Friday, December 18, 2015

Gift at the Ready

I have been glaringly upfront that I like a nice glass, heck, bottle of wine every now and then.  It has become a hobby.  Not the drinking of it alone, but learning about the grape varieties, and what makes the same grape have very different end results in the wine.  Because of this interest, we joined a wine club which along with our monthly meet-ups and wine tasting nights, we bring home three bottles of different selections. Believe it or not, often we never consume the bottles we take home.  I make mental and sometimes real notes about which ones I think a particular taste type might like.  We also get to buy extra bottles at 15% off the already lower wine club price, so I've been known to pick up extra bottles of particular favorites. These bottles make great last minute gifts for hostess parties, and adult birthday, or thank yous. 

Great in a pinch for a known wine drinker, but I am often in need of a universal gift for a non wine drinker or a youth, so have been known to do a last minute run to Target and buy something quick, the first thing I see that might hit the mark, overspending in the process. I could have been faced with this already this morning  DD#2, who has been burning the candle at both ends for the last month,  needs a secret Santa gift in the $5.00 range for this morning's concert orchestra group. I actually knew about it earlier in the week and she had suggested an ITunes card, but when I looked, there were only pre populated amounts of $25 or more.Then, we both sort of let it slip our minds and she needs this when we leave the house at 6;45 this morning. What is open on route is a 24 grocery store, gas and convenience stores, and Walmart. 

Then, I had an epiphany.  In my wallet are no less than four $5.00 Target cards that are given at the register when you buy certain quantities of various things.  These are items like toilet paper, cleaning products, or personal care items-all stuff we would have bought anyway.  I often forget I get these cards, and then will find in cleaning out my wallet.  I've used them then for things like passing on to the grown kids for a supply run,or for extra items for school supply drives in the fall. I also bought two for one bags of Christmas M&M's for baking, but only need one. DD#2 taped a gift card to the candy, found some old tissue paper and a reclaimed small gift bag from something else, and Voila, a secret Santa gift any 14 year old would want to get.

While I still like that these little gift cards make it easy to add to my giving to either my broke kids or to my community, this was a good use of the cards to help reign in more overspending this time of year. I'll add my estimated savings, $10 (probably the minimum I would have spent on a dash and buy stop on route) -$1.50 on the M&M's,, -$0 for the gift card for a total of $8.50 to add to my end of year food shelf donation. In the future, I'll try to keep both gift cards, and  a few things of candy or tins of nuts as a container of sorts for the card, around for just this situation, 

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