Last Minute Gift Ideas: How to Stock Up

last minute gift ideas

You wake up only to remember that it is Teacher Appreciation Day, Boss’s Day, or you need a “just because” gift.


Panic mode begins to set in because time is limited.

You think, it would be so much easier to just have those small presents on hand.

I have found that it is, and easier than you’d think!

I started stocking up on gifts a few years ago and it has made those frantic feelings disappear. And I have also increased my “just because” gift giving.

Here are some tips on creating a stockpile of gifts to set yourself up for success!

How to Stock Up On Last Minute Gift Ideas

Check the clearance section.

During your weekly trips to the store, make a run through the clearance section. I have found so many unique gift options: wine glasses, coffee mugs, notebooks, reusable drink cups, hand towels, and more.

Reuse it!

Recycle any type of cute packaging that has been gifted to you. I reuse burlap bags, small satchels, and even brown paper lunch bags!

Start a card collection.

Buy a stack of blank cards to keep on hand. You can use these cards for all occasions, customizing the message, whether it’s for a birthday, thank you, or just because. For added cuteness, keep some cute stickers on hand to add to each one and customize!

Stock up on sale items.

During an annual sale on your favorite items, stock up — giving one to yourself and using the others for gifts.

Organize a gift area.

Have a designated tote or drawer to store your gifting items, so you know exactly where to go when you need to find a present.

You could even have a specific “Christmas bin” or “birthday bin” filled with discounted or sale items that you know will make great gifts for others!

Give baked goods.

Plan a day or weekend where you bake. I love using my mini loaf pans or mini cupcake pans with the intent to gift these goodies. I do this as a “just because” gesture to brighten someone’s day. 

Buy Coffee Gift Cards in Bulk

If you have coffee lovers in your life, having a stack of $5 or $10 gift cards to local coffee shops is an easy thing to mail for any occasion – thank you, birthday, congratulations, or just because. 

Now, start scanning those clearance aisles and building your gift collection — your future self will thank you!

And for more last minute gift ideas, see 15 Lovely (and Affordable) Little Gifts to Have On Hand.

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Trudy lives with her husband, Derek, and their three children; Oakley (2006), Jayla (2008) and Tenlee (2012), along with their golden retriever, Jax. She was born and raised in North Dakota, where small-town fun involved kick the can and playing sports. Whether watching her kids and nephews playing sports or watching on it on TV, she accredits her love of sports to her childhood. Her professional career has been providing occupational therapy services to children in the school setting, psychiatric inpatient setting and in an outpatient clinic setting. She loved building relationships with the children and families, celebrating goals and milestones. Recently Trudy had a career change where she is now the Child & Youth Program Coordinator for the North Dakota National Guard soldiers. Being a military family, this career change was close to home. If you are looking for Trudy, you will find her at a sporting event, social get together, playing league volleyball, or at the lake with her family. You will not find her ice skating, rollerblading, spending hours in the kitchen or swimming in the ocean!


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