Looking for clever ways to save money this holiday season — without looking cheap?
I’ve been broke for a lot of Christmases. One of my favorite tactics for giving quality gifts without spending a lot of money? Regifting.
You may recoil at first. But think about it. You get gifts every year you don’t want or can’t use.
Holding onto them is polite, but it just adds clutter to some deep corner of your closet. You could also return them to get cash or something else for yourself, which could help you save money on something you need.
Regifting, however, can help you save money on something for someone else. It’s generous and thrifty — but you have to do it right.
The gift should be something the recipient actually wants. Otherwise, you’re just passing your clutter issue onto them.
Most importantly, it shouldn’t look like a regift.
Tactful regifting is all about covering your tracks. What the recipient doesn’t know can’t hurt, right?
Follow these tips from Money Talks News to ensure the gifts you re-give this holiday season are as much of a hit as something you actually bought yourself.
Make Sure It Looks New
A gift should be in its original packaging and in good shape.
If you’ve had it in your closet, attic or basement for a while, it might be layered in dust or grime. It’s not acceptable to just brush away the dust and stick it under the tree.
If you want to store gifts from year to year, or even from a birthday earlier in the year, store them somewhere they’ll keep nicely.
Remove Any Sign the Item is Recycled
Give the gift a good once-over before wrapping and handing it over.
Make sure the flashing lights on this year’s ugly Christmas sweater from your aunt don’t distract you from seeing your initials monogrammed among the madness.
Did your grandma add “To: Nicole, Christmas 2015” in the cover of every book she gave you? Looks like they’re yours for life. (Or, if you need to declutter, maybe thrift store fodder.)
You don’t want to miss some glaring clue the gift was intended for anyone but the recipient.
Keep Track of Who Gave What
Don’t accidentally give a gift to the person who gave it to you!
If you save gifts for months at a time, you could easily forget which distant aunt bought you a generic gift basket… especially if it seems like the perfect present for her a year later.
Stick a note on any gifts you know you’ll be regifting in the future so you know where they came from.
Also keep track of who will be at which parties, and who might run into each other after Christmas. You don’t want coworker Kathy going into the office wearing the bracelet your boss gave you.
For more tips, read the full article at Money Talks News.
Your Turn: Have you ever been caught regifting an old Christmas present? Share your story and tips to help others avoid the same mistake!
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more.