Christmas Gifts on the CHEAP!

November 6, 2014

In year's past I've spent thousands of dollars on Christmas. Like a lot of people, I'm fortunate enough to have a long list of family and friends to shop for. That's great but my wallet didn't agree. This year I probably have the least amount of money to spend on Christmas but surprisingly it will also be the least stressful Christmas in a while. Why? 
Well, around June I started hoarding away Christmas presents and now I have an attic full of stuff. That's no big tip you might say but that's not all. For most gifts I've only spent between $2-$5 and no more than $10. They're all brand new unopened gifts from major retailers. Ok. But how?! There are a few places I frequent. But before I tell you what the first one is I want you to keep an open mind and hear me out.

Don't quit reading just yet! Target stores donate their "salvage" inventory to Goodwill. This is the clearance stuff that doesn't sell. It's all new in the package. You can tell what is from Target and what isn't because the stuff from Target will be marked with a neon green or pink sticker with a letter written on it (ie, Y,W,R,B). That letter represents what week the merchandise came into Goodwill. Each Monday a new letter is 50% off the marked price for the entire week. Magic Jinn below was only $3.50. It currently sells on Toys R Us for $15.
I don't buy Goodwill toys from Target unless it's on a week where it's 50% off. Goodwill tends to price the Target stuff as expensive as Target priced it, often more than the clearance price. So just be patient and wait until it's half off. That usually takes about 3 weeks. Believe it or not, stuff doesn't always sell and you can usually get what you want if you wait. Now, there have been times when I've lost something because I waited but since this is an "all-year" endeavor it won't really matter if you loose a thing or two. I waited for this gaming gun and only paid $3.50 for it. It currently sells at Toys R Us for $35.
In order to consistently get deals you really need to go every Monday. I like to go so it's something I look forward to. But if you only go once a month or less you probably won't find enough to make a huge difference in your Christmas list. Every Monday I hit the three closest Goodwill stores to my house all within a 5 mile range. If you go any further it becomes more of a chore. Fortunately I have several close by. Sometimes I only get one or two things, sometimes I get seven! It's definitely hit or miss. I bought this Sunbeam Polar Blast Blizzard making machine for only $3.50. It currently retails on Amazon for $16.
Target uses a black marker and will often draw a line through the brand names and serial numbers of their salvage inventory. This is to prevent people from trying to return it to Target. If you want to give something as a gift you can get rid of the black lines by using a dry erase marker and some hairspray. IT WORKS! Sometimes it leaves a little behind but it does its job for the most part. Here's a video tutorial I made with the Xploderz gun. Just remember, you can't return this stuff to Goodwill OR Target (obviously). So make sure you give it to someone who isn't going to ask to return it. Kids for instance. I buy a lot of the Goodwill Target toys for my kids. Decent stuff.
Stocking Stuffers! Often stocking stuffers are an afterthought. You go out and get a whole bunch of last minute stuff a couple days before Christmas, maybe even Christmas Eve. But even the cheap toys in the $1-$5 bins can really add up! I have to say I've easily spent $100 on stocking stuffers for my four children. Add in my mother and husband and we're talking over $200 on this "afterthought". Crazy!
Goodwill has a lot of chinzy Target stuff they often will toss in a large bin. I go through it and will usually get stuff for 25¢-50¢, stuff that was originally $3-$4.

Go to ALL the Goodwill stores in your area. One is often not as good as another and they all have different Target inventory. One of the stores in my area always has a huge amount of Threshold furniture, another one has none. I've mostly talked about toys but I've also bought a lot of nice Target home goods. A brand new 10' instant canopy tent, a brand new juicing machine, Threshold dining chairs....the list goes on. So check each out and see what they offer.

Tuesday Mornings
To see if you have a Tuesday Mornings near you check out this page. Again, don't just go into the store and buy stuff. It's not that cheap. In the back of the store they have their clearance section, but sometimes it's scattered through the isles. Items are usually marked with either a pink or purple sticker. And they change their tags every three months. I think the next time they will be changing over their tags is the beginning of December so you can estimate the changeovers from there.
They have a lot of toys that were popular last season, LalaLoopsies, Bratz, Winx, Novi Stars. Next year they'll probably have Ever After High dolls. My kids are still young enough to not care. They also have a lot of baby toys. The purple tags are 20% off and pink tags are 40% off. Go for the pink tags and get there RIGHT AFTER they've switched their tags. If you go even a couple weeks later, all the good stuff will be gone. You can get a lot of nice toys here for between $7-$10, stuff that sold for $15-$20 last year. Stock up when you can! You can also buy some nice home goods there though I think they have a better selection of toys.

Always Think Christmas
I know this can be hard, especially between February-August. But anytime you come across a clearance bin or seasonal sale remember to think of Christmas gifts even if it's in the middle of July! I went to the Christmas Tree shop last month to pick up an apple peeler/corer for myself for only $8. The exact same ones were $20 at Bed Bath and Beyond.

I could have just bought one and been happy that I found such a great deal but instead I bought three and decided to give one to my mother-in-law and one to my sister-in-law. Bam! A $20 gift for only $8. One more thing to add to my attic pile. It's also nice to have a pile of gifts when you forget a birthday or party and don't have enough time to run to the store.

Great as Donations
If you don't have any little ones in your life or you want to teach your children about charity getting Target toys from Goodwill is also a nice way to give back. Charities like Toys for Tots and Operation Christmas Child are always in need of donations.
If you know of any secret places to get good deals please let me know in the comments below! I know there must a million more out there. Let's spread the word!

2 {comments}:

mashalive said... Best Blogger Tips

Christmas is almost here, I just wish i would be excited as i was as a small child
Vera Sidika

Karen said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for taking the time to blog about all these great deals. I am sure that it has been helpful to lots of people. I have been lucky at Hospice Resale Shoppes when looking for vintage and antique things to purchase as gifts.

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