10 Things to Do with Unwanted Gifts – Whether it’s from Christmas, your birthday or any other occasion here’s what you can do with gifts you don’t want.
This is a guest post from Jo & Leisa who blog at Joleisa.com.
For more resources on saving money, check out these other posts:
- 11 Expenses to Stop Spending Money On
- How to Make Saving Money Easy
- Best Money Saving Apps You Need
- 10 Crazy Money Saving Amazon Hacks
- Money Saving Websites That Thrifty People Love
- 10 Money Saving Challenges to Start Today!
- 8 Ways to Stop Spending Money You Don’t Have
My Grandmother had the best response whenever she received a Christmas gift that she didn’t like. She would look at it, widen her eyes for the excited look, hold it close to her chest, smile sweetly, and then say “Thanks so much, I am really going to use this”, or she would say, “How did you know I wanted this?”
But come birthday time for one of us, we would get one of the exact same items that she swore she would put to good use! Well, she wasn’t lying, or was she?
Whether or not you have aced how to respond to unwanted gift items, I am going to share with you ten ideas for how to put those gifts to good use so that you are thoughtful, frugal, and kind to the environment. You will be able to save or even make some money with some of these ideas too.
Before I go into sharing the tips, please note that in lots of countries, you are well within your rights to return any unwanted items to the store where they were purchased.
You might not be given cash back, but you may be able to exchange the item for something else of similar value or you might even get a credit note allowing you to spend it on something else in the store. Depending on the circumstances, you may ask the giver if they managed to save the receipt.
Here are some of the things to do with unwanted gifts.
Donate to a Foodbank
If the gifts you would like to get rid of are food items, you should be able to donate them to your local food bank. Items that spring to mind are cookies, biscuits, preserves, cookies or cakes in a jar and chocolate. Don’t forget to check the dates to make sure that it will be okay for someone else to use.
Donate to a charity
This is such a noble and unselfish thing to do. Have you noticed that a lot of lovely gifts seem to end up in second-hand charity shops? It is because the receiver didn’t want it but is thoughtful enough to ensure it goes to someone who needs it and that the charity gets some money to support their cause/s.
Help out your child’s school
If you always get requests from your child’s school to donate items for raffles etc at the school fair, then you have the perfect place for those socks and other unwanted items. The school will be ever so grateful for the support.
Do what my grandma does and make sure that no unwanted gift goes to waste. Just make sure to have a good system so you keep a tab on who you got each gift from so you don’t make the unfortunate and embarrassing mistake of regifting to the same person! That almost happened to me until I sorted my system out!
Depending on what the item is, you can find a million and one ways that it can be recycled. Pinterest is buzzing with millions of creative ideas that you can use. For example, I don’t drink alcohol, but I am given at least one alcoholic gift each year. This year I got crafty by doing a ‘bottle craft’ search on Pinterest. It became a money-making hobby of mine and I now create beautiful pieces which I use for decoration or even for wedding centerpieces and floral designs.
Rent it out!
Have you ever heard of Fat Lama? It’s a site that is making leaps and bounds both in the US and the UK. It allows you to borrow stuff you need and lend stuff you don’t. I personally think it is a clever idea. Check it out, create your account, and get renting out the stuff you don’t need and make some money while you’re at it. So, if you got a few gadgets that you don’t need, you could make money from it several times over.
There are several Facebook groups in your area that allow you to swap or sell items that you don’t need. A quick FB search for things such as ‘items for sale’ in Facebook, will bring up a host of groups that allow members to sell things. You do have to arrange to pick up/delivery of items, but there are no fees and the cash you make is all yours.
This is an app that you can use to also sell your unwanted items. I have made a small fortune selling items such as pet carriers, bikes, games, clothes, and even an X Box! All you really need to do is to download the app, create an account, take pictures of the items you are selling, and post them. Be careful and always arrange a public place for you to meet with the buyer who will hand over the cash and you hand over the item. The app is free to use.
This is one fun way to get rid of some of the items you don’t want by making a party of it. It doesn’t have to be a large-scale event either. Just put some snacks and drinks together, invite a few friends to come over with their unwanted gifts, set a date in the new year, and you can then barter the items as you all make a big joke of it all.
This is a great way to share unwanted books. I first learned about BookCrossing from my friend in Holland. BookCrossing, according to their website, is the act of releasing your books for strangers to find. It is fun because it allows you to track where in the world your book goes via journal entries. This is so much better for the environment than binning or burning them.
So as the gift-giving season approaches, take stock of what you’ve got and what you don’t need and find an eco-friendly way of getting rid of them.
About the Authors
Jo and Leisa are authors of the book Living Life While Squeezing Lemons. They are teachers and bloggers who live in the UK. The Christian ladies life and expound a frugal lifestyle which sees them live a good quality life without spending a lot, The ladies have two teenagers who they hope will follow in their footsteps one day. They blog together at Joleisa.com