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Old 09-07-2009, 07:38 AM
RHB RHB started this thread
 
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Giving of one's time is a GREAT gift...you can always get more money, but once you spent your time, you can't get anymore!
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
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We give things instead of money since we have more things than money. Food is shared among the community since when a stalk of bananas gets ripe or it is avocado season there is more than we can eat. We also ask folks if there is anything we can look for them at garage sales. I think sharing amongst one's local community is more important than giving to some sort of group far away.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:49 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
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When it comes to giving gifts, I use gift cards as a frugal solution. I usually give gifts in the ranges of about $25 for birthdays, $50 for any kind of big party thrown by someone as well as for Christmas gifts, and $100 (roughly) for wedding gifts (per person if I go with someone).

One time, it occurred to me as I was buying someone a $50 gift, that the person may not like or care for the gift. It was a sweater that was on sale for $40, but I thought, "What if he doesn't like this or has no need for it?" And I don't want to lock him into returning it for a store credit (and thereby seeingn what I spent, not that it matters so much but it's tacky, to me). So I didn't buy the sweater, and instead I bought him a $25 gift card for a store he shops at frequently, and then I bought him about $7 worth of a premium coffee that he likes. So I spent $32 instead of $40 or $50, and he got a gift card he can actually use, at his own discretion, plus a smaller item which is more personal and something else he will definitely use and enjoy.

With wedding gifts, I usually try to find a beautiful picture frame (crystal or silver) or nice clock, preferably on sale for under $25, and I pair it with a gift card for $75. This way, they have something personal from me that is small enough and useful enough that they keep it, plus the gift card which gives them flexibility in how to spend it. Depending on how close a friend or relative it is, I can increase or decrease the gift card amount. And you know what? Every one of my friends and family who has received these gifts from me has KEPT them; when I go to their homes I almost always see the item. And I know that many of them return or give away some of the larger, more expensive items they received but didn't want. One friend of mine gave away a coffemaker that was worth well over $100 because they had received another one they liked better; but the picture frame I got them is still prominently on display in their living room on an end table.

I just try to think of the win/win - how can I spend as little money as possible while giving the person as much of what he or she REALLY wants as possible? Gift cards are always useful, and small items almost always are useful as well, so a combo of them usually makes the receiver very happy while saving me some money and giving me the satisfaction that my gift was truly put to good use.

One other thing - unless I'm in a real bind, I only buy cards from 1/2-off stores or dollar stores. Same with wrapping paper and gift bags. I usually keep several gift bags on and with tissue paper and use that instead of gift wrap.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:41 AM
 
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After Christmas last year, Wal-Mart had a bunch of Christmas themed dog toys for 75% off. I bought a bunch of them for $.25 - $1 each and donated them to an animal shelter. The dogs don't care that the toy is a candy cane shape or elf and that Christmas is over.

To the OP: You might contact the managers of the groceries stores by you and tell them that you'd like to buy 100 pounds of chicken legs for the local shelter and see if they will give you a discount. I bet at least one store you contact will do something to help.
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Old 09-18-2009, 03:37 PM
RHB RHB started this thread
 
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Thanks AlexTx, I did do just that. They did more than help, they (the store and the store workers) provided the whole BBQ! AND plan to continue doing it for years to come!!!
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