Gift Ideas That Save On Shipping

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Tips and Ideas that will Save on Shipping

Shipping shouldn’t have to cost more than the gift you are sending. Don’t you agree? Over the past few years though, it seems to be edging closer and closer. So many of us have family scattered across the country, and even across the ocean. It’s frustrating when the expense of it becomes an issue. So this year and last, I’ve gone on a hunt for gifts that save on shipping yet still are special to the person receiving it.

Gift cards are probably the number one solution, and the most popular one at that. I admit, an Amazon gift card always tops my Wish List since it provides hours of shopping pleasure and can last for several months when I save it for books. Plus you can find a gift card for every taste, whether home improvement, specialty food stores, clothing, toys, restaurants, virtually everything. But many people still prefer to send an actual present.

Look for Free Shipping

The second suggestion is probably obvious to most who are reading this. That is to take advantage of Amazon’s free shipping. You can select gifts for multiple members of a family, allow Amazon the pleasure of boxing them up. As long as you reach the  minimum price they ship them for free. It’s hard to beat that option.

You can top that if you have Amazon Prime. If you subscribe to that, the majority of the items you purchase will ship free, with no minimum, and with only two day delivery. It amazes me how quickly some items arrive. Add to that, your Prime subscription includes free video streaming with a huge variety of movies and TV series, Kindle rental books, etc.  You can easily get your money’s worth.

Lots of other companies offer free shipping, this time of year especially. Some stores like Nordstrom and Zappo’s offer free return shipping too, which is an added and important bonus. I’ve suggested to my far-away family that they ship directly to me, that I will do the wrapping, and have asked them to do the same. That saves any duplicate shipping cost. Some stores will offer free gift boxing and/or wrapping too, if they know it is a gift. And don’t forget to check sites like Retail Me Not for coupons for discounts and/or free shipping.
Those obvious ideas out of the way, here are some other suggestions I’ve used to make Christmas delivery easier on me and my wallet.

HGTV for the Decorator and Home Owner

Most of us have seen and gotten hooked on one or more of the shows on HGTV. This would be a great gift for anyone who enjoys home projects. Great ideas and months of fun browsing through page after page!

The Classic Smithsonian

A classic that would be well received by anyone. Beautiful photographs, historical articles, in an elegance that appeals to anyone.  It is really a fine magazine.

Magazine Subscriptions

For any age and interest – Give a gift that will keep giving all year long.

I love the idea that every month (every other month for some), this gift will arrive anew. For children, it’s such a fun activity to do along side them. There are articles, games, craft ideas. There are a ton of options for children, such as Highlights,  Ranger Rick, National Geographic, and more. Educational and fun at the same time.

If you have someone with a favorite hobby or interest, you can find most anything. For someone interested in making their own beer, there are several beer magazines (who knew?). For wine or cooking enthusiasts, there are many choices. Fishing? Hunting? Running? Hiking? Shopping? There are specialty magazines. Consumer Reports is always a great choice. Science, mechanics, hobbyists, there is really something for everyone.

And of course, shipping is handled. Buy a copy of the magazine, wrap and send it, so the person has one to unwrap. If not, the magazine company usually has a card announcing the subscription that you can send to them.

National Geographic for Kids

Wonderful magazine that has been around so long. Great start for kids to develop their curiosity.  They will learn about all sorts of animals, mammals, and people!  Tons of fun with wonderful photos as well.  Other choices include Ranger Rick, Highlights, and more.

Beer Drinker’s Will Love This One

This was a surprise to me and will be a surprise to the man who is receiving it. With Breweries and Home brewing a continuing trend, it’s a great choice for the connoisseur.  There are magazines for nearly all hobbies actually.  Wine, crafts, sporting…

Scarves and Gloves

Lightweight, toasty, useful, and they fit into an envelope.

My next choices for easy shipping are lightweight cashmere scarves and one of the newer innovations, the tech glove. Each of these items will be very lightweight. Plus you can easily mail them in a simple padded envelope. Get one for each family member and they will probably still fit in one of the postal flat rate envelopes even!

The scarves are available in so many colors, and always feel good inside or out. They provide lightweight warmth for any temperature too.

Another Gift Perfect for Any Age

My favorite choices for toastiness, though it’s so attractive for any season. The super soft feel of cashmere is a hit with everyone. Available is several colors, and shipping weight is only 4 oz.

Gloves for Men

The gloves are such a good idea. I’m not sure who thought of making the forefingers technology friendly, but what a hit they are. Who wants to take off a glove to make a call or text. These work great! I absolutely love the pair I received last Christmas. You can never have too many scarves or pairs of gloves.

And Women

Often I will add a gift card appropriate for the age, especially cute stuffed inside a glove! Amazon, iTunes, Best Buy, so many options for a little extra something in their package.

The Gift that Gives Hours of Enjoyment

Local or Online, these are sure to please.

A little research on your part can give a gift that will surprise and delight. Depending on where your “giftee” lives, there might be lots of places that will deliver for you. You can do a yellow pages search of their area to find local ideas for gifts. Or check out the city’s website. Chances are it will have lots of places you may never have considered for outings, adventures and unique dining experiences.

  1. Find a local restaurant in their area. Many deliver or have delivery services. Order a special dinner to be delivered on a particular night. It’s a fun and welcome surprise. Fine dining or pizza, there will be something that appeals.
  2. Contact a local florist or nursery. They have wonderful plants available. You could order a bare root rose bush, or even better, a fruit tree that can be delivered. Miniatures are available for apartment dwellers even. Imagine a cute lemon tree growing on their patio! A gift that lasts year after year!
  3. Contact a local pet store. Ours delivers! Treats, dog beds, cat scratching towers, you name it. I bet they would even put a bow on it.
  4. An audiobook or Audible gift membership would be another of my top choices.  With Audible you can send a book to them directly, or give them a 3 book membership. If they don’t want to continue it, no problem. In the meantime they can enjoy 3 books in nearly every genre. Again, whatever the age, they offer something for everyone.
  5. Tickets…to a movie, a play, a symphony, an opera? In some areas you can even buy season tickets to local playhouses.
  6. If they have a Kindle or a tablet, send them a book or two. The latest best seller, a new biography, something for their favorite hobby.
  7. Is there a museum or theme park nearby? Tickets for a family visit may spark a new interest.

Easy to Ship Toys

Air required upon arrival.

Do you remember playing with an inflatable toy? We had a clown version that we batted around over and over. My sister and I would hit it back and forth, or sometimes practice our nonexistent boxing skills solo. It was so much fun. And now they have all sizes and versions. Some of toy size, like the zoo animals, some are perfect for boxing. You can even get a bowling game.

How great to have toys available for kids that can be used inside. With chilly or wet winter days ahead, these can offer plenty of entertainment and even some exercise without breaking any glass or heads! I can just hear my little great-nieces giggling over the crocodile! There isn’t much better sound than a child’s laughter.

Shipping weight is very light on many of these, some under one pound, though more are around 3 pounds. There are so many choices available.

Melissa and Doug’s cardboard blocks are another lightweight choice! Stacks of boxes can be used for towers or arranged in a fort. All you need is imagination.

There are lots of other options too, like play tents and tunnels, nerf balls or bouncing beach balls–again lightweight enough to use indoors as well as outdoors.

Ah…Inflatables and more! – Always fun for kids

One of the latest and most popular inflatables, the Hopping horse. Gymnic makes several versions and colors. Kids love them!

Bop Bags, Popular Across Generations

I still remember our inflatable blow up toy. We had such a good time ‘boxing’ with it.  Whether playing solo, or with friend or family, these lightweight inflatables are so much fun.

A Small Item Theme

It is often true that good things come in small packages.

Sometimes when we shop for out-of-towners, we like to have a theme. A magazine subscription for each, a craft, whatever it is, it’s fun to come up with something along a similar line, then find the one that most suits each.

Perhaps one of the most popular gifts to receive is the gift of jewelry. One of my favorite watches was a fashion watch I received a few years back. It’s wide and clunky and unusual, which makes it extra fun.  Check out a variety here.

The recent Pandora bracelets, also made in similar styles by other companies, is another that offers so many options. I can spend a lot of time deciding just which charm is the right one. You can even get military emblems like the Marine insignia. And of course, there is a Starbucks charm.

At many of our local fairs and weekend markets there have been beautiful, unique, custom made jewelry that is hard to resist. There are many different styles available for adults and children that it makes an excellent and versatile gift theme.

Wrap them cutely, pack them securely, and you can mail a whole batch in a padded envelope or small flat rate box. They may not take up much room, but will bring big smiles when opened.

Jewelry that will Brighten Any Eye

And they don’t have to break the budget. I never could resist anything with paw prints on it! This will look so cute!

The Pandora Sterling Bracelet

Isn’t the Pandora style bracelet a great idea? I love how the charms are small, not so dangly as the old fashioned charm bracelets. Course you can get some dangles too if you like.

Little Ideas for Beloved Gifts

  1. Costume jewelry. There are some beautiful sets available at most craft fairs and farmers markets, often with necklace, earrings, bracelets to match. Make a statement.
  2. An ID bracelet for the young man in the family
  3. A tie pin or cuff links for men. They are coming back in style!
  4. A vintage pin for your teen daughter to wear. Or pick one that is cute with an animal or hobby reflected.
  5. Pierced ears on anyone in the family? Earrings are always fun with variety welcome.
  6. Start a Pandora charm bracelet, or any other kind, and pick out a charm or two. There are so many beautiful choices, like the paw print below. It also offers the opportunity to add to it on different occasions.
  7. A new watch is something we can all use. It can be a sports watch, a cute watch, a character watch, a dressy watch. We all like to wear a different style at times.

Whatever jewelry choice, nearly all are small for easy shipping.  I hope this gives you plenty of ideas to choose from for gifting this year.  Whatever the occasion, it’s nice to save on shipping costs when we can.   Have fun shopping!


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry

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