Saving On Birthday Gifts: WDYD?

WinkIvy says:

Today is my dad’s birthday. He’s 56 years old today! His own father died when he was 53 years old, so every birthday now is truly a celebration that my dad is still around. Dad’s got end stage renal failure, so we are truly happy he’s still around.

No matter how happy we are that dad’s celebrating another birthday, I’m still on a limited budget and have to find clever ways to get the man who has everything something he’ll want and use.

One of the things I had been getting him for his birthday, Christmas, and Father’s Day was a potted plant. He has a very green thumb and loves houseplants, so it’s a perfect gift for him. Until, of course, he ran out of room for more plants. Then I had to think creatively. This year I got him a yoga ball,

since he has been doing yoga for his arthritis.

I found some wrapping paper on clearance at Target. Since I had saved so much money on the wrapping paper, I bought him an actual card. I almost never do this, because they are so expensive and you can find so many awesome free printable cards online. For a bow, I used some old ribbon I had bought for a craft I was making, and curlied it up and made my own ribbon.

So, Home-Eccers, tell me about your ways you save on birthday gifts! October is a spendy month in my household- it’s not only my dad’s birthday, but Nate’s and Meghan’s birthdays as well.


  1. Tricia on October 11, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Well I always have a hard time saving money on birthday gifts. It’s hard for me to find the “right one”. At Christmas everyone looks forward to our photo calendar for the next year. That works out great and not to costly. Then for parents birthdays we plan a day together to share more memories of one another. They seem to have everything they want anyway.

    When it comes time to wrapping the gift I have bags from past birthdays that work out. If not I use the funny paper or grocery bag that my son has painted on for the birthday person. Makes great craft time and wrapping paper when you need it. I usually have ribbon or sticks around we can use as tape or tie the gift together. My son loves wrapping the gifts with me. What 4 year old wouldn’t doing it my non-perfect way? I don’t buy cards I e-mail, make my own, or just skip the hole card thing.

  2. Christy N on October 9, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    Our “cheap gift” option is custom CDs and DVDs. Paul and I are both musicians, so once we made a Christmas CD to give to our families. Paul also is a video editing guru, so occasionally he gathers home movies from everyone and transfers them to DVD, complete with menus.

    These gifts are involve lots of time but very little money.

  3. Pam on October 9, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    My husband started writing funny poems for our grandchildren as soon and they could read (we still buy them other gifts)….but the really neat thing is they now each write him a poem for his birthday…..they are precious….they show how well they know him….we have had them framed and they hang in his home office. Pam, South Bend
    P.S. check out my book “Creating Happy Memories” on I wrote this book to encourage people to create wonderful memories and traditions without spending lots of money…investing time instead. It is the perfect gift for a baby or wedding shower or for new grandparents.All of the proceeds last year went to our local Center for the Homeless for their children’s programs because we met while volunteering there.

  4. boogiemum on October 9, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I make homemade gifts. I am making my nieces my version of the Ugly dolls for Christmas this year. My In-Laws love the photo calendars I make, and I usually come up with something different for my parents too.

  5. KTHunter on October 9, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Happy birthday to your dad!

    I like to make cross-stitched items and give them as presents. Most of the people in my family absolutely ADORE homemade gifts. My sister-in-law makes all of her cards and invitations by hand, and they are always lovely and scrapbook worthy.

  6. tink on October 9, 2007 at 8:40 am

    My parents are at that age that they don’t want “stuff” so my favorite gift to give them now is a gift of memories.

    When we were kids there was a cookie factory in the next town, they sold the broken cookies by the pound for a small price. Every week Dad took us down to the cookie factory to buy our cookies.

    That factory has long since closed, but I found the ONE remaining factory that manufactures that brand and had several pounds sent to my dad. He was thrilled, he called all of the neighbors to let them know – since they had all done the broken cookie runs as well.

    It was the memories that were the best, not so much the cookies.

    I’ve also given him gift cards to an ice cream shop we used to stop at on our way home from church every Sunday and meal certificates for a hamburger/shake type place that we used to go to after he’d pick me up from elementary school.

    Usually gift cards are somewhat impersonal – the memories behind them are what makes them very very special.

  7. moonablaze on October 8, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    I usually buy solid colored wrapping paper and ribbons on sale at Christmas and use them all year. (blue works well most of the year, with red or green around certain other holidays)

  8. Margo on October 8, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Well, for my parents and hubby’s parents who all seem to have everything, we usually try to do a “time” gift: dinner out (sharing the cost with a sibling) or dinner at our house. Once I even gave my parents a dinner at their house and told them to invite friends. They LOVED it but that was a lot of work. Sometimes pedicures or massages for the moms. We’ve also given gifts of donations in the loved one’s name – something that connects to their interests or own charitable giving. Privately, I’ve never enjoyed receiving those gifts as much, BUT they do match my values since I generally have more than enough stuff.
    I guess those aren’t really ways to SAVE, but simply to give gifts to the people who have everything.

  9. Ginger on October 8, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Happy Birthday to Ivy’s dad! 🙂

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