A successful few days' saving, thanks to some great ideas from the Savings Vault! With two mothers to buy for, Mother's Day can usually sting us for $100 or more, but I was determined to be creative this time! I already knew they both wanted gardening vouchers, but how much do you spend? Don't get me wrong, vouchers are a great idea, but when you're on a budget they can prove a bit of a dilemma. You don't know how much to give, and you don't want the recipient to think you're stingy, so you end up spending more than you really want, just so they get a present that you feel is 'good enough', have you ever found that? So, I looked in the Vault and found a great recipe for bath salts. I already had everything I needed in the house and they were easy and fun to make. I raided the bathroom cupboard and found two pretty, empty glass containers to store them in. I still bought them their garden vouchers, but I was able to spend half the usual amount while feeling happy that they would also like my bath salt making efforts. I was right! Not being the most creative person ever, I had never made them anything before, and they were amazed that I had gone to so much trouble to make them something nice. The kids helped make their Mother's Day cards, another thing we had never done before, and we could see that they appreciated our personalised ones far more than any we had ever bought.
I also had a new baby gift to buy for a friends' newborn daughter. It's her second little girl, and as she cheerfully says, she already has everything she needs. Still, I wanted to get her something special and had seen the perfect gift in our local store. Apart from the brilliant caf mentioned earlier, our tiny town also has a really lovely gift shop. You know the kind; it has really neat and different stuff that you just can't get anywhere else for miles around? I try not to go in there, but as one of my dearest friends is the owner of the shop, it can be somewhat difficult! As I look around our house, it seems that half its contents came from her store. I knew if I went in there, I would end up buying that perfect gift for $50, spend half the afternoon talking, and may well get introduced to all kinds of other stuff as well that I'll just bring home, wonder where on earth to put it and spend the rest of its' shelf life frowning at it because I didn't really want it in the first place. I did a gift search through the Savings Vault and found the perfect solution that is economical, different but still special. I went to the garden centre and bought a Jade tree (also known as a money tree) and a matching pot, which the lady there dressed up with a ribbon. Jade trees are symbolic for bringing good fortune and happiness, which I thought was a lovely thing to wish a new baby. Her parents are avid gardeners who were also delighted with their baby's special tree, and I was far happier with my $26 present that will last for years to come than my $50 shop option which wouldn't have stayed around beyond her first year. So instead of spending $150 on three gifts, I spent a total of $86!