I had a reader write in to ask for ideas on how to score inexpensive baskets to use for gift giving. (And if it was you that wrote it I misplaced the email! So sorry for not getting back to you!)
I have two ideas that have worked for me.
First, you can often find baskets at dollar stores and yard sales for next to nothing.
I also check out store closing sales. I went to a very fancy boutique that was closing last year and they had tables and tables of high quality baskets for .50 each! All sizes! I normally wouldn’t have gone into that particular store but I popped in and voila! Stores that are closing are not just selling their merchandise but often all the other fixtures in the store. These baskets were used for display of her products.
Holiday clearance- as I mentioned previously I shop year round for the holidays. Post Easter and Halloween sales are the perfect time to score baskets for very little. Easter in particular if you look around at stores like Walmart- you can find gorgeous beaded baskets for little girls, or lined baskets for adults. For Halloween, if you hunt around you can find items that are not holiday specific. For example, I saw these little Elmo baskets that were meant for trick or treating at my store:
Post Halloween sales tend to hit 75% off very quickly- so this little basket would make an adorable kids gift and is something that can be used again. (And we actually have this basket which I purchased after Easter at Target).
You can also look for coupons for craft stores- Michael’s frequently offers 50% off coupons and many other craft stores will accept competitor coupons.
Check discounters such as Ross, Home Decorators or TJ Maxx for great prices on fancy baskets.
Think outside the box (or basket!)
I have found non-baskets make perfect gift baskets! For example a colander found on clearance can be used to put together a fun assortment of spices and gourmet foods, cookbooks, etc.. for a home cook.
Every year retailers like Target have big sections of products for college students. Those tend to go on clearance quickly as well. Check out those aisles for interesting and functional storage cubbies. Little tubs can be used for a variety of gifts for adults and children.
I just saw a gorgeous cannister that looked similiar to this on clearance at CVS for $3.99.
Now if you bake biscotti or cookies (or buy them, I won’t tell) and add the gourmet coffee or teas HERE for just $3. This would be a really nice gift for less than $10. In my opinion, something like this is the perfect teacher gift, co-worker gift, item for neighbors etc.. You can often score something similar to this at discounters like TJ Maxx or Ross. No one will suspect you spent so little!
Finally, I see little cosmetic bags on clearance all the time. Something like that would be a great way to present an assortment of beauty products to a friend or a teenager. When Bath and Body Works had a 90% off sale a few months ago they had really nice bags for less than $1.
So those are my ideas for putting together baskets on the cheap. If anyone else has great suggestions I’d love to hear from you!
PS: Old Navy will have holiday stockings on sale for $2 after Thanksgiving. That would be a wonderful way to present a gift to just about anyone!