I've mentioned that my biggest concern about joining The Compact has been what to do about gifts. I want to practice a generous form of frugality, rather than a miserly one. In short, I don't want to be cheap.
My husband is incredibly easy to buy for, in the sense that he never expects anything and is happy with almost anything he gets. The one exception to this is the time I spent weeks researching and what was for me a lot of money ($500) to buy him a piano. But that's another story...
This birthday we had a delicious lunch at a nice Italian restaurant using a gift card I'd gotten for donating to our public radio station. It felt really decadent (in a good way) eating pasta and drinking wine in the middle of the day. Later we went with some friends to have martinis and listen to live music at our favorite 50's era Italian restaurant down the street. So I guess the theme of the day was la dolce vita. My husband does love his pizza and pasta. Luckily, my pledge to buy nothing new hasn't kept us from enjoying wine or eating out or listening to music.
I also baked him a vanilla double layer cake, and for the first time I managed to frost it without the crumbs haunting me every time I spread the spatula across the cake. Crumbs peeking through, mocking my efforts. I wish I knew what was different about my method this time, but I have no idea.
Now for the Compact-y part of the celebration, the gift rundown:
*One giant Reese's heart, saved from Valentine's Day. Cost: $2.99
*3 used DVDs (2 still in plastic wrap): Raising Arizona, American Beauty, and Rififi (a 50s French noir caper). Cost: free (a good friend was selling his entire library and wouldn't take any payment for the few I picked out).
*2 Hawaiian shirts from Goodwill. Cost: $8.98
If my math is correct, I think that's a total cost of $11.97. Not bad.
So far, I haven't had any problems buying gifts for friends and relatives. I think it will be harder to buy a wedding gift or a baby shower present. What do you think about trying to stick with a Buy-Nothing-New philosophy when buying gifts? Any ideas for generous wedding or baby shower gifts? Please share your thoughts.