Author Topic: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?  (Read 1588 times)

Trying2bFrugal

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We all love frugality. But on reality, we are still in rat race need to live SOCIALLY with others. When you get invited for friends, co workers children or their birthday parties or baby showers or send off parties. We all love party,  but this gifting culture is what I am not liking but can't helpit.

Each month one way or other at least one or two of those functions do happen. We usually get some gift card for $25.

So how you guys do it?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 08:14:23 AM by Trying2bFrugal »

slappy

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 08:23:04 AM »
Put a line item in the budget for it. Find ways to get discounts on the gift cards. For example, Chase 5% category this quarter is grocery stores. If you know you need a couple of $25 gift cards, pick them up at the grocery store and put them aside. Otherwise, I would like to purchase an actual gift that is less than $25.

wordnerd

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2018, 08:26:11 AM »
I usually give in the $25-50 range for a baby shower. If it's just a collection for a group gift for a work acquaintance, $10. Kid's birthday party $10-15 (I have occasionally done a nice regift). I save gift bags and make a tag rather than buying a card.

Your approach sounds fine. I prefer not to do gift cards because I enjoy picking out gifts and I hope personalization makes up for the gift not being super spendy.

Lady SA

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2018, 08:28:08 AM »
When appropriate, I bring food as a gift instead of cash or items. This has the benefit of being generally cheaper (if I make it at home) and a consumable so I can keep bringing these items for each party, with the same people, and it is still welcomed.

For baby showers, I make freezer dinners for the new parents, like frozen lasagna or chili or something that I know they enjoy. For going away parties, I make a batch of their favorite cookies that can be eaten on the go.

Kid's birthday parties are another beast entirely. I don't have kids, but from my own experience as a kid, this is a situation where you just have to suck it up and get the birthday kid a present. Kid's wont appreciate a frugal, practical gift the way an adult friend would.

If all else fails, evaluate whether it is necessary for you to attend all these events. Maybe prioritize them by importance. I'm sure there are a few that you wouldn't be missed at. Especially, if I'm reading this correctly, birthday parties for coworkers children. Yeah, not necessary at all, I'd just be unfortunately busy that day and couldn't attend.

Trying2bFrugal

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2018, 08:50:25 AM »
Thanks.

Usually for baby showers people put those babiesrus thing which I hate to over pay, so my conscious always succeed and I give them $25-100 gc depending upon the closeness.

Birthday parties (we want to be parents) are the different ones as most kids like gifts where gc wont work, and that's where we need to spend a lot of time picking gifts. Usually end up $15-30 depending on the gift item.

Send off parties, I  usually give money for the person organising so they give them in one card.

New house, newly wed couple - goes another $50-$100 or more. (Once or twice in life time for a family so it's ok I guess)

Over a year, these are pretty much unavoidable. But we do get some gifts during Thanks giving and save some.

Seems like we just got to bite it.

Will try to get gc on discounts. Card cash or online were electronic,  but we need physical cards.

We try to avoid but some of these are unavoidable(wife friends).

Where do you get the gift bags? (Sometimes I get it from dollar store) wraps?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 08:54:42 AM by Trying2bFrugal »

Sibley

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2018, 09:01:08 AM »
For kids stuff, I've heard of parents buying stuff on deep discount and stashing it for future needs. Or finding new things at thrift stores.

Villanelle

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2018, 09:17:08 AM »
For non-work things, if I am truly close to the person, I go and give a moderate gift when appropriate.  Not extravagant, but not cheap, and often bought on sale, with discounted gift cards, etc. 

Most kid bday parties I'm invited to are super casual, unlike the extravaganzas one reads about, and they are "no-gifts" affairs.   When the kids get older, I suspect that will change but since we don't have kids, those invites will be pretty easy to skip in general. But we would go if it was a family or kid we were actually close to, and decline if it wasn't. (And bring a moderate gift.)

For work, I always went to the birthday lunches if I was available.  I ordered responsibly.  (We always paid for our own order as opposed to just dividing the bill evenly.)  Our collections for the other various events were just a "pass the envelope" thing.  I still usually put in money, but it wasn't usually very much, unless I was close to the person.  And if I had almost no idea who it was?  No contribution.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2018, 12:02:01 PM »
Where TheHusbandHalf works, they don't do such things.

Here at home, if a quilt can somehow fit the occasion, I make a quilt.

AMandM

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 03:23:01 PM »
Books. Bought on clearance or discount, usually.

I give children's books for baby showers and kids' birthday parties--ones I know and love, age-appropriate, especially ones the recipient might be not familiar with.

I give cookbooks and/or books on home and family life as wedding presents. (But all the weddings I've been invited to were of people I knew well enough to be sure they would like them.)

If it's a work obligation, I second the notion of homemade consumables--don't burden a near-stranger with an object.

BigHaus89

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2018, 11:51:33 AM »
We tend to make something that is very cheap for us. For instance, baking someone a loaf of bread (~$1), homemade chapstick, or plant starts from our garden have been very appreciated by the recipients.

ABC123

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2018, 12:13:23 PM »
For kids birthdays - I buy things when I find a good clearance price, then stick it in the closet till an invitation comes in.

For a baby shower, a box of Pampers in size 1 or 2 is always welcome, a few packs of wipes, or something off the registry.

For wedding showers I just get something off the registry since I don't usually know what they already have.  For the wedding itself I just do a check.

AZDude

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 12:55:44 PM »
Learn the art of re-gifting for those office parties, send-off parties, etc... For kids birthdays, I usually buy something inexpensive. Kids generally like the attention and the thought(wow, another gift to open! Look at me, I'm popular!) more than the actual gifts.

And the biggest thing... know that it is totally OK to go to an adult's party without bringing a gift. If nothing else, bring food. As an adult, I would perfectly happy with a friend bringing me something delicious over an amazon gift card or something else that screams "I don't know you and put zero effort into this gift".

Hula Hoop

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2018, 01:02:16 PM »
Where we live for kids birthdays people usually go in together and spend about 5-6 euros per person.  For example, last weekend was a birthday party so we bought a book for the kid for Euro 12 and went halves with another kid who was attending the party.

Mezzie

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2018, 06:57:19 PM »
I budget for gifts. I don't have children, and my husband and I eloped, so I figure I'm STILL saving money despite the number of gifts I've given. I'm horrendously uncreative when it comes to gifts, but new couples, parents, and graduates can always use money, so that's what I usually give. For birthdays, I like to give experiences (a show, a meal, a trip...).


Nudelkopf

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Re: What you do on birthday parties, baby shower and other parties?
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2018, 09:53:50 PM »
Books. Bought on clearance or discount, usually.

I give children's books for baby showers and kids' birthday parties--ones I know and love, age-appropriate, especially ones the recipient might be not familiar with.
This is an excellent idea! I've been invited to a baby shower in a few weeks. I'm not super close to the mother, but she often hosts parties, afternoon teas, potlucks etc, and I don't want to sour that social circle.