I'm one of those people who enjoys giving gifts more than I like getting them. There is just something about giving somebody a thoughtful little present that makes me extremely happy. My love of giving gifts could easily get expensive, but with a little bargain shopping and buying in advance, it is completely doable. Over the past few years, I've built up what I call a gift closet that is filled with things that can be given for any occasion. This ensures that I never arrive at a dinner party, weekend getaway, or birthday celebration without a little something for the host.
The best way to stock up your gift closet is to never turn down a really great sale item. I'm talking end of the year, 80% off sale items. Those are the times you can find some great things for super cheap. Last Christmas for example, I found my favorite Canal House Cookbook on sale at Crate and Barrel for $2.50. I obviously had to not only buy one but three to add to the gift closet. Another great way to get a deal on an item is to buy stuff that has the exterior boxed damaged. I can't tell you how many times I've found really expensive lotions and candles for dirt cheap, just because the box they came in was damaged. After that all you need to do is remove the item form the damaged box and repackage it in a gift bag. Lastly always be on the lookout for hidden gems at your local T.J. Maxx & HomeGoods. You can always find really nice candles, stationary, and lotions at way lower cost than they would be elsewhere. Nobody needs to know where you bought it, just make sure that you fully remove the price tag and nobody will be the wiser.
A few items that I always like to keep in stock in my gift closet are speciality olive oils, lotions, candles, and cookbooks. For those times I want to gift food, it's great to have pretty glass and bakeware stored away that you can gift to the recipient. When gifting food, I always like to include a recipe card that can double as the regular card. This way the recipient gets a copy of the recipe and you don't have to run out and purchase something else. From time to time, my gift closet will include some more out of the box items but they always fall into one of three categories. They either had to be an amazing deal, a local speciality product, or a strange gadget for the man who has everything. By keeping those things in mind and always having your eyes peeled for a bargain, you'll be able to never show up empty handed again.
I'd love to know, do any of you have some form of a gift closet? If so I'd love to hear the type of things you stock up on? I'm great at buying stuff to gift to women, but men are a whole different story!