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Gift Giving Made Simple at the Supermarket

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by Sandy Marwick (subscribe)
A mum of three, engineer, scientist, educator, and all around dabbler, I'm far better at finding interesting things to do than I am at doing housework.
Published October 27th 2012
Solve your gift dilemmas at the supermarket
Gift giving should be a pleasure. Finding the perfect item for the recipient and then watching them open it with joy. But all too often, particularly at Christmas, gift shopping becomes a chore. There's always someone on the list who is difficult to buy for, whether it's old Aunt Mavis who already has everything, or Bill from finance for the office Kris Kringle. However, there is a solution, and surprisingly it comes from the supermarket!

If your local supermarket is anything like mine, at the end of one aisle, prominently displayed, is a stand of gift vouchers for a variety of venues. And while they are indeed convenient, we all know that gift cards are usually boring to both give and receive. This article will show you how to use these oh so convenient cards as the basis of a present that will be a pleasure to receive, and to give.
A boring gift??
A boring gift??

The first step, as with any gift giving, is to think about your budget. How much are you going to spend? Now choose a gift card for LESS than that amount. We're going to use the rest of the budget to make that gift card more interesting by adding a variety of small related items to assemble into a pack or hamper. Confused? Don't be! Let's look at some examples.

We'll start with that perennial favourite the DVD store voucher. By itself it's fairly dull. But without leaving the supermarket we're going to make that voucher the heart of a "Movie night in" pack. So put the gift card in your trolley and move on to the dessert aisle. Choc tops are a movie must have, so add some ice-cream cones and ice magic topping to the trolley. If you like, you can add a small supermarket voucher for some ice-cream as well. Now off to the snack aisle for some microwave popcorn, chips, or jaffas! Don't spend your whole budget here though, as the last thing you need is something to package all your goodies in. A gift box or bag in a suitable size is the thing you can buy one in the supermarket gift aisle, or pop into the nearest discount store for a larger selection. Now arrange all your goodies in the box or bag, add a label with instructions if you like, and you have a gift that's fun to unwrap, and a treat to use.

Your recipient isn't into movies? More of an outdoor sort? OK, head to the gardening aisle (or the garden centre) and put together some garden goodies. A pair of gardening gloves, a couple of packets of seed, a ball of twine, some plant labels, and a big plant pot to package it all in. Add a voucher for the local garden centre to buy some plants and you have a garden lover's pack ready to go!

And the kids, or the young at heart? Well, for this one we're going to start with a voucher for the supermarket! Just a small one, enough to buy a couple of tubs of ice-cream. Now head over to the kitchenware aisle and pick up some dessert bowls, or sundae glasses. This time, we're making a super sundae pack, so it's time to go wild choosing a selection of toppings to suit your recipient. Liquor chocolate sauce for the grownups, or jiggly jelly and bubblegum flavour for the kids? Don't forget the sprinkles, nuts, choc-chips and other bit and pieces to make a sundae special. A novelty ice-cream scoop can be fun too. Now package it all up in a box or basket. Don't forget to label the gift card "For ice-cream", or include an instruction sheet.
Super sundae instructions
Don't forget the Super Sundae Instructions
Now listen to the squeals of joy as they dig through the selection and plan their best sundae ever!
One super sundae gift pack
One Super Sundae Gift Pack!

But what about Bill from finance? All we know about him is that he likes a cup of coffee and complains about the awful snacks in the vending machine. What about a coffee lovers snack pack? A gift card for the local coffee shop, packaged with a couple of packets of nice biscuits in a small biscuit barrel. He'll be thrilled (and you won't need to listen to those complaints about the vending machine anymore!)

So why not get your gift shopping done while you're buying your groceries? You're only limited by your imagination!
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Why? To buy gifts for difficult recipients
Where: Supermarkets everywhere
Your Comment
Great article; so funny and whimsical and lovely. May I add the brekky lover's bag or basket? Jar of good English Marmalade; English muffins; good ground coffee or good tea (like Twinings); then we have the gourmet's bag or basket: jar of brandied fruit, jars of antipasto like sundried tomatoes, olives, stuffed peppers, cheeses etc... and with the addition or not, of the abovementioned store cards, Voila! You have everyone catered for and everyone will appreciate the work and sentiment you've put into their gift. Love the movie lover's pack!!!!
by curiouser&curiouser (score: 2|526) 1966 days ago
What a great idea!
by beth.2 (score: 0|2) 1972 days ago
This was a great article, I've never thought of doing this!
by danni (score: 1|96) 1971 days ago
That's my Xmas pressies nearly sorted! Great idea!
by cathe (score: 1|14) 1971 days ago
Luv it
by jlopr (score: 0|2) 1966 days ago
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