Trying to stick to a gift-giving budget this holiday season? There is no shame in thrifting and re-gifting! 

With holiday parties every weekend in December, most requiring some kind of gift exchange, it can be difficult to stick to the gift-giving budget, one that may have been determined based upon gifts for family and dear friends only.  Of course, you could always choose not to participate, but the gift exchanges always prove to be the main event~ a community builder full of laughter, sharing, *stealing*, gag gifts, and every once in awhile some witty *scheming* to try and get the best gift of the lot.  So how can you participate in all the festive fun and still provide quality gifts without breaking the budget? #holidayhack: Thrifting and re-gifting.

Local thrift stores are constantly being restocked with new product as donations come in. Some of the best treasures can be found at thrift stores, and for the most *ideal* prices. Plus, if your gift exchange is for gag gifts, thrift stores can be the perfect place to find a peculiar item. You can easily find a gift for $5 or less. Mr. MaiFI found a beautiful glass, engraved pitcher for $4.70, valued at at least ~$15,  that he used for the latest white elephant gift exchange. (See more details below)  

As for regifting, what you may be ready to part with may be someone else’s new favorite item. I believe there’s even a saying… “one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.” For example, as a teacher, I receive an abundance of reusable tumblers and Starbucks gift Cards (I put the value all on one card and currently have a jumbo $80+ Starbucks card). Unfortunately, or perhaps rather fortunately, I’m not a coffee drinker. (I don’t care for any kind of drinks in general- whether it be caffeinated or alcoholic or not). Thus, when it comes to gift-giving, my go-to regift is a quality, new tumbler, and a $10-15 Starbucks gift card (paid for with my jumbo gift card- See more details below). It’s the perfect gift for any coffee/Starbucks lover- and often Starbucks gift cards are high in demand- the first ones stolen during white elephant gift exchanges, and the first ones locked down. 

Of course, as with any “blind exchange” what you get in return is always a gamble. Some years Mr. MaiFI and I aren’t the perfect match for our gifts. However, remember→ zero-waste-ish: a gift that’s not quite for you means you now have your holiday gift ready to go for the next gift exchange, aka regifting.

Other years, we luck out, and receive early Christmas presents that are just right, as was the case this past weekend. Check out below how we participated in this white elephant* gift exchange, giving $40 value gifts that cost us only $4.70 total, and the gifts (also valued ~$40) that we received in exchange. 

What We Gifted:

*Re-gifted* by Ms. MaiFI:  Starbucks reusable tumbler (valued at ~$20)  and $10 gift card 

Value $30

Paid: $0.00

*Thrifted* by Mr. MaiFI: Glass engraved water pitcher 

Value: ~$15

Paid: $4.70

Total Paid for Items Gifted: $4.70

Total Value of Items Gifted: $45


What we received in Exchange:

Ms. MaiFI: Apana Detox Tea Infuser Glass Bottle, Sleepy tea leaves mix, a DW Home Koa Wood Candle (Tea is one of the only things I will drink other than water, and this beautiful reusable bottle is perfect as I endeavor to  be more mindful of my eco-footprint)~ Value ~$25

Mr. MaiFI: $15 Target gift card (aka Free Money- We Love Target!)

Total Value of Items Received: ~$40

Overall, we spent $4.70 in exchange for $40 worth of quality product. Plus, we got to enjoy an evening of laughter, fun, and games with zero stress about our budget. It’s a FI-holiday win in our book!

Your turn:

Do you thrift and regift during gift giving seasons? What are your favorite thrifts and regifts?