Budget Hack: Grocery Store Gifts!

Find out how Christa Clips saved 64% on these candles and turns them into hostess gifts to be proud of.

Find out how Christa Clips saved 64% on these candles and turns them into hostess gifts to be proud of.

I love scented candles and like to keep some on hand for when an inexpensive “giftie” is in order. The ones at home decor stores are always so inviting with their pretty packaging and price tags which show how much we would have paid full price in a designer shop. One of my favourite budget hacks is finding a grocery store alternative to gift giving and today I came home with 6 of these Air Wick scented candles to use as upcoming hostess gifts. The sale price is in effect until Thursday, October 23, 2013 at the Loblaws family of stores if you’re interested in scooping some up, as well!

  • Regular price $9.99
  • Sale price $6.99
  • I paid just $3.66 each after coupons
Stretching the savings on these coupons which require a minimum threshold take a little bit of calculating and an understanding of coupon lingo.  Both are easy peasy!

Stretching the savings on these coupons which require a minimum threshold take a little bit of calculating and an understanding of coupon lingo. Both are easy peasy!

Not a couponer? No problem! These tear pad coupons were right there on the display: no coupon binder or advance planning required. The key to this budget hack was making the most of the coupon. Those who are familiar with coupon fine print do have an edge up when figuring out how many coupons can be used together, so if you’re confused about what “one per purchase” or “cannot be combined with other offers” means, check out the guide that I wrote for Canadian Coupons Coupon Fine Print 101: Understanding the Restrictions.

The coupon I found and redeemed is for $5 OFF when you spend $10 or more on Air Wick products. Stretching my savings to the max took a simple calculation to find the “sweet spot” – it turns out that purchasing these candles in multiples of 3 makes them the cheapest and maximizes the coupon value. Here’s an example of what I mean by finding the “sweet spot”:

Buy 1 candle on sale for $6.99, not eligible to use the coupon because total is less than $10
Buying 2 candles works out to $4.49 each ($6.99×2=$13.98 less 1x$5 coupon = $8.98 total)
Buying 3 candles works out to $3.66 each ($6.99×3=$20.97 less 2x$5 coupons = $10.97 total)
Buying 4 candles works out to $4.49 each ($6.99×4=$27.96 less 2x$5 coupons = $17.96 total)
Buying 5 candles works out to $3.99 each ($6.99×5=$34.95 less 3x$5 coupons = $19.95 total)
Buying 6 candles works out to $3.66 each ($6.99×6=$41.94 less 4x$5 coupons = $21.94 total) and so the pattern continues

The price is right, but I would NEVER give a gift from a grocery store!

Some of you may be thinking that you’d never dream of giving a gift that clearly came from a grocery store, no matter HOW much you paid for it. For me, the whole point of a budget hack is getting high quality products for a fraction of the cost by pitching in just a little bit of time + effort. Here’s how I turn these $3.66 candles into hostess gifts to be proud of …

With just a few quick steps, you can turn a grocery store candle into a charming and budget friendly hostess gift.

With just a few quick steps, you can turn a grocery store candle into a charming and budget friendly hostess gift.

Start by getting rid of any incriminating evidence! Remove packaging, stickers, logos, etc. and don’t leave any goop! Goo Gone is my weapon of choice. For candles, in particular, watch out for brands with labels which are etched or painted onto the glass – they are sometimes impossible to remove!

Shine anything that is glass or plastic. A quick wipe with Windex or vinegar makes a world of difference and bumps the gift up from grocery cart to designer shelf quality immediately.

Wrap with flare! A little cellophane, tulle or tissue paper et voila! Dollarama also sells lovely little mesh bags, funky Chinese take-out containers, and every manner of scarves which make creative wrapping as well. If you’re near a Michaels store, be sure to stop in for similar gift wrapping items and use your 40% or 50% OFF coupons (print or mobile). I NEVER pass a Michaels without popping in for one item; you can usually only use one coupon per visit.

Add a card. A handwritten note demonstrates that your “giftie” was thoughtfully chosen and reinforces your gratefulness for whatever it is you’re thanking someone for. Again, Dollarama and Michaels have very inexpensive options. I particularly like these small ones that were in the $.50 bargain bin at Michaels. There are 8 in each pack!

Trim the wick to 1/4" to keep the rim free from soot. GooGone is great for removing stickers & labels.

Trim the wick to 1/4″ to keep the rim free from soot. GooGone is great for removing stickers & labels.

Keeping a small supply of “gifties” on hand means I’m never caught without something to give to the hostess, and more importantly from a budget point of view, I’m never caught slipping into a boutique or home decor store and paying full price when I’m in a pinch!

Throw in your 2 Cents below! What are your favourite budget hacks when it comes to gift giving? (It’s ok – we won’t tell your friends & family what they’re getting for their next gift!)

About christaclips

Christa is a Save-at-Home-Mom who writes about money saving tips with hopes of inspiring other families who might want to keep one parent at home but aren't sure they can swing it financially. Christa left her career as a teacher trainer when it started costing her $47,000/yr to work outside the home and now works from home as a social media consultant and freelance writer. She shares her full story and money saving tips here on her blog and as co-host of the weekly #cdnmoney twitter chat on Tuesdays from 7-8pm ET. Wife, and mother of 2, Christa lives in Rockland, Ontario and loves skating & nordic skiing on the Ottawa River.

Posted on October 20, 2013, in Budget Hacks, Couponing, Savvy Shopping and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on The Happy Idiot and commented:
    Turning a grocery store item into a great gift? It’s possible! Check it out.

Throw in your two cents! (I still pick up pennies)

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