Hello fellow broke people. It's that time of the year. Where we all get excited for presents, family time and oh yes...crippling debt. For you see, the holidays are the number one time of year to run up credit cards. Because for some reason, we all think that we have to spend money to make people happy. At any rate, it's hard out here.
I wrote a little bit about buying easy and cheap gifts for your friends and family, but let me take it one step further.
Here is the ultimate guide to buying all of your gifts for the cheapest of cheap.
So, you've got a few people to purchase gifts for. Congratulations, so does everyone else. Christmas seems to come around just in time to rob you of your money and your dignity, becasue somehow you always end up spending way more than you should. For some effing reason, you think that it's more important to shower your buddies with useless shit, than invest in your own future. The corporate guilt you feel is overwhelming, yet you continue to contribute to consumerism. Blah blah blah.
Let's just forget about all that and focus on you, yes you. You who has your three friends from college and your nuclear family to worry about. Okay. That's not that many people. You can do it.
Breathe dummy, the holidays are about the idea of giving...not what you give right? At least that's what you tell yourself.
Anyway. If you're not aware of the dollar store, you're really missing out. It's probably my favorite store on the planet, because without this store I would have been in trouble in college. It's for those days that you just can't swing the 4 dollars for deodorant. There's one at the dollar store for...you guessed it...one dollar.
Tell me again why CVS is better?
Continuing on. After you've discovered a dollar store, like: Dollar Tree, Dollarama, Dollar General and the like, you're on your way to buying all your Christmas gifts for the least amount of money possible.
First: Figure out what kind of "theme" you want.
Okay, this might be odd, but hear me out: Each person is going to get multiple gifts, like probably 10 dollars worth. So, 10 items (remember, we're in a dollar store. Visualize the dollar store okay? Ok.)
You have to pick a theme for each set of gifts, so it looks like you put some thought into it, even if you didn't.
Some examples of gift themes could be:
--Sports: trading cards, sports equipment (baseballs, golfballs), a water bottle / fitness themed stuff, a book about a famous sports figure (because a lot of books end up at the dollar store. Not sure why...maybe they suck, or maybe there were just too many of them made. At any rate, you're bound to find some kind of sports book there.
--Automotive: The dollar store actually has a lot of common car themed things. They've got oil, fuel injector cleaner, floor mats, cleaners and air fresheners. You could pack a bag full of that stuff and it would look like you spent a fortune, if that's what you're going for.
--Beauty: I've actually found some pretty expensive makeup at the dollar store. The Dollar Tree in particular has a kickass beauty section, that often carries Revlon, CoverGirl, Milani and even Physician's Formula. I found 3 12 dollar powders from Physician's Formula there a few months ago. I saved 36 dollars on the trio. If you can find something awesome like that, you won't even have to worry about making your present look expensive. You just got a really good deal!
--Spa: My go to gift for my girlfriends is always spa stuff. We all love it, we just don't all have the "disposable" income to buy ourselves things to be pampered with. It's just a common fact of life. They've got all kinds of spa products at the dollar store. Those funny lotion mitts, masks with gel in them, face masks, foot masks, eye creams, moisturizers and more. If you stuff a basket with this stuff, you'll just get thanked. No matter what it ended up costing.
--Food / Snacks: The dollar store is home to some...eccentric snacks. You end up seeing random stuff that you never thought existed, like odd sour candies and stuff you haven't seen since 1999. All of the fun candy would be cool for an annoying little brother or some casual friends. Spend 5 or 6 dollars and fill a bag up with weird candy.
--Christmas: The dollar store always comes with the decorations. There are funny headbands, pens, stationery, wrapping supplies and more. Christmas themed baskets are good for that one person in your life that celebrates Christmas all year round. You know, everyone has those people. Stuff it with some gift wrapping supplies and say, "I hope I could give you a little head start for next year!"
So you find things that go with that theme, once you choose it. The dollar store has a surprising amount of inventory. Like if you really look around you can find pretty much anything. And for a lower price and less stress, you can put a smile on your friends and family's hostile little faces. Happy holidays you little jerks, and I hope you get all the presents you wished for!