1. Think outside of your normal stores.
You can purchase fun hair clips, baking pans (high quality), cupcake holders, cookbooks, birthday cards, cleaning products all at Joann Fabrics....and the icing on the cake is there is always a 40-50% coupon you can use to drop the price even lower! This is a great place for birthday party presents because there is a huge variety of items and I can almost bet you will find something that will work. If you have a hard time finding Joann coupons (inside your Sunday paper or sign up to have them mailed to you) competitor's coupons work as well so really you have no excuse to not go and give it a try. Bed, Bath and Beyond is a great store for basics or even makeup as well.
2. Don't pay for packaging on items for yourself.
I know we all are suckers for beautiful packaging (hello I live for aesthetics) but really when you use an item day to day the packaging is long forgotten so don't let it be a deciding factor in purchasing. I would say gift giving can be different because packaging should be part of the gift itself... I do try when giving gifts to think creatively on how I can make a basic into a special item simply by upping the appearance of the packaging. (more on this in another post perhaps)
3. Don't buy your wrapping paper, tissue paper, or ribbon from Hallmark.
The place to go for these items is Dollar Tree, Dollar General, or something in that family. I am flabbergasted when I see the prices on wrapping paper and tissue paper at Hallmark and grocery stores. Please don't waste your money, there are really cute, nice quality wrapping supplies at the Dollar Store!
4. Find your local Salvation Army, Goodwill and resale shops.
I know not everyone feels comfortable wearing clothes other people have worn before them. I respect that though I personally have no issue with it. However, there are countless items at these stores besides clothing. I shutter to think of how much money people are paying for children's books, coffee mugs, purses and more! If you have never gone and browsed a store like this (or have in the distant past) give it a go....hopefully you will have as much luck as I do:)
5. Find dupes.
If this is the first time you have heard the term "dupe" have no fear....it simply means a product that is close enough in comparison to a higher end item that it could pass for it. I love finding dupes especially for makeup products. I really enjoy makeup, but dropping $20-50 for certain items is mind-numbing for me...enter a dupe. There are countless websites out there that can help you locate a dupe for something, simply google/bing the high end product and then write the word dupe after, hopefully you will discover at least something that will work for you. Here is a blog that has a whole entire list of makeup dupes in case you are a nut over that stuff like I am:)
Those are some of my tips for today. I would love to hear YOURS below!!