How to give last minute gifts and save money

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I’ve been on both the giving end – and the receiving end – of last minute gifts. Have you?

If you realize someone special has a birthday tomorrow and you are short on time to shop – Quick, what are you going to do?

Lately, people are turning to monthly membership clubs for quick gift ideas that can be purchased online within minutes. You’ll be surprised how these gifts are not good presents. I’ll show you why.

Banana of the month club

If you need a gift quick, you might jump on the Internet. I’ve done this many times. You can hit up Amazon Prime for next-day or same-day shipping.

Or you may find a monthly club and think to yourself ‘they would so LOVE this!’:

  • Wine of the month club
  • Socks of the month club
  • Pajamas of the month club
  • Razor blade of the month club
  • Complete outfit of the month club

Dollar clubs

My wife bought me a Dollar Shave Club membership for our anniversary.

The package arrives in a nice neat box (it’s super cool looking!). There is a tube of shaving butter, a little story book, and, of course, the razors.

What’s it cost?

The Dollar Shave Club pricing is as follows:

$3/month
For $1/month + $2 shipping, you get the entry level blade. That’s $3/month for those of you without a calculator.
$6/month
If you want to step up to a blade that works somewhat, it will cost you $6/month.
$9/month
Then there is the $9/month super blade.

My wife purchased me the entry level blade for $3/month. After using it once I realized why they had different levels of blades.

The entry level blade was one of the worst shaves I’ve ever had.

  • It didn’t shave well.
  • The head was super flimsy.
  • It bent way too much.

I’ve used $0.25 plastic razors that got better results.

I immediately had to move up to a better blade. Yes, that means spending more money – $6 / month.

What did I get for my $6? A razor blade that was approaching the comfort and flexibility of my Gillette Mach 3.  Except it cost three times the price and still wasn’t as good.

Service canceled after two months.

What’s it really cost?

I would hope the $9/month super blade is on par with my Gillette Mach 3.

But holy smokes – why would I pay $9/month for razor blades when my Mach 3 blades only cost me $2.00/month? And why should you?

Let’s do the math:

$60/year
$6/month for a blade from Dollar Shave Club that isn’t very good is $60 / year.
$24/year
$2/month for my Mach 3 blades is $24 / year.

That’s $36 I’ve saved on a single product I use every day by not using a club. Sweet!

What are the best clubs?

Remember all the clubs I mentioned earlier? Let me give you my favorite clubs:

  • Wine of the month club – Visit Costco or Wal-Mart once a month
  • Socks of the month club – Visit Amazon or Zappos once a year
  • Pajamas of the month club – Visit Victoria’s Secret before Christmas and Valentines Day. For guy-gifts visit his favorite sports team’s fan store.
  • Razor blade of the month club – Visit Costco or Amazon once a year and buy in bulk

On my show and blog, I try to emphasize the little things that can make a big difference in your life. I did pick a lot on razor blades here, but I’m trying to drive home a point. Little savings, here and there, added up over years and decades create huge returns.

What should I buy instead?

One-time gifts instead of memberships and monthly clubs save you a lot of money over time. That $36 / year I saved by canceling Dollar Shave Club may not seem like much.

But $36 here, $36 there, $36 somewhere else down the line. Pretty quick you will pile up $1,000 a year of savings on just the little things.

Then you can buy killer one-time gifts for others.

They will be happier, and you will keep more money in your wallet.

Have you tried any clubs? If so how long did you use it? Please leave a comment on Facebook or Twitter.

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