One of the nicest things about using coupons is that it gives us a chance to bless others with our bounty. At the same time, we can also save money when giving gifts by creating baskets based on items we already have on hand. In fact, I have one couponing friend who creating prizes for her Bunco group by filling reusable grocery bags with things she purchased on sale. By doing so, she was able to give each winner over $200 in prizes while still staying under the $20 club limit.
Here are a few tips for creating a memorable and well received basket:
- Start with the right container. This can be a basket, flower pot, wastepaper basket, or cloth tote. When choosing the container, just remember that you will have to have enough items to fill it.
- Always line it with some special. While you can use tissue paper, it is so much nicer to include something your recipient can use later, such as a wash cloth, napkin or place mat.
- Finish your look with great wrapping. Tulle gathered around the basket and tied with a matching bow makes for a fun look, but you can use colored plastic wrap or tissue paper.
Here are a few specific ideas to get you started.
- For a Baby Shower. Fill a pretty pink or blue wastepaper basket with infant diapers, wipes and baby powder. Cover the top with a pretty sheet of paper and a big bow.
- For a Baby Shower. Line a medium sized basket with an infant towel. Then add some or all of the following: baby shampoo, baby hair brush, nail clippers, baby power, baby lotion, baby bath gel, infant wash cloth. Wrap the basket with blue or pink tulle and tie it with a pretty bow.
- Breakfast Basket for a New Mother. Line a medium sized basket with a beautiful cloth napkin and add some of the following: box of flavored tea or coffee, honey, small box of fancy cookies, small jar of jam or jelly, muffin mix
- Bath Basket for a New Mom. Line a medium basket with a high quality wash cloth and fill it with some of the following: scented candle, bath salts, scented soaps, body lotion, a new magazine
- For Someone who’s Ill. Line a medium sized basket with a pretty placemat or lace doily and fill with some of the following: tissues, canned soup, cold relief products, hand lotion, juice boxes, cough drops, pain relievers
- For a College Student Leaving Home for the First Time. Line a laundry basket with a card table sized tablecloth and add any of the following: laundry detergent, fabric softener, soap, shampoo, mouthwash, a first aid kit, toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates and napkins.
- For a Teenaged Girl. Purchase an inexpensive tote bag and fill it with some of the following: nail polish, lotion, make up, shampoo, hair gel, hair ties, a small mirror.
Susan Mathis is a black belt tightwad with more than 30 years’ experience getting $1.50 out of every dollar. She lives outside Washington D.C. with her husband and her two youngest children. She is a regular contributor towww.thecouponcupboard.com.