Here's how to save money on those last-minute gifts

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If you have ever had to run out to buy a last-minute gift... you may be spending more money than you have to.

Fortunately, there is one simple way to help you save on presents all year long: a gift closet.

From teacher appreciation gifts, to presents for a party... we've all rushed out last minute to grab something to give.

But the couponing site, Southern Savers, says creating a gift closet will stop that and start saving you money.

Here's how it works:

Think about the occasions in which you typically need gifts.

Then stock up during sales or a clearance.

For instance: thank you presents for teachers.

If there's a deal on gift cards, coffee or other small items, think about buying them and setting them aside for the end of the year.

Do the same for birthday parties.

When you find a toy on sale, and think it could make a great present, go ahead and get it.

Southern Savers says January is a great time to find deals on toys.

You can also stock up on gifts for graduation, housewarming, baby showers, and presents for your own children.

Another good resource to check out is garage sales or thrift stores.

You can often find a variety of "new with tags" items for sale.

Finally, while some may be against the idea of re-gifting... but Southern Savers says it can help save money too.

If you get a gift that's not your taste, put a sticky note on it with the name of the person who gave it to you, so you won't forget.

And never re-gift in the same circle of friends of family, or you might wind up hurting someone's feelings.
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