Thursday, November 5, 2009

Does the Amount you Spend on a Gift Matter?


I received this email from a reader:

"I have a question for you. I made a basket for all the moms in my life for Mother's Day. I put some great stuff in there. Well, my husband's mom asked me if I got my stuff with coupons. Because of course everyone knows how I love couponing. She didn't ask in a bad way, but it kind of made me feel uncomfortable. Because I had gotten everything with coupons, I was able to give them 3 times more than I would have normally.

So, my question is, if you give a gift for the holidays to someone that knows you coupon and they ask or put you on the spot about it, how do you, or would you handle it? I have a million of the Glade oil candle burners and refills and thought they would make awesome gifts along with something else, but everyone knows I got them for free. While I love being frugal I don't want to come off as cheap when I give gifts. But at the same time, like I said before, with my couponing I can give way more."

After reading the email above, I definitely thought this would be a great topic to discuss.

My response to her email basically stated that is shouldn't matter if you spend $50 or $2 or even get something free! The money that you put into a gift is NOT the important part--the thought is what counts! Plus, as most of you know, getting a great deal or snagging a FREE product does take time and energy. Way more time then going to a store and throwing a few random gifts in your shopping cart!

My opinion, as harsh as this may sound, is if people ever make you feel uncomfortable regarding this, then...well, I wouldn't consider them "real" friends! We are all helping our families save money and learning how to stretch those hard earned dollars! There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. In fact, other people should commend you for your efforts!

Being able to pay it forward with free or inexpensive products you receive is NOT something any of you should be embarrassed about. Be proud of the gifts you're able to give--no matter what the cost!

What are your thoughts on this topic?
I'd love to hear and I'm sure others would too!

201 comments:

1 – 200 of 201   Newer›   Newest»
*~*~*Bargain Blessings*~*~* said...

DH and I have discussed this recently, and I agree...it does not matter what you actually "spent". Couponing and bargain hunting takes a lot of work...my family appreciates all the effort!

Anonymous said...

I know that sometimes I feel like I am being cheap when I give a gift that I used coupons on, but as time goes on I am starting to let that feeling go. This year for Christmas my nieces are getting gift baskets with make up and other products that I got free. I think they will like this being thier Dad has been laid off most of the year and it is stuff that they really like to have. I recently went to a baby shower and gave diapers and baby products that she had registered for, and of course I got them all free! I think the more I think about this the less guilt I have :-)

Elizabeth said...

I personally don't think there is anything wrong with using coupons to purchase gifts for anyone. If the person isn't appreciative then, I would just give them a smaller, inexpensive gift that didn't take coupons. Then, show her/him what they COULD have gotten had you used the coupons that you have available to you. My mom loves when I send freebies, and coupons to her house, and even when I can snag something for a good price for her. She always says, where do you find these deals? Of course I send her straight to your site! But, If your mother in-law doesn't appreciate what you have her for mothers day then, try my idea or, give her something you made, like a gift in a jar or something. There's nothing wrong with saving money, especially around the holidays!

Kristin said...

Sometimes I do worry that I will come across as cheap when i give gifts that people know i paid little to nothing for, but like the letter said you can give 3 times as much! I look at the quality of the gift I give, not how much money I spend on it, and I'm proud to give what I give as gifts. If I'd had to spend money on it I wouldn't have been able to afford it. Many people get gifts from me because of couponing that wouldn't even get gifts if I couldn't coupon. My family appreciates it but if someone didn't I'd rethink having them on my "gift giving" list! If someone doesn't appreciate your gift do they really need it or deserve it? Your person may not have been intentionally rude but that's just not a question you ask someone about a gift they have given. Rudeness is awful!

Kristy said...

I have been thinking alot about this topic as well with the Holidays coming up and this being my first Christmas of REALLY couponing. I have a cousin, who is thrilled with this idea, and her daughter is getting a mother load of gifts on Saturday for her birthday which she knows I was able to snag with coupons, that is why she is getting so much and she is so happy. But on the other hand I have a sister-in-law that may not feel the same way come Christmas, but my Niece's are getting a ton of gifts this year, due to the great toy deals that I have been able to snag. Had I not done this they would be getting just one or two gifts instead of the 5-6 they are getting now. I have a budget that I give myself for everyone and if I can come in way under that is great, if I get more for the kids because we all know when it comes to the kids, we just can't stop shopping, than I think that is even better. To each their own, I don't care what their opinion is about what I spend as long as they are getting great gifts and I am having fun and putting a lot of thought into the whole process!! Making fun baskets and trying to be as creative as I can.

Anonymous said...

When I know that I am getting a good deal on something that I plan to give as gifts, I try to keep it hush hush, so then I am not uncomfortable, that the person I give it to knows the great deal. But, its kinda hard cause my best friend and sister both do the same coupon clippins I do. So I try to get them things I wouldn't have with coupons. Otherwise, I agree... it shouldn't matter the cost, its the thought that counts, and if they care how much you spent that is their problem. We should be proud that we are doing such a wonderful thing for our families by being frugal and saving money, thats a gift all in itself!

Anonymous said...

Screw 'em! I say they shouldn't complain about the gift or next year they are off the list!

Anonymous said...

I am new to your site as of this week, but must admit, I am hooked. In just a few days, things are gathering on my bathroom counter, which I know I most likely will not use. On top of that I am a minimalist, so they will be used by someone. I have it in my mind to make 4 cute bags for Christmas, with H2S on the outside, with all kinds of goodies for my daughters and daughters-in-law. I know they will love it, but they will have other gifts, so this doesn't completely address the writers dilemma. For children, each year for Christmas Eve I make tissue (not Kleenex) balls which start out with a little treasure in the middle, then I wrap and I wrap colored tissue all the while enclosing little trinkets, always under $1.00 and sometimes just free hand lotion or small soaps from a hotel etc. When they are finished they end with red tissue and ribbon, and they are about the size of a soccer ball. The kids ages 4-9 love them. Now that I am starting to coupon, I see lots of new ideas for the Christmas balls.

Anonymous said...

Couponing is GREAT! With my close friends and sisters, we purposely keep the price tags on especially if we get a good deal on the item. It's almost a competition with all of us "infected super couponers". There's NOTHING wrong with getting items for free and them passing them on as gifts. In my opinion, thats the best part. I did baskets for the teachers for Christmas, which i am sure they will love. The baskets are FILLED too with lots of free practical items. Don't sweat it! Just feel good about giving....taht's what it's all about :)

danielle said...

i agree, it should never matter how much you spent on a gift, or even if you got it for free. just by giving the gift it should let the person know you care enough to think about them. my family knows i coupon and it has never bothered them how much or where i got their gift from.

btw, i've been unemployed most of this year and thanks to this site and all the deals that are posted, my 2 year old will still be having a wonderful christmas and i do not feel overwhelmed trying to go buy christmas gifts, as i have been done since september. plus i was still able to get toys items and food to give to charities for those who are worse off then me.

Anonymous said...

also one thing that will help save more money around holiday times is buying things on sale or on clearance that are WORTH the budget price. if you dont say anything, people wont know the difference. Just save the extra money you saved.

Becky said...

Last year for Christmas, we were only able to buy for the kids in the family. This year I am making HUGE gift baskets for everyone. Almost everything I've gotten for free or cheap. I've probably spent about $30 total for each basket (over the course of 4 months so we haven't noticed it!) but each basket already has almost $300 worth of goodies in it! I think everyone who is getting one of these is going to be thrilled-they are all in the same boat financial-wise as we are. So they will all have enough things to last them for months and months and not need to spend their hard earned money on it!

Megan said...

Ug. That email was so sad. :(

I hate the sense of entitlement that people seem to have. As if you should spend a certain amount? As if the products are less valuable because you didn't pay retail like every other fool?!

My Christmas this year is going to be CHEAP. I will come in well under $100. And lots of people are getting Glade! LOL My SIL is getting a HBC gift basket that will be perfect for her.

Heidi said...

In my family, they're usually proud and maybe even a little envious of the deals that I manage to score We don't have the available funds this year to spend as much as we might have in the past, but I'm making sure that everyone gets something thoughtful and that I think that they'll appreciate. And honestly that's what matters most to me.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say...with all the time and energy I put into couponing and seeking the best deal I could have hand carved them a dining room table with nothing more than a dull knife....so when I give someone a gift that requires me to deal with the dreaded beep, huffs & puffs from people behind me, and some of my most embarrassing moments...they should look at there gift basket and smile with admiration and if they don't...well they shouldn't be offended when next year they get a card.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 12:42, you give soap from hotels as gifts? ouch!!!

Katie said...

I've been the recipiant of "free" gifts. Something I know the person didn't pay for and I'm torn on the topic. I don't believe you have to spend enormous amounts of money, HOWEVER, make sure the gift you are giving is right for the person.
I've received gifts that would better suit an adolecent than an adult and the fact that I knew the person hadn't spent money on it made me wish they had just given me a card. Because I was stuck with something I just ended up donating anyway.
Gift baskets are great, I would just be careful that all the items are age appropriate and things that you think the person either needs or would enjoy. You might think the basket looks a little empty, but I would think twice before you throw in a couple of glade candles to give to your teenage niece.

Vicki H. said...

My concern is why did her mil ask her anyway? Why put her on the spot if it is the thought that counts? Maybe in her MIL's mind, the money is an important factor. i've decided, in wondering these things, to give gifts acquired with coupon assistance to some, and to those who would make me feel uncomfortable about it, to give them homemade gift instead (baked bread, a knitted scarf or mittens, something like that).

Anonymous said...

Megan, whats a HBC gift basket?

Hip2Save, you should get your readers to send you pics of the baskets for you to post. I would love to see what the baskets look like to get some ideas.

And I agree doesnt matter what you spend on the gift, its the thought that counts.

Jessica said...

I feel that if the person receiving the gift is ungrateful for the gift because of the price tag then they are the one with the problem.

Couponing takes so much time and effort and they will never understand that unless they do it themselves.

Personally, I think that handmade gifts are absolutely the best! When someone knows how much time and effort you spent on them $ doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

if i get a basket full of glade candles and misc obvious sample size stuff i think id be wondering wth did i do to that person?? but if a few of those things surrounded a thought out special gift (even if it was with a discount like bath and body works products or something which i love lotions and body sprays like that) id be thrilled...but a gift that is just pure stuff i know is the norm pick up free with coupons/free sample stuff..id be hurt.

Andrea A said...

My mom knows I get stuff couponing and she is excited to get her first Christmas box full of goodies this year. On the other hand I will not do this for my mother-in-law. I have no idea if she would even like it. I guess I could ask but we aren't close so.....I will send a joint present and be done with it. If someone doesn't appreciate it then get them something small that you can afford and leave it at that. Life is way to short for nay sayers.

I think practical gifts will get a lot more use.

Shelly said...

Asking someone if they used coupons is like asking how much the gift cost...you just don't do it.

Sara said...

I completely agree with anon. 12:53

Mom who cares said...

Anyone who has a problem with how a person paid for a gift as long as it was legal, it wrong to complain.

Be thankful or don't get anything.

I mean prices vary from store to store on the same item. So, if that mom was upset that I went to the dollar store to snag something instead of the mall and the item is exactly the same thing, but one cost less than the other.

I would kindly say - well, if it bothers you that I paid less, feel free to give the gifts back and I bet someone else would sure love it.

Put the spotlight back on them.

I mean for my sisters birthday - I sent her coupons to pick up a few free things (you know those completley free coupons) - even offered her one of my restraunt.com certificates. She was happy I thought of her and accepted the salong coupons and told me not to worry about the resteraunt certificate as she is on a diet and eating out less.

SOme people are plain rude.

CatM13 said...

Isn't gift giving suppose to be about the thought, not the price? I really think its inappropriate for someone to ask you how much you spent on a gift or "did you use coupons on that". It shouldn't matter. Guess those are probably the same people who would be unhappy if the perceived value of their gift was less than someone else's gift (another gift giving trap. If I buy mom a sweater and dad a book, will dad think I didn't spend as much?).

My advice if they ask, ask them "Does it matter?"

Of course, my family knows I coupon and are excited to see how much I can get for free/cheap.

Dee said...

This year is the first time we've put a $10 limit to all the grown up couple's on husband side - i.e. my sister in law and her husband will get a $10 gift. I'm going to give a basket with household stuff in it. I know I used to HATE to buy that kind of stuff, but it was necessary! How awesome will it be to see them open their big baskets of stuff!! It'll make me feel good and hopefully them as well.

I agree - as long you give thought to your gift and is age appropriate, then it does not matter. I'm sorry that your mother in law made you feel that way. That really stinks - when really getting gifts is secondary to what Christmas is all about.

Becky said...

I think pics of some baskets would be a great idea! Mine aren't made up yet, or I would take a picture. My family already knows about them, because I asked them if they had any preferences that way they like and can use what they get! My baskets are just laundry baskets (that way they'll get used!) and have everything-candles, air fresheners, cleaners, shampoos, razors, makeup, soap, Tylenol-everything health/beauty wise and household wise that they could possibly need for the next few months! I will also be adding in a tin of home made cookies and some sort of crafty item, like a small scrapbook of the kids, or something for their house. Lots of love and time have went into these baskets!

micki76 said...

I agree, Shelly! Tacky to even ask.

Bawana said...

Arggggg........
This made me upset to think about. Does it really matter what I spent? Huh, well I could just go to the dollar store (as I have) and buy junk to give you.
If someone is that greedy or thankless about what they get then I say they can just go to #@$%^. Sorry really mad. My husband and I have been unemployed since first of April and if anyone thinks I'm spending alot out of pocket this year they are wrong. I have been doing the deals just so I can make baskets for most people for christmas. Yards sale are where I was tring to get nice baskets to fill. There are so many out there that have nothing and yet others think they must have expensive gifts. Greedy selfish people. Look around.
Thanks to your's and other sites I am still about to donate to the local food bank about 35-40 lbs of food every other month.
Sorry just had to rant!!!! Thanks

Anonymous said...

In short they are getting airwick fresheners and liking it. :o)

Vicki H. said...

I like the idea of putting the spotlight back on them....So I guess when we're put into this same spot, a possibility is to simply relax (even if it's a big deal in their minds, it doesn't have to be in ours?), smile and say, "Why do you ask?"

Eden said...

Shelley, yeah that was what I was thinking.

I don't mind if I knew someone got me free stuff. That doesn't bother me a bit. As long as I could tell they put thought into it & just didn't throw it together.

For a lot of people who don't coupon, a lot of the things you can get with coupons are even nicer than what they would normally get. For instance, I wouldn't normally buy myself stuff at Bath & Body works or nice body washes, except I get them for free or a good deal. So it seems that most of the time, the gifts would still be REALLY nice & something you might not normally get yourself. I wouldn't mind if they were free. Make sense?

cnrbuck said...

I have a huge family to buy for and I did the glade deal at Target last year and was able to give baskets with 10 items each to EVERY woman in our family. THEY LOVED THEM! I proudly told them that I did all of there presents for a GREAT PRICE with the use of coupons! I don't think it matters how much you spend as long as they are personal and something you think they will enjoy. Don't just give it because it's cheap! As far as people, I don't know anyone who would be offended that I went out to make 50 trips to Target to do so (Exaggerating) but others are correct. It is the EFFORT and time and thought you put in with giving that present to the person.

hopevierze said...

I think if you get them cheaper with time and effort it is a LOT more thoughtful than if you just went out and spent money. It takes time to find the deals... which is more valuable than the money spent!

Anonymous said...

i got the isense airwick freshners for the bathrooms in my house, and i gotta say, their scents REEK. either i didnt have a lot of options at my store or they just suck at their scents, reminds me of public bathroom timed spray scents. i wouldnt EVER gift those to ppl. gross..i dont care if tehy were a buck..they need to do something about their scents.

Anonymous said...

Wow, sorry I didn't mean to convey I give soap from motels as gifts. I was referring to things I put in the gift balls for my granddaughters. There are probably 25-30 small little items in there like lip gloss,new $1 bill, candy, stickers etc. The little girls like small bottles of hand lotion, mini soaps etc. Did'nt you like those things when you were young, I did.

Anonymous said...

My suggestion to the poster who asked is to remain mum on their coupon usage. It is not people's business how (s) he handles her finances.

I've used my thrifty skills (this goes far beyond coupons) to provide gifts to 12 families for Xxmas thus far. I am sure many would have issues if they found out I got their gifts for free (new and sealed of course!) at post-garage sales or sales bins.

My brother loves his gift baskets. At first, he did get it. Then it realized how help they are.

Anonymous said...

to anon 1:04


yea...if they were from disney world hotels...

random hotel products?


.....

SweetCanela said...

I agree it takes tons of time and energy to do this and I'm sharing the information to help people for free. I do think it is kind of insulting of them to even ask. I'd just reply I spent a lot on this! Whether it is time, energy or money a lot was spent!

Anonymous said...

When i read the email i didn't think the mother in law was trying to be rude. I thought maybe she was just curious. Before i started couponing i was really interested in how people could get all these good deals. Maybe the MIL was just saying wow can you get all this using coupons?

Anonymous said...

Ill take your gifts.. WHO CARES.. i got 50.00 g/c for doing an offer and im gifting those.. i dont care if people know or not serioulsy sometimes people irk me

Suzy said...

I am proud of everyone & their responses. Too often people lose site of what is really important (including me) over the holidays, which is spending quality time with family & friends. The material gift is just the bonus, free or not.

mistisdesk said...

I know how you feel - but I think if they look at what the product is WORTH and the time and thoughtfulness that is behind it, then they should just be happy to receive it!

Jaime said...

Seriously. RUDE.

Perhaps the MIL did not mean it the way it sounded but still - you just don't ask how much a gift costs? Coupons or otherwise!

I would proudly tell my mom about the deal I got on HER gift, but I would not do it for my MIL. That's just our family. However, I feel certain that my MIL would be proud to know that I worked hard to save money wherever I could since her son works and I am a SAHM with her grandson.

Tawanda! said...

I was thinking along the same lines as ANON 1:11. Although she knows her MIL better than anyone, perhaps it was out of admiration (and envy) that she asked. I've always been of the belief that as long as it's a thoughtful and appropriate, I'd be happy wih anything given to me.

MalibuBeachBum said...

Asking someone how they paid for something they are giving you as a GIFT is beyond rude. And the only reason anyone would ask a question like that is to judge you, regardless of how nicely the question was raised. Unreal.

I just came home from the post office. Yesterday, I packed up a HUGE box of things to ship to my mother. A "care package" of sorts. She lives several states away and I thought she would enjoy loads of candles, lotions and beauty products. I even added a "movie night" bag to the package with tons of candy, microwave popcorn and two DVD movies for she and my dad to enjoy.

She will automatically know that since my discovering this website this past summer, that some of the things in her package were purchased using coupons. Some things were even free. She will also know that many things were purchased for full price at Nordstrom, MAC cosmetics, Best Buy and other stores. But none of that will make a difference to her. She applauds my new efforts in using coupons and gets just as excited hearing about THOSE adventures as she does with hearing about a fabulous new purchase I've made from Saks Fifth Avenue.

It's the thought that counts and if anyone ever made me feel uncomfortable by asking how their GIFT was obtained, that would be the last gift they would ever have to worry about getting from me.

My mother will be getting her surprise package in the mail on Saturday! I can't WAIT to get the phone call hearing about how happy she is with this thing and that thing and the other thing. I know she will appricate ALL of it regardless of how ANY of it was paid for (or not paid for - because some of those candles were FREEEEEEEEEE!) ;)

Amber said...

Whenever I get something for free/cheap, I put it in a big box. Then, when it is time to give gifts, I go through the box and pick out something special just for the intended person. These items usually come from couponing or Avon (which I sell, so items are inexpensive for me). My friends and family always love that I took the time to get to know them and what they like and then give accordingly. We all know raising a family can be expensive and my friends and family understand and appreciate any deals I can get.

Anonymous said...

I shop all year gathering the best deals- yes alot of times free for people in my life that I know use or will use these items. So my advice is if someone actually is that RUDE to ask you- My response would be I buy all year with the people I care about in my mind. How long was I on your mind when you purchased that generic gift card?? That should put an end to rude behavior

Jessica said...

I agree that a gift should be given as a loving, thoughtful thing without being concerned about if it was free or not. It is the thought behind it that is most important. On the other hand, giving a teen washable markers, a baby nail polish(these both actually happened to us!), someone that doesn't like scented stuff a bunch of Glade candles, etc., just because it was cheap or free seems not to show much thoughtfulness either. Is your goal to give as much stuff as possible without considering the person getting the gifts taste/likes, etc.? Or is your goal to show the person your love and care through a gift thoughtfully chosen (bought, couponed for, made, etc.)? I know most of you (and Hip!) have this attitude but after reading these replys it seems like some have the first attitude. I think that's sad.

Anonymous said...

My Dad travels alot and always brings my girls back all of the small travel items and they LOVE IT! All of those little shampoos, lotions and soaps. I am sure my little daughters would love a stocking full for Christmas. I bargin shop for the holidays totally. I save all of my points to get free gift cards. I have also given resturant.com certificates and who pays full price for those?

Betsy said...

Just because you get something for cheap/free with a coupon doesn't mean it was completely free for you. Couponing takes time and effort, which are also valuable commodities. It's like making someone a gift, the "cost" is in the effort it takes to make it. Money is much easier to give than giving your time and energy, so really you are giving a more valuable gift then just spending 2 seconds and swiping your credit card.

stickmayo said...

I think most couponers don't see a problem with gifting our free/nearly free items and I personally don't have a problem. However I have a few friends that when I mention gifting a Rx gift card or some other freebie, they cringe and say they could never gift something they got free. Although I refer to my deals as 'free' I put alot of TIME and EFFORT into making a deal happen. Just ask my husband...LOL and we all know TIME IS MONEY!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think the real question here is , why do mother in laws only feel good when they make their daughter in laws feel bad?? Not all of course but, the ones who seem to enjoy it... So sad

cblanchard76 said...

I don't there is anything wrong with giving gifts you get with coupons. I myself love the gift basket ideas. I'm a candle lover, so i would take all the candles i can get. I also ask myself would I loved this gift and If so I give it, If not I wouldn't. My family tends to go way over board with gifts. Since I've started couponing they all look forward to my Christmas Carepacks. I do still buy gifts that I know they will love however I spen half the amount I would have in the past then I put together a carepack for each family member that has more then a $200 value. For them It's a bonus. My brother is the hardest person to shop for but his favorite gift is always my carepack, he is set on all his cleaning, and health and beauty products. It shouldn't be about the $'s.

Anonymous said...

To the Grandmother who gives hotel soaps etc., I think that is a great idea! As long as the little girls are like 4-6 at the oldest, then I would spring for a FREE travel size in name brand soap. (I know I have several I could spare :) LoL) I know it sounds a little vapid, whatever, I just think that the older little girls get as big of a kick out of a mini herbal essence shampoo as the little girls get with the no brand motel soap! Bigger girls see that brand and think, oh Mommy uses that. And little girls see soap and think, oh Mommy uses that! Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I just started couponing a few months ago, so I have a small pile of freebies and cheap items. But I was able to help my brother, who is out of work with groceries and personal items, but without coupons i wouldn't be able to help! And they knew I got most of it free but they appreciated it and I was excited i could help. So I think it is how you look at it. If it is from your heart that is all that matters.
Dot

rbabe1 said...

throwing in my two cents...

I think it all boils down to personalizing the gift to the person. Not what you spend or how you get it. The problem is some people equate $$$ with love.

I've been getting ready for Christmas for months with all the deals on this blog. Each deal matching up with a person's likes.

I have one friend who is sensitive to fragrances, so I'm not going to give her a Glade gift basket. She's getting a book off amazon (using my Swagbucks ;)).

All the free VS undies are going in my sister's stocking as she loves VS.

My sis-in-law loves candles and is getting two of the big Yankee candles we scored last week!

My hippy friend is getting some $6.99 Simple shoes (I made sure to spy her size).

I also pick up some of the toy deals even though I don't have kids and donate to Toys for Tots. This will be a hard year for many.

It takes a bit more work looking for the perfect deal/coupon for that person's gift...but it's the effort and thought that counts.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 1:33pm- MILs are just jerks, it's nature's way...

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with society these days is that people have embedded in their thick skulls that you have to spend alot of money on gifts. It's always the thought, time and effort that counts. I love the holidays especially Christmas but the one aspect I truly dislike is the presents. Kids now ask for big things and expensive gifts. My nephew knows how much what is on his list costs and it shouldn't be that way. I will never be haunted by embarrassment of coupon shopping or getting things for free and giving them away. It's not that it's free but it's the mere thought of "yes, this would be a perfect gift for so and so". Coupon shopping is a way of saving money and helping your family out. I am new to this and since I have started a week ago, my husband is so proud of me for what I have saved.

Anonymous said...

The women in my family are all getting baskets full of things that I got free or really cheap for xmas. They are constantly asking me if they can come to my house and "shop". Haha.

My cousin just bought her first house so I'm making her a basket this week, too. It's fun to give away things I got for free that my family would spend an arm and a leg for...they really appreciate it, too.

I have the opposite problem of the lady who sent you an email - my family think they are entitled to my free stuff because I got it for free. They want it all. I try to get enough to share but it takes a lot of time and effort to get things for free..as you guys know.

Anonymous said...

i would absolutely love it if people would include pics or lists of what comprises their gift baskets. i am not creative at all-so would love to have input on how to make these gift baskets that people would be excited to get!

on a side note-recently married and need to come up with Christmas gifts for 5 yr old twins (boy and girl) and i have NO experience with kids. know there are lots of target toy deals, but don't know what would interest that age group? any help would be very greatly appreciated! :) thanks-LOVE LOVE LOVE this site!

Anonymous said...

I got laid off the beginning of October with no notice and no severence package. If it wasn't for the Disney DVD coupons, the Target coupons, and the TRU B2G1 deals my children wouldn't be having a Christmas this year.

My mom, my MIL and all my sister in laws will be receiving Glade gift baskets this Christmas. If they don't like it I will gladly take them pack and keep my ample supply.

Anonymous said...

So if she gets a gift for free it doesn't really count? Going off that logic I would buy something for $10 to give her and tell her I put it on my credit card, and that after I pay minimum payment with interest that it counts as a $90 gift.And it would probably be $10 worth of preperation H and a can of OFF, cuz it sounds like she has a bug up her ass.

free is free said...

I had thought about this as well. Don't want to look cheap, but the stuff we snag is stuff a person can actually use and not just sit on a shelf somewhere and then Goodwill it a year later. Also, they wont have to buy body washes, etc., therefore allowing them to spend their money on something they really want. This way they still get something THEY want.

Anonymous said...

As a mother in law I feel I have to stick up for mother in law. I am not sure but I think you should give your mother in law a chance to respond to your feelings about her comment. From here it sounds like her comment could be taken many ways.
Is it your guilt feelings, or are you responding to some other issue you have with couponing?
As a social blunderer,I can definitely empathize with anyone who says something wrong but doesn't realize it. Please discuss it with her. I think you will both end up laughing about it, and it will be forgotten soon.

Anonymous said...

Maybe someone has already asked this (forgive me if someone has, I haven't read through all of the comments yet) but what about when there's a dollar amount set for a gift exchange? For example, we spend about $20 on the nieces and nephews for Christmas, but I was planning on giving one of my nephews the Tag reading system and a couple of books that I got on clearance a couple months ago. I probably paid $15 total, but this gift would retail for about $75. Should I make up the difference with another small gift?

Anonymous said...

1:42:00 LMFAO That sounds like a great gift for my mil. I love it!!!!!

Michelle said...

I was totally going to email and ask about this! I think giving gifts of samples you have gotten free comes across as cheap if given to family or close friends. However, if you give a basket of items that someone could really use to neighbors, coworkers, teachers I think its fine. Getting a good deal on something (ie a toy or book or something) is one thing but I think giving "free" things should go with a regular gift. I know I dont have shampoo and toothpaste on my Christmas list. (c:

Anonymous said...

My mother in-law is the one who teach me how to use coupons and give me coupons every Sunday. We both live in Dallas area. Since I start couponing, I never pay for the coupon inserts. The City in her place gives out "Plano Insider" newspaper every Sundy which includes coupon inserts. I registered for the free newspaper from Wed. to Sat. from Dallas Moring News Briefing, the Sat. newspaper comes with inserts. After I discover these great blogs and those great deals, my mother in-law call me an "expert", haha, not me, it's all of you. She always call me and ask me if there are any good deals available in Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, etc. She wants me to go to those stores with her when we visit her or write down list for her. My HB says she is more happier to see me not him.

Anonymous said...

I do think it tacky to give a gift basket full of free stuff. If it is the thought that counts, then what is the tought? That this person is worth the price you paid? (which is nothing).

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:46:00 go retail no one needs to know you got it on clearance that's a $75 gift. I think the others might be a bit jealous.

Anonymous said...

To anon with the $20 exchange, I would get more so that you are paying $20 total. That is what is fair and what others are spending.

Jennie said...

I think a heartfelt note along with the items you give, is always appreciated. Anyone you don't think would appreciate your "free" items should get only the note!

Anonymous said...

Your MIL may have just asked the question out of curiosity - some people may be genuinely impressed that you were able to put together such a nice gift through couponing!

However, I can see why some people may feel a little jilted when given a "couponed" gift. Taking the Glade Candles as an example - if the recipient has absolutely no interest or cannot stand the smell of the candles, your gift may come off as a "unloading of surplus" as opposed to a "thoughtful gift".

As long as you genuinely think that the recipient would enjoy the gift (and are not giving the gift simply because you think it's great or you're trying to unload) then it's fine.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:50, how would the gift's recipient really know if you got an item for free? And like it was said before, if you did score a freebie, chances are you invested more time and energy getting it with a coupon rather than just paying retail.

Anonymous said...

PLUS (to anon 1:46) any mom with kids the age of certain toys is likely to know what toys have been on clearance... I would just avoid altogether giving a clearance gift. Unless you do not care if they know you got it so cheap. I always include a receipt with a gift--especially for a kid) in case of duplicates...

If in doubt, get a giftcard. Those are always great to get!!! As a 5th grade teacher myself, I will tell you this: please no more mugs!!! No more candles. No more ornaments. I do not expect gifts, and it is the thought that counts, but if you really want to make your kids' teachers happy, get them a giftcard!!! Sorry for the digression!!

Anonymous said...

To anon 1:58.

They may know because they coupon or they know someone who coupons. Plus to get such a random gift might be another "clue" to why they got that gift. If someone gave me a basketful of glad candles (last year, before I couponed) I would think it weird and I would guess that maybe it was a surpluss gift of some sort.... Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar issue!

I started giving awesome gift bags for all my in-law women (sisters in law, mother in law).

Anyways, I thought I was putting some great stuff in there, awesome hair sets, soaps, venus razors...you know stuff that you wouldn't normally get for yourself b/c it's so expensive...


So MIL took it to mean that I must think they don't have good hygiene!

I mean, c'mon! It's a pampering set!


sheesh

Mom of 3 said...

I just wanted to say that because of our smart shopping sense, we ALL are able to stretch that dollar to the fullest. My in-laws pick names and have a set dollar amount to spend. I love seeing how many items I can pick off of their Christmas list within that dollar amount by waiting for sales, using coupons etc. I know that they don't shop that way for the hubby and I. They just go to the store, buy the item on the list, and cross our names off as "done." Very little effort is put in, and that is what hurts more than how much was spent or how many items were received. Shopping for someone should be an exciting time, not a chore. Kudos to all of you out there who put the effort into ALL of your shopping, holidays or not. :)

Anonymous said...

If I got a basketfull of Glade candles for Christmas, I'd think someone was trying to tell me my house reeked.

Elle said...

For the last 3 years I've done cookies and fudge for gifts. That's it. This year, because of couponing, I'm able to add stuff like the Glade candles (two holders and two refills) and some full sized bath and body works products in the recipients favorite scent. I'll put it in a basket and give them their typical cookies and fudge but they're getting a little extra because of the coupons. No one should care about the use of coupons cause, like others have said, people are getting more or better stuff this year because of coupons. I'm sure my gift recipients will be excited to get something more than the cookies they've come to expect. Yay coupons!

Anonymous said...

I am really careful about who I give my free stuff to. If I have any inkling that the gift will be looked down upon, I don't go there.

As far as what to do with the MIL situation, I echo what Helen H said. Say, "why do you ask?". Your MIL's answer might surprise you.

Another reader said, "some people don't realize how tactless they are". With you staring them down, they may realize what they just did. They'll think twice before they make you uncomfortable again.

By the way, I can really empathize with you. And I feel bad for you. Your good intentions were overshadowed by your MIL's curiosity.

anoo said...

In my opinion the 'act of giving' itself is a gift. Not everybody can give and the one who does is truly blessed.
Its the volition that matters in the end. But the volition should NOT be based on 'what freebies to dispose' but on 'what would make my friend happy'. I therefore give useful gifts to my friends that make them smile. Then whether it is Free or Not Free does not make a difference.

CB said...

The cost doesn't matter at all as long as the gift fits the person to whom it is being given. I am giving several goody baskets to family members who like smelly-good lotions and stuff, but I have other family members who don't like that kind of stuff, so I will find something else for those people. :)

Samantha said...

I sort of feel cheap, but also accomplished at the same time. I recently went to a housewarming party for a friendand gave her a Glade Warmer & some refills. She was totally aware that I got them all for free, and she actually said to me you better share some of those refills with me!!

Erin said...

I don't think the price matters. It's the thought that counts. But really think about what you're giving--does the recipient LOVE Glade candle tins? Or does she love Yankee candles? If you're making a truly thoughtful gift basket and pop a few candle tins in, that's fine, but don't congratulate yourself about giving someone who loves big, highly scented candles a thousand Glade tins. (This coming from someone who has a thousand tins who will *not* be giving them as holiday gifts.) The tins can be a nice filler, but let's face it, they're clutter-y, and some people may not want this. I'm with Katie and Anon 12:53--it should be a thoughtful gift, not something thrown together from items you got free but don't want.

And a word on toys for kids--more is not better, even if the kid might ever-so-briefly disagree. I'm amazed at some of the truly junky toy deals people do. If a clearance toy is not something you'd buy at full price--OK, on sale!--then maybe you shouldn't get it at all unless you know the intended recipient will love it. Five or six poor quality toys emblazoned with pop culture characters from years past isn't better than, say, a great storybook (or movie or whatever) that meant a lot to you when you were the recipient's age. Don't junk up the parents' house and don't create unrealistic expectations for the kid. The next thing you know, they're going to want iPods!

Anonymous said...

Great comments...in the end it just depends on the person and the thought and presentation of the gift. I am doing gift baskets but I am definitely keeping the receiver in mind on what type of products I will be putting in their basket.

Anyone have pics of their finished baskets?

Julie said...

My husband had a good point recently, as it was my mom and sister's birthdays last month, that goes right along with this topic. He said that it doesn't take any effort to get something at full price and my mom would probably be upset if I DIDN'T get a great deal on her gift and would think I must not have put any effort into it at all! Of course he was joking but he has a point!

Anonymous said...

There are 13 grandchildren in my family. Five children, with kids that total up to that number. One year, my sister worked for Rite Aid (imagine that) and she was able to stockpile tons of stuff that the company was otherwise 'trashing.' But it never made it to the trash as my sister saw it as a way to give to others, and that, she did. She made up these bags/sacks and put tons of stuff useful to each person up until time for the season. We/I knew how she had done this and wondered if she actually bought anything (to personalize the gift, etc.) that may have meant a little extra thought into to, but then I realized it did not matter. She did it w/me in mind first, and not someone else. And I was SUPER excited about all the goodies! So I think that anything a person gives or gifts you, one should be appreciative and grateful. I'll go one further; I used to work in a pre-school and every year, we would get 20 gifts a piece (me and co-worker) and nice, nice stuff. These families even give you something for Halloween for cryin out loud! Anyway, one year, I 're-gifted' two items, b/c honestly, I just didn't need it! And it helped me out financially too. You are taking the time to put it together w/them in mind and like Collin said, it takes 'time and energy' to do so, so I wouldn't worry about it! Happy Coupon Shopping Folks! ;) And Happy Filling Your Baskets! May they be FILLED to the BRIM with FREEBIES and LOVE! Tee-Hee!

Suzette said...

My husband was talking about the new 5 blade razors to a friend of ours. He thought the 4 blade was a lot. So I gave him one. I didn't pay anything for it. The next time I saw him he asked me if I gotten any more free razors (mostly joking). The next day my brother was telling me "I like free razors!" So I took him to Walgreens and "bought" him a free razor. He doesn't care how much it cost, just that it saved him $9.

*Summer* said...

I would like the idea that someone got something for free or nearly free & put a lot of thought into it!! That way i know they didn't drain they bank account just to try & get me something!!!!

Which this year my family has decided to have a money cap on how much we spend & we're only doing the kids!! So am going to have to bargain shop even harder!!!

Anonymous said...

anon Thu Nov 05, 02:10:00 PM 2009

ITS A GIFT And those candles are nice..

Anonymous said...

anon Thu Nov 05, 02:10:00 PM 2009

ITS A GIFT And those candles are nice..

Anonymous said...

I give all the freebie stuff I find to family and friends without any particular reason, if I find they would actual like and use it. Magazine subscriptions, good coupons, and etc, I also send to them via email - why hoard all the best deals to yourself?

For "real gifts", we make ornaments, photo scrapbooks, and edible treats for everyone.

If I received a basket of Glade, I would probably laugh knowing my friends are couponers, but also be a little galled knowing that they gave me a basket full of crap they're trying to unload, while trying to score a free Wii for themselves. I know there's a lot of work involved with getting these deals, but most of them are a result of our own compulsions to shop and the gloating of getting something for free.

Tiffany said...

I think If the family members or friends were put in our shoes and had the opportunity to save money and still give great gifts then they would in a heart beat who wouldn't!?! I think people who are constantly being "weird" about the coupon thing are jealous they are not able to get the same bargains we get...it does take a LOT of effort and planning you just have to be willing to put in the time to reap the rewards! thanks for these great websites moms!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ok so if I got a gift certificate for free and gave it to someone thats beign cheap... ITS THE THOUGTH THAT COUNTS.. You dont have to buy anyone anything

Anonymous said...

Oh but if a cashier gives you extra money back when you are not entitled to it im sure all you neg people dont say a word..

Anonymous said...

To anon 1:59 PM - thanks for the tip. My parents used to always tend to give my teachers candy. Now that I have kids, I was thinking of giving them bottles of wine - I figured I would need to kick back with a glass after dealing with 30 kids every day! ;)

I'm thinking this might be a gift card christmas for everyone! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you brought this up.
1)I would LOVE if you posted gift basket examples.
2)I started couponing this March so this is my first Christmas I will have freebies, so I was feeling the same way - wondering if I'll feel cheap.
3) As people noted before - I think it really matters who you are giving it to and if the gift is something they would like.

I don't think a basket just full of samples you received in the mail is appropriate.

My first basket I just made for my friends mother and father - has a bunch of glade candles, snowmen notepads, bodywash for a man and 1 for a woman, chocolate, and a personalized coin purse. I think it turned out perfect. They will never know that I only paid $0.75 for the basket and $1.99 for the personalized coin purse (with her hubby, her and daughter pic on one side and her grandkids on the other side.) I don't think this is tacky b/c it has a personal touch, christmas touch, she ALWAYS had candles burning in the house, she loves taking romantic baths with her hubby and who doesn't love chocolate. I would love to show you a pic.

Jaden Paige said...

I am still reading these comments, but I wanted to throw my 2 cents in here because this is something I have wondered myself... But I totally agree with Anon 1:28. I put time and effort into thinking about the people I love that I need to buy for, and what they might like. I think this should mean more to people than me just tossing a generic full price movie, or gift card, into my basket in a frenzy on Black Friday. Of course, nobody else in my family coupons like I do, so they are always amazed and impressed with my deals! My Mom was always a bargain shopper, so she's proud that I am able to save what I do now :) Thanks for this post, it was a great topic and very timely (for holiday shopping) too. I felt this way before, but I'm glad to know that everyone here agrees! Here, here to "It's the THOUGHT that counts!" :D

Anonymous said...

To Michelle 1:49: I agree with your thinking.

To those saying "screw you, you're getting what I'ma sending and you're rude because you even thought of asking how much is that gift. I'ma gonna be cheap so screw you" - well...you might want to reread your comment because you're not being very polite yourself.

To anon 2:30: I agree with your spreading the word - I like the idea of "year round gifting".

Regina Bennett said...

My reply would be, "Of course I used a coupon! I knew this would be a great gift for you!"

NattyA61 said...

Totally agreed! A true friend doesn't care how much an item costs or where it was bought, etc. A true friend appreciates the thought without giving thought to $$.

Anonymous said...

I would like if you posted gift basket examples.

The most important things is if you think the person will like it. I understand some people don't have a lot of money but find that cheap/free best gift for that person. Try to add something personalized with the candles or do a movie basket for the movie lover.

Whether it is free or cheap is not the issue. It whether you are just giving something to someone to say you got them something without putting any thought into whether they will like it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:28
How long as I on your mind when you got those 50 Glade? Come on now, people, I'm sure you're not all thinking that this razor will be for Suzie, Annie, and Beth as much as "If I buy 10 Glade, I will get $15 back in gift cards...a $24.95 profit after rebate!"

Never realized gifting is such a touchy subject - I guess this is why we don't exchange gifts with friends anymore...we just get together for a pot luck and bust out bottles of 2 buck chuck for kicks! Yee-HAW!

Anonymous said...

Are people really gifting free sample items and travel sized items? I guess I could understand if they're being given to easily amused kids, but for adults? Aren't these tiny items kind of a nuisance unless you're actually traveling?

Miriam said...

MY response: ABSOLUTELY! Isn't it great that I took the the time to coupon and therefore was able to get you a better gift then I would have normally been able to do. Then smile real big. Hopefully she was just asking because she realized the gift you got would have been out of your budget and wanted to know how you did it.

Anonymous said...

SHOW ME YOUR BASKETS PLEASE!

I would love to see them & I agree with most on here- a personal touch makes all the difference between "you just threw some free crap in a basket" or "you really thought about what I like".

Anonymous said...

Finally, someone said it! People who have so many Glade tins that they need to unload them in bulk are probably motivated more by their compulsion to bargain shop rather than purely generosity of spirit. Hey, I'm a shopping junky, too! I get it! But give the tins and personal care articles away "just because," not as gifts. Thanks, Anon 2:30!

Anonymous said...

My gift test is ... If I can't wait for that person to open their gift from me - If I'm excited about it - then it's a good gift.

Some people are on budgets so if you can't afford a great present how about writing that person a letter about how much they mean to you. That would be a nice addition to any basket of freebies.

As long as you know your heart was in it then nothing else should matter.

News From the Inside said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

And if you are giving Tag readers this year, buy a couple *good,* classic books to go with it (i.e., not Po's Tasty Adventure!). Otherwise this gift could be a burden to the recipient's family.

I can't tell you how many "un-gifts" my child receives--those toys that you can get a great deal on the "starter" item but that require pricey upgrades or add-ons that the parents are stuck with. Usually, such toys are a waste of money, no matter what was paid for it. (Anyone want a TeleStory system still in its packaging, two years later? : ) The Tags are much better (especially the new ones that hold ten books), but if I didn't know how to work deals to get the good books cheaply, it would go to the TeleStory graveyard, too.

Nicole said...

I completely agree and an happy to see this brought up. Unfortuately the one who does this to me is my own mother. She has in her head that if you got something for next to free, then it's cheap. That coupons somehow make the item worse, even if it's a top name brand. Don't fully unterstand the mentality...

Danielle Miller said...

I think it needs to look like a gift. Not like a discount bag. The kinds of things I'm going to put together use a lot of my freebies, but add in extras that make them cool. Like for a man who likes to grill out, a set of big oven mitts and grill tools, then fill out the basket with red hot sauce and seasoning packets. Or for my sister in law, I have an ultimate facial set that I got as part of an internet offer, and I'll stick some lotions and stuff in the bag too. When I go to one holiday party, I'm going to have small gifts for everyone, but I'm planning to take a box of freebies too so people can just grab what they want or need.

Someone gifted me a Clinique bag for my birthday, filled with goodies. I knew it was one of the free with purchase deals, but I loved it. I also love getting homemade cookies and candies. And I think candles are always a hit. I make my own candles, so if I'm gifting, then it will be my brand. But I like receiving candles, no matter what type. Even cheap candles are good for ambiance even if the scent isn't strong enough.

Anonymous said...

A yankee candle is one thing b/c of the high value, but a glade candle screams cheap. Giving a gift of shampoo and razors you got for free or super cheap is crossing the line from being frugal to being cheap. Giving these as a supplemental gift to something you already got, fine but not alone. I too a teacher...I would rather have a card from the child than another mug!!! (When I was a teacher I got a gift one Christmas from a student that was a Christmas decoration from Target- the box said made for Target. anyway the year these are in the store is also printed on the back and it was obviously purchased on clearance the year before. Now this is not thoughtful b/c they didnt even know me at this point and was just unloading something bought cheap.....

Jennifer K said...

First of all, that was very rude of the mother-in-law to ask that. Here are my personal coupon gift rules:

Gifts for close friends, I just buy them more if I get stuff on the cheap. They do the same for me!

Gifts for more random people (kids' preschool friend b-day party that we don't know well, for example), I will usually guage off how much the gift is worth, not how much I spent. I end up spending less this way.

Most importantly, I don't give people random stuff just because I had a coupon for it. I pick out the gift first and if I can get it cheaper with coupons, then great! But don't give people random stuff they might not want just because you were able to get it free/cheap.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I ever mentioned the travel soap and lotions. First of all they weren't from budget hotels, they were from unique little Bed & Breakfasts in Europe, and secondly they were for 8 & 9 year old little girls. The packaging was trendy, and anything but generic, and as I previously mentioned just part of a fun smattering of little gifts wrapped into one. My post was only meant to be a suggestion of things to do with small little items.

Anonymous said...

I make sure they KNOW that I got the items using coupons and that I likely did not pay anything at all for it. In fact, everyone asks me if I got the items I give them for free. It is a source of pride for me and I wear it proudly. i'm just smarter than they are:-)

Tina Horn said...

I think if they complain then they dont get anymore of my great finds.. I am able to give to more of my family and friends BECAUSE i find great deals or freebies.. I jsut sent my aunt the free edable fruit from being a fan on facebook.. I had the coupon but we have not got a stor nearby. BUT my aunt did and it was her birthday.. SHE HAD NO IDEA IT WAS FREE.. and LOVED it.. so I say give and if they say anything aobut the gift.. x them off your list for next year.. then watch what they say.. and tell them why...
By the way my daughter and I have this friendly competition too when i get a deal I immedently call her and she does me.. its great to have fun saving and couponing...Happy Holidays to all..

Tina Horn said...

I think if they complain then they dont get anymore of my great finds.. I am able to give to more of my family and friends BECAUSE i find great deals or freebies.. I jsut sent my aunt the free edable fruit from being a fan on facebook.. I had the coupon but we have not got a stor nearby. BUT my aunt did and it was her birthday.. SHE HAD NO IDEA IT WAS FREE.. and LOVED it.. so I say give and if they say anything aobut the gift.. x them off your list for next year.. then watch what they say.. and tell them why...
By the way my daughter and I have this friendly competition too when i get a deal I immedently call her and she does me.. its great to have fun saving and couponing...Happy Holidays to all..

Anonymous said...

This is such an interesting topic and over 100 reponses so quickly! I was also thinking of giving gift baskets, but now I don't think I will. I certainly don't want someone to think that I am "trying to unload crap" or that I think they have "bad hygiene." My brother has a new girlfriend (they are in the late 40s) and I really don't know her and she and her 10 year old daughter will be coming over to the house with my brother for Christmas and I thought I'd give her a gift basket of lotions, candles, etc. but now I don't think I will. Since I can't really personalize her gift (I really don't know her) I thought a number of candles and lotions would be something anyone would like...I don't want her talking about me and my tacky gifts in the car on the way home. Anyone want some candles and lotions?

Anonymous said...

I believe that if you are giving a gift you are giving it because you want to and it is coming from within your heart to give a gift. Regardless if you have gotted the items with coupons or not, it is the thought that counts. I give my daughters friends gift baskets/bags all the time and they love it. They also come to me when they need a gift and I let them go in my basement and pick out the items they want and when I tell the the price, the say wow, are you sure. I usually charge 50%-75% off retail prices.

remember giving a gift is coming from within, its the thought that counts.

News From the Inside said...

If you have someone who you think will look down on your good deals give them a card that says "$XXX in supplies were donated to NAME OF CHARITY HERE in honor of you. Merry Christmas" and then donate your freebies to the charity instead of gifting them to that person.

Besides all the charities that are getting tons of freebies I've been gifting my pastors and all the families in my homeschool co-op with freebies (anonymously, so don't tell) all year. It's so fun. Giving really is more fun then receiving. I love overhearing someone talk about this great gift they got that was just what they needed, but they don't know where it came from.

For those of you who wanted to see pictures of gift baskets I have a bunch on my blog yournewsfromtheinside.blogspot.com that you can look at under Coupon Basics.

Anonymous said...

"If I received a basket of Glade, I would probably laugh knowing my friends are couponers, but also be a little galled knowing that they gave me a basket full of crap they're trying to unload, while trying to score a free Wii for themselves. I know there's a lot of work involved with getting these deals, but most of them are a result of our own compulsions to shop and the gloating of getting something for free."


THIS! 100x..THIS.

and for everyone saying "i put a lot of time and effort into couponing.." please...enough already...this site and sites like it make it so easy its hardly work at all. its a fun hobby more than anything, and some people do have good hearts about it and put it to good use.

I had enough 1.00 off 2 healthy harvest coupons paird with targets 1.00 special i have 10 boxes of pasta i got for 50c each i dumped in the st marys food box @ curves this morning. In went those dirt cheap boxes of cereal i bought in excess just because i could a couple months ago as well (2 $5.00 target cards worth) thats 10 free bucks i can pay on the wii game bill @ target after i work the buy 2 get 1 free/ 10.00 coupons at target..on the EXPENSIVE ones that my nephews actually WANT this weekend.

you can be frugal, chariatable, and still give gifts this christmas that will actually be loved if you work it right.

trust me, no one wants a basket full of GLADE. take the packaging off a votive or two as an accent in a gift box sure..but dont just toss them in a basket with a bow.

Anonymous said...

A gift is just that- a gift... regardless of the amount spent! why pay full price when you don't need to ? why spend money when you can get it FREE? the best part is- is passing the freebies and inexpensive items on to others instead of hoarding it all for ourselves. I LOVE GIVING STUFF AWAY- haha... and my bank account does not allow me to spoil others in the way I wish I could, so using coupons and deals is the BEST way.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer K, I like your last paragraph.

I think being "cheap" and being "frugal" are two entirely different mindsets. The cheap person is the one who could give more but chooses not to, because he is miserly. The frugal person spends wisely so he can give generously. For example, I know a man (no mention of names!)who makes a generous salary, but will give his son golf paraphernalia he won at golf tournaments with that particular golf course logo emblazoned on it for his birthday. I call that cheap. From the golf course to the closet shelf to the son. No thought whatsoever, and the son could care less. When I give a gift I like to think it will bring joy to the receipient, and most always it is something I would like to receive myself, whether it be large or small, expensive or inexpensive.

To me it is commendable to be frugal, but stingy to be cheap.

Anonymous said...

It surprises me how worked up people have gotten over this. I think you can choose to be offended or choose to let it go. Why let it ruin your day? I would just brush it off why waste your time feeling bad when you did nothing wrong. If you gave a gift you feel proud of there's no reason to be ashamed and don't allow someone to make you feel that way.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sorry I ever mentioned the travel soap and lotions. First of all they weren't from budget hotels, they were from unique little Bed & Breakfasts in Europe, and secondly they were for 8 & 9 year old little girls. The packaging was trendy, and anything but generic, and as I previously mentioned just part of a fun smattering of little gifts wrapped into one. My post was only meant to be a suggestion of things to do with small little items."

that is completely different ...thats kinda cool. standard hotel fodder tho..ehh. i think that is the vision people get when first reading what you said.

Anonymous said...

I think this is mostly a generational thing. Older people, like for instance my mother, always though it would make her look like she couldn't to pay full price if she used coupons. She didn't want to look like she wasn't "rich" enough to buy what she wanted or needed. Silly? Yes, very much so.
Stand tall, y'all, at least most of us aren't losing our homes from overspending and NOT watching our budgets like some folks are. A friend of my daughter's who is rumored to be rich, told my daughter and her other friends that if her parents don't pay their mortgage in the next few days, they will lose their home. You can look rich, but be very poor. If you watch your pennies, you can build wealth over time. My family is doing great in this economy, but then, I have always been frugal with money.

Anonymous said...

I hope your mother in law wasn't trying to make you feel bad for putting together a frugal gift! If she was, shame on her. I taught my children to be frugal and am nothing but proud when I see them making smart decisions with their money. A gift is a gift, regardless of what you paid (or didn't pay) for it. She still got the benefit of the gift and your thoughtfulness.

Anonymous said...

I don't always take advantage of the deals I see on this site because I don't always have the coupons, I'm just beginning couponing. But I do get a lot of stuff free with the deals that I do and the freebies in the mail. I don't have a lot of money this year for Christmas so I am going to make my nieces gift baskets with the full size freebies I've been able to snag with coupons. They'll probably know that it's all free stuff but it's stuff they use and will really love so I know they'll be happy with my "freebies" gift basket.

Sheree said...

ok, here's my 2 cents......I am so tired of seeing people spending thousands of dollars on Christmas gifts. That's what wrong with our children these days....they feel entitled....they don't understand they value of money or what it takes to earn it. When I was a sales manager all the 20-30 year olds couldn't understand why they weren't getting promoted. Why they'd been at the company for 5 years, they thought that should be enough. Hard work, tops sales and pride didn't even come into their thoughts. Playing on the computer and personal calls was a daily challege. Sorry, on a tangent. These things are not FREE.....our time and energy were put into them. It takes me hours each week to plan and organize my shopping.

I am also guilty of spending too much money and giving my kids everything but this is going to change. I WOULD LOVE ANY OF THESE GIFTS THAT WERE FREE OR REALLY CHEAP. I don't have to coupon or work, I am fortunate but I like to and it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I have 3 neices (24, 20 and 15) and one of their gifts (cheap of course) will be a cosmetic style bag with sample items (free or cheap) to throw in their bags for an overnight stays. Things like shampoo samples, clean and clear freebees, toothbrush....and so on. Who couldn't use that. My goal is to have all my shopping done by Thanksgiving so I can enjoy Christmas and the real meaning. And help others in need. I'm tired of running around trying to find the perfect gift only to spend too much money for a gift they won't appreciate. I work hard for my deals.

Anonymous said...

One year for Christmas my SIL gave me an glass bowl resembling a punch bowl with some very distinctive markings a ziploc bag of rocks and a single floating candle. What she failed to do was hide the matching glass set in her hutch. I'll take the Glade candles! Please!

Sheree said...

Anon - B&B travel soaps and lotions - that's a great idea and I would love them....... Girls big and small love those things......Do you know how much people pay for those lotions and soaps from Europe? GREAT IDEA

Anonymous said...

As long as the gift is personalized, I see no problem with using coupons. I'll get my friends a couple little freebees, but they are only little additions to their main gift. I only get them fun items like candles as extras, not things like free toothpaste or razors (they would look at me like I was crazy if I did that). My husband's stepmom clearly puts no thought into her gifts for me, and it's so obvious that she just grabs random things. I eat organic and use only natural body products, but yet I get junky snacks and cheap lotions. I would so much rather that she spend those few dollars on a burts bees lip balm or some other small item that I like, instead of a bunch of junk that I'll just throw out or donate.

Anonymous said...

I like to put together R&R/spa baskets. They include a large candle, homemade bath salts and sugar scrubs stored in mason jars, a gel eye mask, a loofah, massage oil, body lotion, slippers, and a bar or box of chocolates. Sometimes I'll even make a CD of relaxing songs. I make sure to color-coordinate everything and wrap it up nice so it ends up looking super expensive and professional. I can put together one of these baskets for around $5-10. Holidays can be extremely stressful, so lots of people appreciate this kind of gift!

SuzyQpon said...

1st of all I would say that if I give someone something that would have cost $20 without a coupon but I managed to get it for less does it mean less than the person who gives the same gift but (foolishly) spent the full $20? No, I don't think so. If someone gave me something they got a great deal on then I'm happy and proud of them! My 2nd opinion on this is what about a homemade gift. A friend of mine cross stitched my son's name and framed it for my baby shower gift. It means WAY more to me than the clothes he has already outgrown. Not that they didn't mean anything but she spent her TIME on that gift and we spend our TIME couponing. I guess that maybe people who don't coupon don't realize the effort it takes. I too worry about coming off as cheap vs. frugal since everyone knows I only buy sales/clearance/coupon items! But my husband and I also work very hard to make sure our guests are always welcome, comfortable and have anything and everything they could need or want while staying with us. The couponing/sales shopping is what allows us to do that!

MiriamR said...

I say don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Becky said...

I have put a lot of thought into my Christmas baskets for my family members. (These will be going to: my parents, grandparents, in laws, aunt/uncle, sister in law, brother/sister in law.) I asked for everyone's favorite brands/scents and filled their baskets accordingly. For instance, in one basket I have: Cascade dishwasher detergent, Schick razors (men and women), Softsoap body wash, Blade body wash, All laundry detergent, Snuggle fabric softener, 2 Colgate toothbrushes, Colgate toothpaste, Renuzit air freshener, Air Wick I-motion air freshener, Softsoap Ensembles pump with 2 refills, Glade soy candle, Mr. Clean magic erasers, Tag body spray, Herbal Essences shampoo/conditioner, Blade shampoo, Dawn dish liquid, Nature's Source all purpose cleaner, Glade scented oil tins and refills, Vaseline lotion, Dove deodorant, Old Spice deodorant, Febreze Noticeables, Glade Plug Ins, Swiffer Duster, Swiffer starter kit, Febreze Fabric refresher, Rimmel eye shadow, Almay mascara, and some Purina dog food-so the puppy doesn't feel left out. :) I have gotten pretty much everything with a coupon and have gotten a lot of good deals, but I've still put a lot of time and money in. I will be able to give my family at least $200 worth of things that they would otherwise be spending their money on. I know they are excited to get them and so am I!

Anonymous said...

im about to start throwing gum ;)

Anonymous said...

I think it was Ann Landers who so wisely said "Why do you ask?" This response to someone will usually shut them up from further stupid questions, and it will get you out of answereing the question as well. Or you could just ask your mother in law if she buys her gifts on clearance/sales. Good luck. I think your gift giving basket was a good idea. Maybe leave her off the gift list this year.

Anonymous said...

Give what another would like or need. If you are just trying to pass off Glade products (just for an example) to someone who doesn't really want them or need them...then it wouldn't be appreciated. I am a huge re-gifter and never see waste in anything I get. BUT, I always try to give the "second hand" gift to someone who would love it...or at least like it.

Sheila said...

There's one in every family. Mine is my sister. Know matter what I buy for her, $100.00 dollars or $1.00 she's never happy. Last year after the gift basket that I made for her, with all of her favorit things that I didn't get with coupons she said "well .. I guess I can use that." was the last straw.

This year for her birthday, I made a big basket full of stuff and donated it to the Women's Shelter. I included a self addressed birthday card for my sister, which " Lucy" sent her. It was great!!!! All she said was Thank you to me and I plan on doing the same for christmas.

Donate in their name!!!!!!!
It's the best way to pay it forward.

Anonymous said...

It unbelievable how anyone can be so ungreatful for any gift. There are some many people who would give anything to get a gift basket like that. What it cost is no ones business. If you paid full price or not! My in-laws are a big family so everyone always buys the kids christmas gifts but the adults do a grab bag. I have been married for 10 years and my father-in-law past about 7 years ago and my mother-in-law always put a goodie basket on her list requesting thing like soap, shampoo, detergent etc.. these things can be very expensive and I personally think its a blessing to be able to pay it forward and share them with someone else. Even if I did use a coupon. Actually I'm proud to say I used a coupon because that means I've saved the person I'm gifting money and myself as money as well. I'd call that smart if you ask me!

Toni said...

Ha! Complain and NO GIFT FOR YOU!

Jenny said...

I agree! It's the thought that counts, not how much you spent.

In the case with the MIL, I would have said that yes you did use coupons, but they got 3 times as much stuff than they would have, had you not used them.

I try to only buy things if they are on sale and have a coupon. One thing I get caught up in is I have a $15 budget for that person and I'm able to get a $15 item for only $10, do I spend $5 more on something else?

Saving that $5 here and there can go a long way!

Mrs20Mist said...

I can't believe I read all of these! I love BECKY's post. I would love to see some basket ideas, too. I have some pictures of baskets I've made (not necessarily from FREE products). BUT...it's the thought that count.

DH and I have lots of neices and nephews. This year, we've been pondering NOT getting any of them gifts this year.

BUT...I'm encouraged to do 'something'. Whether it's free or not, it should NOT matter. We don't make a big deal about Christmas gifts in our home; never have. Our children know the the true meaning of Christmas.

So...with that said...thanks for starting this discussion. Since finding this site, I actually venture to Target.

Speaking of Target, let me find that DVD Q:)

Anonymous said...

I have the opposite feeling...sometimes I don't want to come off as too generous...cause most people don't really understand my good deals.

For instance, I try to keep to 15 dollars for some of my friends kids for Christmas. But after the Target Toy Clearance in the summer, 15 dollars can go a long way. I worry that they will feel bad if they did not give as much to my girls.

Am I making sense? And then I wonder if I should tell my friends not to worry because I got some great deals.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you were asked that question! And from your Mom-in-law no less!! A gift basket is usually very expensive and you can get great stuff with coupons, which I am sure you did! Like people said, it takes a lot of time and organization to get stuff with coupons, so while you may not have paid so much cash for it, you paid for the products with your time! The thought is what counts, not how much cash you paid for it! Talk about looking a gift-horse in the mouth!

Anonymous said...

Who in their right mind, in this economy expects anything from anyone. Free or not....I am really surprised at the teacher comments.... I think the fact you get anything is amazing.....My husband lost his job after 23 years in July so I am a bit "peeved" by some of these comments.....

Anonymous said...

My neice has gotten me into couponing, however before i did get started on it, she made me a basket of "free" stuff for my birthday. i loved it!! i knew that it was all from couponing, but the excitment to me was seeing how much stuff i got and what, and the amazement of her getting it for free or very low cost. I didn't feel anyway offened by this. now i'm couponing and several girls at work know this, and they will be receiving "free gifts" for the holidays, so i wasn't sure how to repsond to their questions either. so i want to thank everybody for responding, it sure helps. thanks all!!

Anonymous said...

Haha! Poor Glade!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:12

I agree with you about those teacher comments.

Those gifts are from children to teachers. Not nice to complain!

Angela said...

There is NOTHING wrong with giving gifts that you bought with a coupon. For example I was able to snag the Connect 4x4 game for 4.99 - which is usually 14.99 and up. I will give this as a gift. It is alot better than giving them some random toy that cost less but is not as cool!

Lindsay said...

In the past I've found when someone puts you on the spot like that the honest, direct response is usually the one that takes care of the situation. It's usually the first thought that pops in my head. In this case a simple "Does it matter?" would do. Or my next fav is say nothing at all and throw your hubby a look that signals it's his duty to take on his mother's rude behavior.

In some family circles, including my husband's family, the price tag matters A LOT! In my (much more sentimental) family it's the thought that counts.

For my own sanity, I've come to conclusion that it's the recipients FEELINGS that count when it comes to gift giving. If someone feels unloved because your gift didn't measure up to their out-of-pocket expectations either scale back on other things for them during the year so you can splurge on important gifts or give something that you can't buy at a store (like a poem) so they know they are loved but can't complain about the price :)!

Anonymous said...

I feel special when someone puts his energy and thoughts into my gift no matter how much it cost.People gets expensive gifts just to give something and not really mean it.

Kate said...

Wow! I read all the comments, and I feel kind of sad that so many people take the time to be so critical of others. I guess I'm being critical, too, but to call a Glade candle a piece of crap just blows my mind. I barely make it from payday to payday, and the future seems so uncertain. After getting into couponing recently, I was able to buy some Glade candles to use at my own place and both my adult daughter and I were so pleased with their small beauty. And the totally cool tissue-wrapped balls Grandma makes? What kind of Scrooge hassles her about the soap? I can picture the lovely chaos of kids unwapping all that tissue and comparing the trinkets and laughing and having fun. Hell, put in a dime that you polished till it gleams, or a piece of beach glass--I'd love it.

To my mind, to complain about any kind of gift means that you think you're "worth more," and wish someone had spent either more money or more thought on you. Well, how about you try to believe that everyone does the best they can, given their own problems and hang-ups and worries (of course the complainers have no problems or hang-ups, so they're free to judge others). At least the judgemental folks seem to be in the minority here. Blessings to all of you trying to live a giving and loving life.

MomDG said...

To the gma that makes the Christmas balls awesome idea and I totally get it. The responses you are getting proves how material this world has become. I am actuall thinking about doing this. Sounds like your family loves it because you have been doing it for a while. Who gives a crap what anyone else thinks you do not have to justify what you do to anyone! This whole thing is almost worse than the gum wars LOL!

fran said...

She must have the same mother-in-law as me. In the past when I gave her groceries, it was no big deal because she just figured I got everything for free. We don't get "everything" for free...what about the tax we pay, the cost for gas to get these items, the time it takes to clip the coupons, and the time shopping for said items? If I pay tax for something, it's free, but not completely free.

I like that reply "Why do you ask?". If I ever talk to my husband's mother again, and she ask me another rude question, like how much I paid for something, I'm going to have to remember this.
Not all mothers-in-law are evil, and to those of you that have great ones, you should be so thankful.

Just a suggestion: I think the Glade candle holders that we got before (the ones in the clear holder, that have the same candles as the tins) would make a nicer impression on people than the tins would, but just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I guess those teachers would like gift cards...unbelievable.....

Anonymous said...

Wow... your mil should be ashamed for asking, ie implying the gift is less meaningful. It says a lot about her. If someone who sells scrapbooking supplies gives you a bag as a gift because she knows you'd use & enjoy, is that less of a gift? etc. etc. Let's face it, if couponing didn't require time and energy wouldn't everyone? Funny, I'm brand new to this and have learned so much here. I've really been looking forward to being able to give a little something to people I may otherwise have not because of this great new hobby. I'd be flattered if someone put together a useful gift basket of items that saved me time, energy & money, coupons or no coupons

Sandra said...

I have to agree, it's the thought, not the amount of money you spend. Heck some of my best gifts came free or fairly cheap and everyone in my family knows I am very frugal! lol

If someone asked me that, I'd have to tell them you got a nice gift basket from me, why does it matter if I bought everything with coupons? Give them something to think about!

I just bought a few things for a secret santa swap I'm doing, I bought 5 nice items from the $tree (2 pot holders and kitchen towel all match, teddy bear figurine, mixed candy) and then I bought $4's worth of $1 stuff at Target (Mrs Fields boxed candy & liqueur and Ghirardelli coffees! That's $9 spent on the secret santa so far and I need a few personal items and still have room in the box!

So don't worry about it keep your head up, smile and know you are giving expensive gifts, just not paying the expensive price!

Anonymous said...

I always feel loved no matter what the gift. When someone gives you something it shows there was thought involved as they could have opted to give it to someone else...no matter if they paid out of pocket for it or not.

When people have high expectations of a gift it makes me wonder if they have grasped the true meaning of Christmas. After all, it isn't about us is it?

Each one of us is on a differnt budget. Whether you gift others with a huge gift or a love note just be sure it is from your heart and be at peace.

mybarefo said...

Perhaps the mother in-law was asking not because she was appalled by a gift given with couponing, but rather impressed by how much this "coupon" gift amounted to.
Often times we are automatically on the defensive, while in reality we would be suprised by how many people wish they could work with coupons and sales the way we do:-)

Anonymous said...

what are the teacher comments? i skimmed through the comments, but didnt see much, just that they prefer gift cards?

Anonymous said...

Geez--easy on the teachers! Think about it--with a class of 20 or more, that's a lot of candles/mugs/ornaments/candy! Teachers don't often have a budget for any extras for their classrooms; that comes out of their pocket. So every sticker, bookmark, or any other assorted reward your child gets throughout the year comes from their paychecks. They often aren't even supplied with basics for the kids like tissues or crayons! They'd probably be more grateful for supplies for their classroom than another candle to add to their stockpile. My son isn't yet in school, but I'm glad to know the realities of the classroom, because I would have blundered into one of these useless gifts.

Save2day.blogspot.com said...

We should be grateful for any gift because it is the thought that counts.
Homemade gifts are the best gifts that I have ever received.

amy said...

My parents recently came to visit me and I made them a really nice basket and put it in their room. It had every bath, beauty, or health item that I could think that they may need while visiting, or if maybe they forgot to bring a certain item with them. My mom knows I coupon and although doesn't coupon much herself, respects the time and energy I put into it in order to save money for my family. After seeing the basket, she asked me if I got all of the basket items for free and I told her, enthusiastically, "yes, or very cheap". I was proud and it didn't even occur to me that she would be offended if I had. I guess I just knew the time and energy and thought put into the gift was enough... and I think she did too!

mybarefo said...

I would LOVE a gift basket with practical items!
A "recession basket" as a gift. How appropriate for times such as these:-)
BTW, I love the scented oil candles...send them my way:-)

Anonymous said...

I beleive it paying it forward. I just let everyone one know right up front, It won't hurt my feelings if you want to donate your gift, I totally understand.

In the city that I live in there are people on almost every major corner asking for money with a sign, I use to always give them money, then I went to just change, then after couponing i keep food, like trail bars, candy bars, cans of soup in a box, behind my seat, this makes me feel better, and I still can pay it forward.
That's how we all get these great deals, if we share. If people don't want what I have gitfed them, it's ok with me just donate. and if you dont know where, just ask me, I have that to.

Anonymous said...

yup, for teachers, get over the cute mugs and candy combos...get them a gift card for your nearest "teaching tools" type store. they dont need air freshners or more candy or coffee cups. they need supplies.

if you cant do that, then plan ahead for the holidays when the school supplies go on sale and make them a gift basket full of 10c clearance supplies, and have your kid make a special popsicle picture frame or something..sure they might toss it next year but at least its personal and useful when given

Shelly T. said...

@Kate, I so totally agree with you. How can someone call a basketful of Glade candles CRAP!? I have been using them in my home and my family loves them. And YES I am giving them as small gifts to family members that we normally would not be able to give a gift to. Because of using coupons this year I will be able to give them a gift and one that I use and enjoy myself.

Also to the commenter that said-
im about to start throwing gum ;), LOL, that was pretty funny!!

Terry said...

I can't believe I sat and read through all of these ;-) It was interesting to read all the responses. I think some of us get too caught up in worrying about gifts and I've never liked being told how much I can spend (our family started putting limits on prices...and then decided we couldn't buy for the adults) - I think gifts should be thoughtful...homemade gifts are the best. Any gift should be received with gratitude - someone put some time and thought into it...I've put time and thought into picking out generic gift cards as well as baking loaves of pumpkin bread or friendship bread. We feel joy when giving, don't ruin that for someone. If you can't afford very much, dont be embarrassed - a small token can mean just as much as a very expensive gift. If someone is well-off and wants to spend a lot on someone....dont tell them they can't (I dont think anyone here has said that...I just feel that way) - it just takes the joy right out of it for me.

Terry said...

I can't believe I sat and read through all of these ;-) It was interesting to read all the responses. I think some of us get too caught up in worrying about gifts and I've never liked being told how much I can spend (our family started putting limits on prices...and then decided we couldn't buy for the adults) - I think gifts should be thoughtful...homemade gifts are the best. Any gift should be received with gratitude - someone put some time and thought into it...I've put time and thought into picking out generic gift cards as well as baking loaves of pumpkin bread or friendship bread. We feel joy when giving, don't ruin that for someone. If you can't afford very much, dont be embarrassed - a small token can mean just as much as a very expensive gift. If someone is well-off and wants to spend a lot on someone....dont tell them they can't (I dont think anyone here has said that...I just feel that way) - it just takes the joy right out of it for me.

Lolo said...

Always take the "high road". If someone asks you did you get these with coupons? Simply reply with a smile and say "why yes I did, didn't I do a fabulous job?" It truly is an art to do what we do. Most people out there do not have the patience or the will to do it so hold your head high and own your accomplishments. There is nothing shameful in being good at what you do!

Lolo said...

And as for gifts, a gift should be something that you give because you want to share, no matter how you came about it. If you feel the person you are giving it to would truly enjoy the items you are sharing with them, then it does not matter what the item cost. I am sure you are not going to load someone up with a bunch of stuff that you think they would have no use for or not even like simply because you need to have a gift to present. Just remember we can choose to do anything with these items that we wish and if we feel compelled to share them by gifting them, then who cares how much you spent? The point is the items will be enjoyed and they were given freely with good intent to the person receiving them.

Elle said...

Not everyone has bought the "tacky" glade tins, as one person put it. Some of us bought the glass holders and still got the same deal. Both my mom and step mom LOVE candles and will totally appreciate this addition to their cookies and fudge. Some people here need to calm down I think . . . .

Anonymous said...

I always spend about $100 per person on my family. [not husband and daughter that is much more like 500+ each] I usually get each person a gift card and a gift. We spend about 2 to 3k a year on Christmas. Stupid, huh? Well, not this year.

I am a stay at home mom, so it is just my husband's income. I used to take extra jobs like mystery shopping, merchandising, surveys, etc.. to afford our lavish lifestyle so I wouldn't add debt.

Well, thanks to Collin and other blogs, I learned how to make better use of the money I already have. My new job is to stretch my husband's salary. Since doing that, I am saving more money and actually buying more than ever since I am paying next to nothing or making money on purchases. My grocery bill dropped from about 800 a month to about 100. We don't really eat differently either, I just stockpile now for the staples.

Well, I digress. Anyways, a lot of people are going to get my freebies this year. All of the women will be getting a basket filled with goodies like: a couple Almay foundations, mascaras, lipglosses, eyeshadow, Lubriderms, chapsticks, Vaseline, Pantenes, razors, etc..... I will probably throw in like a $10 Starbucks card or something too. The men will be getting similar stuff like the Gillette body wash, deodorant, razors, etc.. and maybe some cheap DVD's.

My husband will be getting some of the 6 Wii games deal and something else. He doesn't need six games, so I might throw a few in the Toys for Tots bin.

I got my daughter the Tinkerbell deal with DVD, Leapfrog book, 2 Crayola Color Wonders, and Tinkerbell Lantern for $24.39. (I will get her a lot of other stuff too, but I got a start!)


Thanks Collin!!!!!!!! You turned my 3k Christmas to about $200 and I sacrificed nothing!!!! You rock!!!

Lynne said...

We work hard for our coupons - they are not free. Women have a tendency to feel guilty when they shouldn't. Manufacturer's are using all of our information for marketing purposes. Those freebies are to get repeat customers. The newspaper isn't free either. What's the difference between buying something on sale, on clearance, using coupons or all of the above? Christmas started out as a religious holiday, it has nothing to do with material gifts. Especially this year with 10% unemployment and military fighting overseas...we should just be thankful. Give from your heart whether it's a freebee or a million bucks...a gift is a gift.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the comments! I'm going to rethink who will be so lucky to receive my Glade Candles this Christmas. I see both sides to the argument and will give them to those who will appreciate them!


Also my thoughts on the "price limit" comments. If you buy a 50$ retail Tag and you're price limit is 25$ but only spent 10$ i would be careful to add more things to bring your spending limit up to 25$. I personally bought a tag system and games for a niece of mine, but will be saving some games to give her for her birthday. I don't want to outdo her mother and make her feel bad. It probably depends on your family and the reasons behind the "price limit" rule

Grandma with the tissue paper balls...I totally got it. we call those "bingo" prizes. we get gifts like that at Grandma's on Christmas Eve too after playing bingo. One year my husband got pipe cleaners and one of my aunts got a roll of bubble wrap. We love it!

Amber

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Anon 1:19 AM. I would not buy more than the TAG gift you already got. Even though you paid less for it, the value is more than the requirement. Buying more might make people feel bad that didn't give as much.

Anonymous said...

I see both sides here. No, it doesn't matter how much was paid for the gift, at all. It's really about the thought you put into the gift. And I think sometimes couponers run the risk of getting something just because it's on a deal.
Example, my couponing cousin got me a pair of shoes for my birthday. Basically, they were next to free and in my size so she bought them. But I really hated them. They just weren't my thing. But the fact that they weren't my thing was make worse knowing that she got them so cheap. You know? I think you just have to watch yourself and realize that just because it's on a good deal doesn't mean it'll make a good gift. Would you still buy that for the person if it were full price (and you could afford it)?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
All I have to say...with all the time and energy I put into couponing and seeking the best deal I could have hand carved them a dining room table with nothing more than a dull knife....so when I give someone a gift that requires me to deal with the dreaded beep, huffs & puffs from people behind me, and some of my most embarrassing moments...they should look at there gift basket and smile with admiration and if they don't...well they shouldn't be offended when next year they get a card.

Thu Nov 05, 12:48:00 PM 2009


If they even get the card. I was going to say almost exactly the same as this. Me and DW had many years of financial struggle. At x-mas time we looked forward to our annual gift basket from one particlar relative. Paper supplies, toiletries, cleaners, and detergent. Woo-hoo, some of the best gifts we ever received. Aside from the children, are most expensive gifts will be coupon binders, and filing systems for noobie's in our local group. Thanks Colin.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts when I get a "couponed" gift: it's nice that this person thought of me, and it's nice that they put in the time to put this together, but if I were really important to them, they would have thought about what's appropriate for me instead of simply choosing among the free things.

Couponed gift from neighbor, acquaintance, etc: perfectly acceptable.
Couponed gift from close relative: disappointing (unless they're really poor).
Couponed gift from fiance: totally unacceptable.

gamer39 said...

Money is so tight. We agreed a couple of years ago that adults only received Christmas gifts if they were free or handmade. I think this will be the best Christmas gift they have ever received from me. I started collecting my free items in January and now have a closet FULL. Their baskets will be valued at over $100. That is something I could have never done prior to learning to coupon. I am a single Mom with two kids.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, it's people like her who stand and huff and puff behind you. Don't let it bother you. Just remember next time, that there are alot of people who REALLY need those items, and take them and donate what you would have given to her! It takes alot of time doing this. And if she doesn't appreciate it, she will be the one losing in the end. Remember, we do this to save money! Who wouldn't want to?!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are some of us who will be throwing (that sounds cheap, let me rephrase). There are some who will be adding some little Burts Bees pieces into the baskets, right? Those, if carefully chosen for the recipient, aren't cheap. Frugal, not cheap.

Anonymous said...

My family makes it a challenge to see who can bring the best gift but paid the least amt for it. Then we have a Chinese gift exchange. Great fun!

Anonymous said...

Wow my family can't wait to see all the FREE stuff that I give them for x-mas. They start guessing what it could be at Thanksgiving. My husband also travels to a conference once a year and all the companies give out gifts and of course when you get 10 beach towels, 15 travel totes and various other knicknacks they end up wrapped too. This year he walked out with 6 heavy duty bbq kits and everyone is getting one and I know they will love it. What we save for the adult gifts we then put towards the kids. I have yet to see a coupon for Zhu Zhu pets so it all works out fine. Be proud that you "work" saving your family money.

Anonymous said...

I so needed to hear this I recently backed out of giving someone a b-day gift because she was "making fun" of another friend for getting stuff for free than giving it away. I'm sure in the end she would rather have had the gift even if it was free, haha!

Anonymous said...

You guys receive gifts from your nieces and nephews? I don't and I don't expect to, but if my niece gave me a gift basket of cleaning supplies, I'd love it. Practical, useful and needed. I had a coworker who once told me that if she was served Domino's Pizza at a friend's house, she'd be offended (I guess she felt it should be from a private pizzera or nothing). I had never heard of this kind of entitlement and snobbery before and I was shocked. After reading some of the posts of what individuals would and would not accept as GIFTS has opened my eyes. How shallow can we get? To the woman who gives her grandchildren the Christmas balls filled with little toys/trinkets, I think that is such a cute idea and I am sure when they get older they will reminisce as to how much fun that was...what a great tradition!

Anonymous said...

One year I did Christmas baskets for three of my nieces and they are all teenagers...anyway, I spent months and months (this was before couponing or knowledge of FREEBIES-anything! lol) anyway, I scoured things they really liked, or would like, monogrammed small items like notepads, Christmas socks, change purses, nail polish-anything teens are in to and I was ecstatic about giving them to them, WEll, guess what????? Can you stand the suspense?! You guessed, SNUBBED the whole idea! I was perplexed to say the least! They took the gift, leafed through it and sort of smiled, but I NEVER and I mean NEVER got a Thank-you! Or anything! Made me furious. I guess they were expecting money, I don't know. I just had wished they had been a little excited as I was about receiving their personalized baskets. So I guess you can never know how someone feels whether you have put a lot of time and hard earned money into it or not. The baskets alone were a gift, but people don't think about how you went and picked out one that suited them. The world is full of sentimental folks; we are just some of those folks. Happy Holidays~ :)

Anonymous said...

the only issue that i've really come across is when people decide to return something but since i've gotten it for free or next to nothing, that's where the issue comes up.

I just tell them to keep it and re-gift it if they didn't like it in the first place.

Anonymous said...

to the grandma who wraps up small trinkets (including hotel lotions) I say AWESOME IDEA!!! Your grandkids are not only enjoying a fun gift idea, they're learning a VALUABLE lesson about what's really important. Not the price of the gift but the thought that went into it and the fact that their grandmother spent the time and effort into a gift rather than just laying down $40 for it. I know my girls and my nieces and nephews totally geek out about that kind of stuff. Makes 'em more thoughtful appreciate adults if you ask me!
Sarah

JANARIE8 said...

Hi: It is the thought that counts, not to mentioned the countless hours each of us spends searching out these deals, clipping or printing out the coupons, going to the store(s), dealing with cashiers, choosing the right item(s) for the gift(s) etc. Hey Come to think of it, these gifts are more expensive than if you went to the store and bought them, time wIse that is, forget the guilt trips that others might try to put on you. Blessings JANARIE8

Anonymous said...

My daughter is getting married July, 2010. We have been collecting free things for her Bridesmaids gifts and so far have a copy machine paper box full for all 5 of them (she bought a monogrammed bag but that will not hold it all)- everything from bodywash, lipglass, lotion, shampoo, nailfiles.....we still have 8 months to go. We think they will love it?

Anonymous said...

After reading most of these posts, I just want to cry. Perhaps the MIL was just curious, perhaps the author of the post is insecure in their relationship or ??? But the judgement on gifts and what we think the other person thought or didn't think - spent or didn't... Give with your heart, accept gifts graciously when offered and never ask if I can return something - exchange for a correct size - yes. Return - No.

Anonymous said...

I began couponing just before Christmas last year after having been out of work for nearly a year. A lot of our family were struggling right along with us. I could barely afford to run our home... but with all of the great coupon opportunities for free items such as razors, toothbrushes and other basic necessities...I was able to give gifts to everyone in our extended family without any OOP. They were some of the best gifts my family has received and I still hear about them. They loved how useful the gifts were in their time of need. And my teenage nieces have already put in their requests for their favorite GLADE scents this year. We have all been very humbled and feel very blessed to be able to give :-)

Anonymous said...

Think about it this way... if you were getting someone a sweater and got it on sale, would you feel guilty about that? I sure wouldn't! :)

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 201   Newer› Newest»