By Tilane Jones
Recently I was chatting with a friend about her plans for the weekend. Unfortunately for her pocketbook, her weekend plans included two weddings. This meant that time and money would have to be spent on these joyous occasions. However, with a little effort, I had a plan in mind to save her big bucks and a lot of frustration.
Step 1: The customary thing to do is to find out where the wedding party is listed for their gift registry. I wholeheartedly believe in this custom. It saves you time because it actually gives you a starting point by providing you with a list of the wants and needs of the couple. It also saves the bride or groom time when it comes to returning unwanted gifts.
Step 2: Most registries are going to list your normal everyday household items like cookware, linens, picture frames, photo boxes, household nick-knacks, large furniture items, etc. Here is where you take the time to take a good look at the list and decide on which heartfelt gift is going to be coming from you.
Step 3: Now, this is where the effort comes in and the money savings begins. Once you have that heartfelt gift picked out, instead of heading out to Neiman’s, Macy’s, Saks, Crate and Barrel or whatever ridiculously expensive department store they are registered at, head to your local discounter. I’m talking Marshall’s, Ross, T.J. Maxx, Tuesday Morning, Target or Wal-Mart. For most items on the list you will be able to find a comparable item at one of these discounters at a considerably lower price. It may not be the exact gift, but with a little forethought you can come up with some very nice alternatives that would fit whatever item they wanted.
Places like Marshall’s have an extensive house wares section which carries everything from towels, picture frames and kitchen items to furniture items like lamps, chairs and tables. All the items they carry are discounted up to 50% or more off the original retail cost. When department stores or designers can’t sell off their inventory, these are the places that buy them. So, many of the items you can purchase are items that would have been marked up at the department stores.
If you really want to jazz it up, once you have purchased your gift you can go to anyone of the major department stores and ask for a gift box to complete your gift giving presentation. With just a little imagination you can provide the perfect gift at half the cost, allowing you to give everybody what they want and save some chips too. Now that’s what I call a real gift!
Tilane Jones is a long-time practitioner of retail therapy. As an administrator for a top marketing company, she can hunt and negotiate a bargain like nobody’s business. Miss Jones shares her top-notch tips for looking & feeling fabulous on less money exclusively with Urban Thought Collective.