This weekend I am going to a bridal shower for an old friend. My sister and mother are also going. This shower is going to be a classy event - full, plated luncheon at a very nice restaurant and there will probably be about 100 people there.
The bride and her parents are the kind of people who know everybody. And the people they know have money. So, when I check out the registries, there were a lot of very nice, very expensive gifts chosen, such as Waterford dishes at $120 per place setting and Lenox stemware for $30 a glass. A little bit out of my budget price range.
I was planning on spending $50 for the gift. My mom and sister had about the same budget, so we decided to pool our money and buy a gift together. We wanted to get a few smaller items so it looked a little better than buying 1 place setting between the 3 of us. I know, it even sounds silly to type that out - buying any gift should be OK. But I was concerned with looking cheap. So we worked to stretch our dollars.
Before we went to the store, I looked at the registry and picked out a group of things in our price range. The bride was registered at two stores, and both registries were pretty picked over. Then we went to the mall, prepared to buy our gifts. Except they weren't there. Everything in our price range at store #1 was on back order, with no chance of becoming available for 3 months. So we went to plan B and walked across the mall to store #2.
Store #2 wasn't much better. We did manage to find a few items that kind of went together, in that they were all kitcheny. They had to be ordered and the store charged for shipping. By that point, we were so frustrated that we just agreed with it. But I had a secret plan.
I knew that store #2 frequently sent out coupons in the mail. I waited until I received a coupon, then returned to the store with my receipt. The adjustment was $23. Twenty three dollars just for going back with a coupon!!
Using this money, I was able to buy a card, wrapping paper, a Christmas ornament and a cookbook (50% off) to go with the original gifts. The grand total was $127, well under our budget of $150, and we bought a lot of presents. I am very excited to be able to walk into that shower knowing that we bought gifts the bride wanted AND in our price range. I know there will be people there who spent a lot of money on their gifts, but I am very happy with ours.