thrifty and gifty?

>> 8.10.2010

Whoa, just outdid myself with the lame title there...

With Nate's birthday (7/31) and my birthday (8/13)  falling within two weeks of each other, things have been really gifty around here! We might share signs (Leo), but we don't exactly share gift styles. Nate really enjoys receiving and opening as many gifts as possible, while I'd rather get a smaller number of higher quality presents.

Here's one of the many gifts that Nate opened up last week:

In my opinion, the set of petrified wooden book ends is a thoughtful (Nate's really outdoorsy) and appropriate (he also has a ton of books) present for someone who asked for a lot to open... at the same time, it was also thrifty. Yep, I actually bought a few of Nate's gifts from a discount store (gasp!). I must say that I'm quite happy with Marshall's $25 price tag (especially compared to the ones that sell for well over $100!), but I can't help to wonder if buying a gift with a discount takes away from any of its appeal.

It might not be surprising, but I come from quite a thrifty family. Each year, my mom would shop the sales for my Christmas and birthday presents. I remember hating knowing that everything was "cheaper." For years I would beg my mom (especially as middle schooler) to give me just one cool full-price Abercrombie hoodie or pair of Nike shoes. Now, of course, I beg Nate to price shop online for the best deals :).

What's your opinion on thrifty gift-giving or receiving?
Does a cheaper price tag cheapen the thought? Would you be less likely to shop the sales for a friend's gift?

And because I think it's too funny not to share, here's a peek of Nate's gift to me:
Supposedly, there's an amazing gift waiting for me inside the old cereal box.
*sigh* boys...


Danielle and Clint August 10, 2010 at 11:18 AM  

Maybe there is a ring in the box! lol.

Love the bookends! Clint wanted some similar to those for his man cave.

Julie,  August 10, 2010 at 12:12 PM  

I'm the opposite -- I love getting gifts on sale for others and love it when they can do the same for me. I get something I want and someone else saved money?? Oh happy day! My issue that always comes up is whether the regular price or the sale price of the gift counts. For instance, we try to stick to a certain dollar amount on each niece and nephew for Christmas, so if I get Billy's blocks on sale but they would normally cost as much as Suzie's doll, does Billy get another toy or do we call it even? It gets me every time.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog August 10, 2010 at 12:26 PM  

@Julie~ That's what confuses me too! Does it matter if the recipient knows that you bought it at a better price?

I'm glad I'm past my middle school fancy gift phase... and that my mom set such a good example by making the most of every dollar she spent!

L.Duncan@Home23DuncanBoys August 10, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

okay so I must confess that the "inner designer" in me thought you were talking about Nate Berkus...Yeah I'm slow sometimes!

Anywho, I like catching deals and bragging about them. Especially when it comes to gift giving. I'll give a gift and when the persons reaction says that its a lot, I say I got a great deal on that! I shop Targets toy sale in July when they mark a lot of cool toys down to 75% off and give them out for birthdays and Christmas. No ones the wiser!

I love those book ends! I need to find some for a nursery that I'm working on!

**Frugal Contessa** August 10, 2010 at 4:08 PM  

Oh my gosh, those book ends are so neat! I love them. And I think how much you pay for something has nothing to do with the quality of a gift. I'd much rather get a gift that cost next to nothing that is perfect for me than something expensive that someone put no thought into.

I'm excited to see what's in the box!

Jeremy from We Took The Bait August 10, 2010 at 10:56 PM  

There are two amazing gifts in that box, then... because Reese Puffs cereal is an amazing gift in and of itself. Plus, it's got calcium... so it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Happy early birthday! (and, belated birthday, Nate!)

Alexis L., The Studioist August 10, 2010 at 11:41 PM  

I love the bookends. I have a few pairs of agate and onyx bookends myself. Maybe I should add to the grouping...

Elisa @ What the Vita August 12, 2010 at 12:44 AM  

More important than the price tag is how cool the gift itself is. I remember we (mom and us kids) got a family member a great gift, at a great price, we had picked it out carefully and was excited about giving it to them. Then we got our gift from them - a kitten on a string, to be used on a fan - pull it, and it goes on. A kitten on a string? That was a ridiculous gift and we were saddened by it... if they wanted to save money, there was many other ways they could have done it...

Amanda August 12, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

Honestly, I am of the opinion that in no way does a cheaper- er, less expensive- gift cheapen the thought. In fact, if I get a super cheap or even free gift from someone, but it's really thoughtful, I love it. Of course, the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. :-)

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards August 12, 2010 at 8:51 PM  

The cereal box is cracking me up.

I think being thrifty is perfectly reasonable. We don't really go all out on gifts, because we often buy the things we need/want ourselves. As a result, I'm not sure I'm the best person to ask.

But, I love the book ends. Very chic. I mean, manly.

Lauren August 12, 2010 at 10:57 PM  

atleast he tried to wrap it! My fiance just hands it to me..

I am like you. I prefer one nice gift.

Can't wait to hear what was in the box!

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia August 13, 2010 at 1:05 PM  

I usually like one gift that I REALLY need. Like my Hunter boots that I want for my Birthday next month *cough*.
I dont care if he gets them on sale, but thats all I want.

Cricket August 19, 2010 at 4:03 PM  

Gift giving shouldn't be about the monetary value, but rather the sentimental or usable value to the recipient. I recently bought all 4 of my nieces (ages 0-9) their next Christmas and birthday gifts by shopping at Target when the toys hit 75% off. Because we are short a job right now, my budget for gifts is $7 each for the kids. If I had to purchase things at regular price they would have ended up with toys that don't really do much and fall apart quickly. I'd rather shop the sales and be able to buy quality. Besides a lot more effort goes into shopping frugally and on a budget. And yes, I found things that each of them will enjoy- I had their mother take a look to be sure :-)

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