude it actually was, watching it as parents. I was glad we’d already sent the young kids to bed…

    • Shannon

      @S. Davis,

      It is NOT a kids movie by any stretch, but it is my brother in law’s favorite movie — he has a VHS that is very worn out – watches it every christmas.

  • Anonymous

    Love the basket idea & the stockpile idea. I wonder, have you watched Christmas vacation lately? We watched it last year or the year before & we were surprised at how funny we remembered it, but how raunchy it actually was watching it as parents. I was so glad we waited until after the kids were in bed…

  • http://sweettmakesthree.com Jennifer

    Love the coffee basket. What a great idea!

  • Tessa

    These ideas for gift baskets are great!! just one idea that I have is instead of buying baskets, use any box you may have and cut any flaps off box and wrap the outside of box with pretty wraping paper, insant basket without buying anything. Things I’ve ordered online that were shiped to my home came in perfect sized boxes for care packages. just fyI

  • Faith

    I love making gift baskets like this! After everything is in the basket dump a bag of wrapped candy ( hersheys kisses ect…) over everything. It fills up the cracks and makes it look really nice. You can also use tulle( bought by the yard at any fabric store) to wrap the gift in. There’s different colors of tulle and there’s also some that’s sparkly. I think its less than $1 a yard at Walmart. Tie it all together above the basket with a large ribbon and its beautiful!

  • http://www.supercoupongirl.com Beeb Ashcroft

    Love this! I, too, have made cute gift baskets using stockpile items – in fact, the last three or four wedding gifts I’ve made were using this basic concept. Usually what I do is buy a pretty laundry basket and fill it with things for each aspect of their new life. I make little gift tags for the items labeling them “For the kitchen”, “For the bath”, etc., and print out recipes to go with some of the ingredients. For the last one I made, I used a plastic utility basket and lined it with two washcloths that I had bought from the couples’ registry, then filled it with the items for home and bath. And it’s always been well-received: In fact, when I was taking the basket over to the gift table at the wedding, one of the other guests exclaimed what a great idea that was for a present!
    I’ve also made care packages for relatives going away for college, and used stockpile goodies to supplement gift bags, etc. It’s a great idea and you should absolutely do it! Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to spend lots of money over the holidays, because you absolutely don’t.

    • Shannon

      @Beeb Ashcroft,

      Ohhh I love that idea…gift tags for them!

      • http://www.supercoupongirl.com Beeb Ashcroft

        @Shannon, I decided to post some photos of a wedding gift basket that I’ve made – if you want to see the gift tags and how I assemble it, here’s the link:

        http://www.supercoupongirl.com/frugal-holidays-stockpile-gift-baskets/

        Thanks for starting this great discussion! I love all your photos, by the way. I know I’d be thrilled to get any one of those gift baskets for Christmas!

  • Sally

    I just filled up two baskets full of “family care” items for my maids. Sure beats paying them a $75-$100 cash bonus, which is what most people around here do. They are getting more retail value in the baskets anyway, and I know they can use the items.

    • Anonymous

      what did you put in the basket?

  • Wendi S

    Great post, and great comments. I just want to add — from experience — don’t leave those ghiradelli chocolates in with all those bath items! Especially don’t wrap them up in there! They will end up tasting like perfume, ugh! I would store them separate until it was time to deliver the gift. I wouldn’t wrap them in the basket; I’d tie them to the outside of the cellophane with ribbon just before giving it, and advise the giver to remove them if they plan to store the basket as is. Just my 2c, learned the hard way!

    • Shannon

      @Wendi S,

      LOL.. you don’t like soapy chocolates.. he he.. good tip!

  • Becky

    I also love the Menards free after rebate items! They have had some awesome picture frames recently too, that will make great gifts. The tools and automotive items are great for the guys, and they have had some kitchen items and blankets that work well for gifts too.
    My mom is in a nursing home and likes to give the nurses and aides gifts, so I make bags for them with my rebate and couponing items from my stockpile every year. They all love them. Last year they all got Glade items because I had a huge amount of candles built up.
    Couponing and rebating is just so awesome!! It saves so much money when you look at how many ways you can use the items that you get. I love being able to go to my shelves and getting a gift ready in 5 minutes without having to leave home. I have gift bags, cards, a variety of items, and I don’t have to spend any money.

  • http://www.honeyandcheese.com Rebekah {honeyandcheese}

    I love stockpile gift baskets! Another “theme” is a Chocolate Lover’s basket. Here are a few ideas for things to include:

    -~-Hershey’s Kisses, Godiva chocolates, and other candies found cheap after sale/coupons.
    -~-Chocolate-scented candles.
    -~-Hot chocolate and a pretty mug.
    -~-Pretty recipe cards with favorite chocolate recipes.
    -~-Chocolate cookbook.

  • Joanna

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! Why wouldn’t someone like getting the things he or she is going to use anyway and getting them for free? I would love getting this kind of stuff too, even though I can usually get it for free. LOL

  • Heather Smith

    We have a secret sister ministry at church where we pray for one of the ladies all year and surprise her with notes of encouragement and small gifts on special occasions. I always use my stash for these and the ladies seem to like them!

  • Tamsyn

    I used to do Operation Christmas Child when I was in college. (I now live in Germany, where there’s no collection center, so I give to the local Fisher Houses and to the Wounded Warriors at Landstuhl.) Here’s a link to Samaritan’s Purse, the organization that does OCC. http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/

    Basically, you fill a shoebox full of things for a child between 3 age ranges: toddler (2-4), younger child (5-9), and older child (10-14). You can fill it with personal hygiene items, coloring books and crayons, markers, stickers, a stuffed animal… The site has a list of things you can and CAN NOT send. For example, candies can melt in high heat, and toy guns or soldiers aren’t allowed since most of the children live in war-torn nations.

    It’s a really great, worthwhile endeavor, especially if you can get a shoe store to donate boxes (or you happen to have a box or two lying around) and you can use some stockpiled things to stuff the box.

  • amber

    These are so nice! I like seeing the pics, great ideas!

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  • TBeth

    Now that the kids are in middle school, they have *so many* teachers and others who participate in their education. Individual teacher gifts seemed entirely out of the question! So last year, instead of individual gifts, I filled a large basket with cosmetics and skin care products from my stockpile — I included some items for men, too. Each teacher got to select at least one thing, with more left for office staff and others. From the thank-you cards we received, it was a huge hit. (They sent the basket home with my kids … think that was a hint? ;o) Will do the same this year, too.

  • katie

    We are doing this, this year for our parents. I got stockings at the dollar store and filled them with free stuff I have been getting all year. Samples that have come in the mail, personal care items, and free candy. That is my favorite part of christmas, all the crap you get in your stocking. It is just fun – and who wouldn’t want stuff you actually use?

  • val

    Last year for me money was tight so i made up baskets filled with candles, lotion, a really nice fleece blanket i got from kohls on sale for $4.00, bodywash, razors, and shaving cream. I figured out with everything in the basket and including the basket it only cost me $8.00 for each person and the basket was stuffed full of mostley free items!!

  • Mary

    I have made pamper yourself gifts including both hygiene products( soaps, shampoos, razors), mixing them with teas and candles. The only dilemma I ever really faced was having strong scented hygiene products in baskets that included edibles. The scent made an unwelcomed flavor in my edibles.Perhaps this could be remedied by a separate packing artfully attached to the exterior of the basket for added surprise and attraction.

  • Krista

    I’m giving extended family presents of two body washes (1 men’s & 1 women’s) and two loofas. I got the loofas at the Target dollar spot a couple of weeks ago for $ .50 each. I’m taking a photo of my babies in the bathtub and adding “Washing you a Merry Christmas” and will attach all with ribbon purchased from AC Moore using my 40% off coupon. All will cost under $2 for each family. As a SAHM I’ll be spending about $20 for all my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

    • Heather Smith

      @Krista, Cute idea and what a good job being steward of your family’s money.

  • Valynda

    First of all, let me admit that I truly suck at giving teachers “traditional” gifts. All of my kids teachers receivie gift baskets/bags at the beginning of the school year, for the Holidays and as a “Thank you!” at the end of the year.

    I always shop the sales at Office Depot, Staples, and every other store that does a back-to-school sale! After I have filled my kids school supply lists, I make up bags/baskets of extra supplies and give them to the teachers at the back-to-school night.

    My kids art teachers will each be receving huge baskets of cleaning supplies. Trust me, there is no such thing as an art teacher that doesn’t need cleaning supplies!!! I include lysol/clorox wipes, rolls of paper towels, sponges, dish soap, etc. that I have gotten free throughout the year.,

    As cold/flu season begins, each teacher will recieve a huge bag of tissues, bacterial soap, etc. Also, the school nurse will be getting a basket of bags and bags of cough drops. (I’ve been doing this every since I found out that the school nurse and/or principal usually buys these out of pocket – sometimes up to 30 bags a week!)

    I know these don’t sound like “fun” gifts but I always include a personal letter written by me (or my kids) thanking them for a specific act they did that made a difference. And, if I have them, I include gift cards in the envelopes.

    Of course, the teachers always send “thank you” cards but the best letter I ever received was a from a teacher that had taught all 4 of my children. She wrote me a note after my 4th child had finished her class saying that the gift baskets had saved her “hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars” over the years because these were all items she normally had to purchase out of pocket and they meant far more to her than “some apple for the teacher item she would spend the rest of her life dusting.”

    • Deb H.

      @Valynda, What great ideas! I taught for several years before staying at home with my kids and these type of practical gifts are very welcome to a teacher! Teachers need to know how much they are appreciated. Notes of parental support are of utmost importance. The acutal gifts are secondary to the appreciation we verbalize or write out.

  • http://www.manymoneysaversblog.com Amy

    This is my first year stockpiling and I have definately planned on using my stock pile to make up gift baskets. I have several mens bodywashes and hydroschick razors, deodorants and such. All the fellas are getting those!

    I am also using some of the items for the Shoebox (Operation Christmas Child gifts).

    Yeah for stockpiling….and no it isn’t hoarding if you use products up or give them away. :)

    • Natalie

      @Amy, Amy, what is the shoebox gift thing? I’d love to do that too.

      • Lane

        Hi Natalie – It doesn’t look like anyone has answered, so I’ll try. Operation Christmas Child is part of the Samaritan’s Purse ministry. People fill shoeboxes with small gifts (candy, toiletries, school supplies, socks, small toys) and drop them off at a collection center. Samaritan’s Purse then distributes the boxes to children around the world who might not otherwise receive any Christmas gifts. It is really a LOT of fun to put a box together. We always enjoy doing our boxes.

        There’s more info here: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/OCC/Pack_A_Shoe_Box/

  • Sharon

    Everyone has fabulous ideas! I was a single mother of 5 until recently. I have been doing this for years. Couponing was a necessity. The thrift store in our area sells baskets in huge plastic bags for 1 price. I paid $3 several years ago for a bag that had about 70 baskets. Different shapes and sizes and some were different holiday themed. I have room in my attic and have been using them ever since. I save products all year long. Have a single brother who does not like to shop. I do car car, food, laundry items for him and he loves it. I do bath baskets for my girls. Find antique tea cups at garage sales adn salvation army – save tea and coffee products and add some baked items to basket for friends and neighbors. ( i give the baskets a bath in lysol and let them dry in the sun) At tea at church, recently heard a story about sharing a cup of tea with friends – how the tea cup given by a friend held memories for years to come. I add that story to my basket. Hope everyone has a blessed holiday season.

    • nicole

      @Sharon,
      I would love to use the tea cup idea this year and Ive never heard the tea cup story. If you can email me the story of the tea cup that would be awesome. knightrider2309@live.com Thanks

  • http://www.dclissa17.com Lissa

    I am a single woman who doesn’t use a lot of fancy stuff, and my personal stockpile needs are pretty low. But I had seen such great deals at the drugstores that I was finally drawn in! I divvy my finds up into 3 piles, personal stockpile, donation pile, and gift pile. This year, I fully plan on giving baskets to my friends and my massage therapist. My massage therapist especially is awesome! I am even thinking of doing some sort of Basket of the Month thing for her…..rather than a huge Christmas basket, maybe just a small one with a few of the giftcards I’ve gotten for pennies on the dollar, a big plate of Xmas cookies (my big gift is always several types of Xmas cookies!), and a certificate for “Basket of the Month”, spelling out which type of basket will be arriving. Then you can spread out the happy all year long, with smaller gifts. Themes include many that have already been listed here, such as:

    January: Perk up – Coffee & tea selection, coffee mug, creamer/sweetener
    February: Pamper yourself – face & body lotions, body spray, chocolates
    March: Movie night – popcorn, popcorn bowl, cheap movie, candy, soda
    April: Spring cleaning – variety of cleaning products, sponges, brushes
    May: The little things in life – Sample basket
    June: A little bit of Italy – colander, checkered dish towel, boxes of pasta, pasta sauce, wooden pasta spoon
    July: Relaxing Moments – Candles, bubble bath, bath salts
    August: Just to be Safe – Bandaids, ibuprofen, neosporin, etc.
    September: Beauty school – shampoo/conditioner, hair styling products, makeup, nail polish
    October: Comfort – comfort foods! chocolate, mashed potato pouches, mac-n-cheese, hot chocolate, soups
    November: Get Well Soon – cold meds, cough drops, chicken soup and bowl, kleenex
    December/Xmas: cookies, an ornament, a special card, and next year’s basket list!

    You can start a bag/pile for each basket at any point in the year. And then as it gets close to that time, fill it out with items from the dollar store/recent sales. I figure each basket can probably be made for $2-5 or less if you keep them in mind when planning your deals which means $60 or less for the whole year! And a new gift each month will really put a smile on someone’s face :)

    • Deb H.

      @Lissa, Very creative! You could do “fun in the sun” for July and put in suncreen, bug spray, beach items. Cool. Thanks for sharing.

    • Anonymous

      @Lissa, Lisa, in all my borned days I have never heard of such a great idea as your basket of the month theme for gifting! What a fabulous way to let someone special actually FEEL that way!

  • Amy

    I have purchased a number of the Glade candle/oils/sprays at Target and plan on making baskets for my son and daughters teachers. Glade always makes their packaging look amazing so it doesn’t look cheap and they always smell so nice!!

  • Hannah Forney

    I think it would be a great idea to use some of the stockpile to send overseas for Christmas gifts for the soldiers. I am a kindergarten teacher and every year we send a package to someone around Veteran’s Day. This is what I use my stockpile for.

  • Judy R

    I did a “cleaning bucket” for my now niece-in-law :) for her bridal shower. She was going to move in with my nephew after they got married and UGH who wants to move into a batch pad with out some MAJOR cleaning…lol. I got a colored bucket for a few bucks and I put in cleaning supplies that I had paid pennies for like Windex, Scrubbing bubbles shower spray (expensive and I paid nothing), Vanish, dish detg, Laundry detg ect…. and I made if fancy with some sponges and Dish clothes both a $1 each and my mom in law embroidered some dish towels and made a bag hanger. It was a HIT she loved it.

  • Julie

    Annie,
    I did the same thing with the money maker Olay Regenerist for my mom’s b-day too! I also love giving the free Olay body washes. People feel pampered with expensive brand names!

  • Amy

    I do pamper baskets for my stepmother, and she loves them. I will sometimes put everything in a serving bowl from her favorite dish pattern.

    Also, you can find cellophane/shrinkwrap at the dollar store, too. Check in the wrapping paper section.

  • Sherry

    I do this also and everyone seems to love them. Last year for Christmas I made my neices (11 and 13) gift baskets filled with harispray, shampoo, nail polish and things like that. They loved them. They are at that age where they are doing their hair an all that girly stuff. Also if you need some cheap fillers for your baskets – Target, AC Moore, Michaels all have little $1.00 sections where you can pick up some cool stuff to add to them.

  • http://www.aladora.com Stefanie

    This is so great, it’s funny I actually was told by someone recently that they do this throughout the year as they find things on sale. They combine the things they find and send it to friends and family as random I love you care packages. That is just such a great idea, don’t you?

    • cassie

      @Stefanie, I do this all the time. My sisters love getting their basket of free stuff every month. In fact I just dropped off one this morning with cold meds, melatonin, kleenex, and a few other goodies for my sister.

  • amanda

    This is my first year giving gift baskets, but I am hoping they are a hit. We also have two weddings to go to next year and I have started a basket for that too. When you are newly weds you never have the holiday decorations so I started picking up clearance decorations now for the baskets next year.

  • http://www.TheTightFistedPenny.com Penny

    I gave stockpile gifts last year and they were a huge hit. I was not creative at all! Earlier in the year, I purchased 18 gal plastic tubs for $0.75 ea, labeled them and filled them throughout the year. Each person was given the plastic bin FULL of items I knew they would use. My brother-in-law didn’t run out of razors for 6 months!
    I had bags full of dog food acquired for free that the children were thrilled to take to the shelter.

  • Lori

    Here are a few ideas:
    I am making these for the kids in my daughter’s class:
    http://christmas.organizedhome.com/gifts-crafts-gift-tags/snowman-soup

    You could do something similar with a sealed tea bag and a cinnamon stick and tell people you wanted to “Spice up their Holidays”.

    For those with some jiffy pop: http://christmas.organizedhome.com/sites/christmas.organizedhome.com/files/printable/gift_tags_jiffy_pop_popcorn_topper_winter_warmer.pdf

    Or, how about, “We Whisk you a Merry Kissmas”:
    http://christmas.organizedhome.com/gifts-crafts-gift-tags/whisk-you-merry-kissmas

    I mailed these out last year, right after Thanksgiving:
    http://classic.kodakgallery.com/jenny/projects/photo_advent_calendar
    Alll of her instructions are under the pictures.
    I got really cheap frames from Michaels and this year, I printed out new photos to fill in the year. My family LOVED this.

    BTW… this lady had a ton of projects, so feel free to let her inspire you, I’ve made so many of her projects, they are just so easy and fun and thoughtful!
    http://blog.ljcfyi.com/ljcsProjects/projectsMain/ljcsProjects.html

    I hope this helped!

  • Mel

    We have a friend who travels quite a bit. He LOVES when we give him a stocking filled with travel sized items. Of course, most of the items were FREE, but it fills his needs. And because we are on his mind while he’s traveling, my son often receives postcards from exciting places! It’s a win, win! I have found this to be a good idea for teachers or coworkers too. Especially if they are traveling during winter break to see family, etc.

  • melissa

    I collected little samples from here and there and put in a recycle bag with a little gift tag that said “the best things in life are free” My sister in law loved her bag-it was full of stuff people use everyday that are not traditional gifts but great to receive!

  • Melanie L

    I made a diaper wreath for my SIL a couple years ago. I used a bunch of the free samples of baby products as decorations on the wreath. Everyone loved it. She actually mentioned it a couple weeks ago. She said it was her favorite gift out of all the baby gifts she received.

    • Heather Smith

      @Melanie L, I saw one of these with receiving blankets wrapped around the wreath, teething toys/stuffed toys, sample lotions, teething gel, nail clippers etc. I thought it was brilliant! Making it from stockpiles is even more brilliant! Could be used in a shower game too….Walk it in front of guests slowly and then have them write down as many items as they could remember. Great gift/game if you were the hostess!

  • lynzee h.

    I absolutely love the movie basket idea and Im going to try it!

    Im planning on making a “holiday comfort food” basket for work and using it as a give away drawing for the customers. I have so much “comfort food” (hot chocolate, borwnie, cake mix, and soup) stock piled its not even funny lol. so hopefully the customers at work will like the idea.

    btw wish our dollar store had baskets like those, just went to ours this morning and they only had small ones.

  • Bonnie Stone

    Last year I made personalized tote bags (reusable blank bags with their initial sewn on the front) and filled them with all sorts of freebies I had collected including nailpolishes, lotions, pens, snacks, cold medicines, socks, panty liners, chapsticks, etc. For my neices, I individually wrapped every single item – and I think each of their bags had close to 50 items (I had done a WAGs Nailpolish deal many times to get the whole color collection). They LOVED it – especially unwrapping all those presents! It was a bit of a time investment, but helped make it extra special for two teenage girls to get odd little things.

  • Elizabeth

    I would tell anyone that getting things from (samples to full size products) from places like BIG LOTS, DOLLAR TREE, etc., can round out/fill in any stockplie gifts! I found some Johnson’s Baby Wash/Lotion, etc. for about $.50-2.50.

    Anytime you are doing a gift basket, you’re going to get pricey, it is just a matter-of-fact. I would also suggest looking inbetween aisles, etc….because I have found great deals on the backs of shelves!

    Good Luck!

  • http://raineyjourney.blogspot.com Amy Rainey

    I’ve done an Italian Lover’s Basket with a plastic colander from the $1 store, line it with a dishtowel, add pasta and sauces, maybe a pasta server, I might have $5 invested…maybe :)

    • Heather Smith

      @Amy Rainey, great idea! You know, one of my favorite wedding gifts as a young person just starting out with NOTHING, was a cookie sheet with a cookie cookbook and a bag of chocolate chips and a spatula. There are always free or low cost cookbooks(like theTaste of Home cookbook $5 sale) and utensils can be purchased at the dollar store and choc. chips or other baking supplies on a great sale stacked with coupons. As a wedding gift when you’re starting out, it costs a lot of money to buy all those staple items. Thoughtful idea!

  • http://smorgan865.blogpsot.com Samantha

    Absolutely!!

    Last year I gave my dad 2 reusable grocery bags full of non-perishables! He had a rough year and was sooo happy. Most people don’t need more ‘stuff’, but the grocery & drugstore items are what people need!

    I was able to make two diaper cakes for using couponed items, a gift card to buy from registries, and a some dollar store ribbon/fillers. Total cost was LESS than $10 total for both diaper cakes. My friends loved them!

  • Ginny

    I love this. Thank you for posting. Do you have any suggestions for gifts to give when the family is in another part of the country. The shipping alone makes everything much more expensive. I have bought some gift cards at a discount but then when I do the math don’t think I got that great of a deal.

    • http://WWW.The-Daily-Sadie.Blogspot.Com Colleen

      @Ginny,
      If you have small ones, Have them color a picture and tuck it in a card. I recently had my 18mo color right on a note card, traced around her hands and signed her name. Sent it of to Great Grandma in FL. We don’t get to see them much, and she’s only met my daughter once. I got a note back brimming with thanks and love. It said more than and gift!

    • Melissa R

      @Ginny,

      small flat rate international boxes are $12.78 shipped. that isn’t too bad of a cost & you could be surprised how much you can fit in that small box!!

  • Jennifer

    We’re doing a “Cold Remedy Basket” with a lot of the Freebates we got from Rite Aid last month. Also adding in some Chicken Soup, Tea and a Mug. The value is very high, but didn’t really cost us much of anything! :)

  • http://blog.supersaversarah.com Super Saver Sarah

    Jessica, I did only stockpile gifts last year and they were THE biggest gift hits I’ve ever given. As Shannon’s pics above highlighted, I tried to be mindful of people’s needs, likes and dislikes when putting them together. For example, a personal care basket isn’t a useful gift for someone with eczema or sensitive skin unless you have products you know they like and can safely use.

    Everyone in my family got a reusable shopping bag (more than 50 people in my family…lots of bags!) chock full of products: toothpaste, candles, air freshener, deodorant, Mentos Gum, lotion, body wash, razors, etc. I was a little unsure about doing it, but everyone loved the reusable bag idea and I got SO many compliments about how people loved to get a gift that was going to be useful for them. Plus, a lot of people seemed to love that it wasn’t another knick knack to dust or a sweater to hang in the closet.

    Remember too, that for people who do not coupon, lots of these products like nice razors, lotions and the like are “luxury” items becuase they can be pricey at regular retail cost. Something like Pro-Clinical toothpaste or John Frieda shampoo costs us pennies and we know they go on sale all the time. To someone who doesn’t coupon or follow sales, a $7 bottle of shampoo might be something they rarely splurge on. People kept asking me: “Oh my! How much did you SPEND on this stuff?” ;)

    Some people are hesitant to do these types of gifts because they’re afraid people will think they’re cheap. In fact, I found the opposite. People loved to see what I was able to get for almost nothing, and they complimented my shopping skills. No one expressed anything negative (at least not to my face…LOL) and they all seemed thrilled.

    I say go for it…I know from experience it can be a hit!

  • sherrie

    These are wonderful ideas Shannon. I have found I can give much nicer gifts (if you add up the price of these items on sale even with a coupon it is still a high value $ gift, esp if the person doesnt shop sales or use coupons) than I normally would when I use my stockpile. Sometimes I will even do some drug store deals that I wouldnt normally do and maybe spend a few $ out of pocket because I intend it as a gift (i.e. the Neutrogena deal from last week or Aveeno deal from several weeks ago). Those brands are very expensive and make a nice treat for someone who might not normally use name brand or high end products.

  • Annie

    I love these ideas!! I have been starting to do this too– I just gave my mom Olay Regenerist & Aveeno Ageless Vitality lotions for a bday gift, and she was thrilled. Of course, I didn’t tell her that they were both money makers after coupons & rebates!! (but the value is over $50). Also, I just made a gift basket for a wedding shower gift filled with his & her body wash, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, razors, shaving cream, and much more – all of which was cheap or free at RA at some point. (After seeing your picture, I think I’ll add a free Glade candle!!) Again, the value is very high, but the OOP was not. Just did the Huggies deal at RA today, & along with wipes, will make a great baby gift for my friend’s upcoming #4 baby! Chapsticks are also great stocking stuffers for ladies… :)

  • Katie

    I think that’s a great question Jessica. I’m planning on doing some gift giving from my stockpile too. Your baskets look great Shannon, and they’re way more creative than what I have come up with :)

  • Dizzy Mommy

    I do gift baskets for everything with my stockpile. Things are so tight right now, for my nieces birthday I used the free kids rechargable tooth brush (CVS) some nail polish (Rite Aid), Candy and gum (Rite Aid), random smelly stuff, and some other kids like items Ive gotton free to make her a birthday basket. Its really hard to shop for her so (she is literally a kid with everything) and she always gets excited to see whats inside. I also give my sadly down and out brother in law gift baskets with stuff to shave and wash with. I stopped giving him food when he began complaining about what he was getting. Anyhow, gift baskets are always a great idea.