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Need to Buy for 40 Employees on a 100.00 Budget


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#1 jarerice  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 5:18 am

Need to Buy for 40 Employees on a 100.00 Budget. I know there was another thread for employee gifts, but this is a little different, given that there are 40 and only 100.00 to work with. Most are men and it's day labor.

I am hosting a christmas party for our day labor employees. We have around 40 who show up every morning at 5:30 and have since I started working there.


We were given a Walmart card for 85.00 from corp. and Dm said he would pitch in 65.00. So on 150.00 I need to buy 40 gifts and food plus drinks. My manager is trading me the Walmart card, so I will have cash to work with and shop where ever.

We are having the party in the morning. So the foods will be breakfast pastries and juice, milk and coffee.

Most of the guys want fun things and the ladies I have working would like movies.

I looked at the Dollar Tree yesterday and found a few things.

I was going to play Dirty Santa and have them draw numbers and swap gifts, but now I am thinking about putting their names on each gift and giving that to them.

Which one should I do?

I need to find cheap movies, games like checkers & chess and crosswords books. Can you think of anything else they might like.

I think of the as adult kids! And I think its cute that they want fun stuff. These people work very hard all year long and I wish I had a bigger budget, but thats not the case.

I need ideas on where to shop and what to buy. I could buy in bulk and even split up the gifts. I only have like 2.00 per gift.

We always have a big Thanksgiving lunch for our workers and buy food for them all year long. I made gift bags for Halloween and started handing out calenders yesterday. I just want everyone to be happy and know how much we appriciate what they do for us everyday.

#2 Kandy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 5:33 am

I would do dirty santa we are going to do that for our department (between my cubical as a surprise for christmas) We are looking at this kind of stuff: Coffee Creamer Candles Candle Holders Post its Candy dish w/ Candy Little Debbies Gel Pens & Paper Coffee Mugs (dollar tree has instant coffee like crystal light packets you can break up and put in each coffee mug and a pack of cocco or such) Crossword w/ Pen Deck of Cards Uno Rook Dominos Gloves w/a pack of those instant hand warmers We are only doing this for 25 people and there is 4 of us going in to get the things for this ;) Have fun

#3 conj  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 5:53 am

when is the party?
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#4 drmy91  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 5:59 am

Go to the Dollar Tree and I bet you could come up with all kinds of goodies, 2 per person. I am making a basket for the neighbors with silly stuff from there. Its the thought not the expense.
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#5 tjredsox4  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 6:58 am

I was at a flea market last weekend and at one booth a lady makes baskets, she had one with dessert dishes and boxes of pudding. This week in walgreen's flier, they had a coupon for 4 dessert cups for $1.00, if you could get a couple of fliers and make a few trips, you could get these and give each employee 2 cups with either a box or two of pudding or jello. I know we have a store here in Chicopee where I can buy pudding 3/1.00 and jellow 4/1.00. This wouldn't amount to very much and it is very cute and good for both males and females. Good luck.

#6 conj  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 8:05 am

christmas tree shops has a bunch of gifts under 5$ in their flyer...
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#7 love a deal  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 8:30 am

Get 39 $1.00 Wal-Mart gift cards & 1 $60.00 card. Mix them all up and hand them out randomly. Someone will get a nice suprise.

#8 shopping mom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 8:57 am

The Dollar tree is great for checkers, and chess games, cards, puzzles, crossword books suduku books, and search books. You could even buy packs of pens or pencils and split them up to do the books with. Walgreens is great for cheap candy, and the have those pastic chrismas cups at 3 or 4 for a $1.00 sometimes that you could fill. It will be great to hear what you end up doing. Have Fun!!!

#9 jarerice  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 8:59 am

when is the party?


My manager is taking his last vacation for the year starting 12/15 (he gets 5) and jsut took 1 week ending 11/30.

He wants me to handle the party and everyone on my own. I am thinking of having it 12/21. That morning!

#10 Guest_JustMeDiana_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 11:04 am

Scratch off lottery tickets, its easy.... put inside a Christmas card (get a box at the Dollar Tree).... attach candy cane or any other type of candy to the front of the envelope.... and your done!!! Put card in a pretty Christmas basket and use for center piece. Purchase several small gifts 2-6 and randomly put a card inside the Christmas card that they have won. Use Christmas decorations candles, basket etc as the winning gifts. This would make it fun, and cut way down on the work load.

#11 sposhek  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 11:24 am

I think the lottery ticket idea is great! Who doesn't love a chance to win money!!

#12 kieransmummy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 11:29 am

Buy different bags of candy, mix the candy up, and bag the up in smaller bags with a ribbon or something.

#13 nick_jenni_jocelyn  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 11:32 am

Scratch off lottery tickets, its easy.... put inside a Christmas card (get a box at the Dollar Tree).... attach candy cane or any other type of candy to the front of the envelope.... and your done!!! Put card in a pretty Christmas basket and use for center piece.

Purchase several small gifts 2-6 and randomly put a card inside the Christmas card that they have won. Use Christmas decorations candles, basket etc as the winning gifts.

This would make it fun, and cut way down on the work load.


i really like the scratch off ticket idea but one problem........ we dont have them in alabama! Its one thing i miss about living in missouri.
:holiday03~*~ Jenni ~*~:holiday03

#14 Princess7915  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 12:31 pm

Last year my mom (we have 30 female coworkers) went to JC Penny and got fuzzy socks for everyone. (they kind you wear with P.J's) We bought all different colors and wrapped them in x-mas tissue. They were on sale for about $2 a pair. The girls loved them! and it was so easy. And it was something they would use not just junk drawer. If you have a Lindt Chocolate store you could go buy some bags of their truffles and split them up for the guys. Price out how many bags you can afford and then just divide them by how many men you have. Or they even sell the bags of Lindt truffles at some Super Walmarts now. Everyone love good chocolate. I would like that better than dollar store stuff.

#15 Guest_JustMeDiana_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 12:45 pm

i really like the scratch off ticket idea but one problem........ we dont have them in alabama! Its one thing i miss about living in missouri.



Darn that's too bad :(

You could still do a gift type raffle. Take the allotted amount of money $100 and purchase 5 $20 gifts or gift cards (Home Depot, Restaurants, Walmart, Target, Best Buy) Purchase a box of cards from the Dollar Tree (put gift note or gift card inside only 5 of the cards) attach candy cane or any other type of candy to the front of the envelope.... Put cards in a pretty Christmas basket and use for center piece.

Let everyone know what you come up with. Sounds like fun.

#16 jarerice  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 1:21 pm

I really want to get everyone a gift because everyone has worked hard this year. Only giving out 5 giftcards does not seen fair. I started shopping today. This is what I found: Chess Checkers Doninos Hard cover books Crosswords Wordfinds Trivia games

#17 Fishboysmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 1:29 pm

Target has a dollar spot area right when you enter the store. Items range from $1 - $2.50

#18 AndreaInNC  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 1:30 pm

Don't forget to check out the dollar spot at Target!

#19 JennaBug's Mom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 1:37 pm

Last year I got a bunch of small xmas candy dishes from the target dollar spot right when you walk in and I bought bags of xmas candy and put some candy in each dish and wrapped it with cellophane and a red curly ribbon. They ended up being under $2 each.

#20 missyjane  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 1:42 pm

Don't forget to check out the dollar spot at Target!


Our Joann's has a "dollar spot" now too! I got alot of stocking stuffers there. They have zebra print pencil packs, compact mirrors, nail manicure sets, address books, all kinds of good stuff!

#21 Guest_JustMeDiana_*  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 6, 2007 - 2:08 pm

I really want to get everyone a gift because everyone has worked hard this year. Only giving out 5 giftcards does not seen fair.

I started shopping today. This is what I found:

Chess
Checkers
Doninos
Hard cover books
Crosswords
Wordfinds
Trivia games


:gdsorry: Just trying to help, I know it is hard when you only have X amount of dollars.

What about homemade baked goodies :chocochip, you could start baking and freeze them until you are ready for them. The Dollar tree has some cute cellophane bags. Most men wound not complain about food ;) X-mas coffee mugs with packets of coffee, cocoa, apple cider.

Walgreens had their kisses candies on sale for $2 then a coupon in their easy flyer which made them $1 a bag.

Michael's crafts has a $1 section with calendars, note pads and things like that.

#22 jarerice  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2007 - 4:31 am

:gdsorry: Just trying to help, I know it is hard when you only have X amount of dollars.

What about homemade baked goodies :chocochip, you could start baking and freeze them until you are ready for them. The Dollar tree has some cute cellophane bags. Most men wound not complain about food ;) X-mas coffee mugs with packets of coffee, cocoa, apple cider.

Walgreens had their kisses candies on sale for $2 then a coupon in their easy flyer which made them $1 a bag.

Michael's crafts has a $1 section with calendars, note pads and things like that.


No worries!

Dh said he would help me with the breakfast foods. He cooks better than me!

I still have 20.00 bucks and have 40 gifts!!!

I went to Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Big Lotts, and Tuesday Morning.

I split up the playing cards, everyone that i thought there gift was to small, also got a pack of cards.

Big Lots had these CSI games marked down for 2.00. Family Dollar has these Sports Trivia games marked down to 1.20. Tuesday Morning had TV Trivia games makred down to 2.99.

I am still doing to go to Wlamrt this morning and see what kind of movies they have. I could kick myself for not buying stuff through out the year at Target. I could have gotten them much nicer stuff. Thats what I'm going to do this year and let my manager pay me back when we get our 85.00 safety cards. My manger is taking this vacation the week of 12/21 and suggest that we have the party on the 21st. So I have plenty of time of continue to get things ready. Last week, I had the ones who wanted to help, put of a christmas tree and christmas lights that I brought from home. For some of these people this will be the only tree they see this year. I know that I am putting alot of effort into this party and the gifts, but I need to focus on something. Dec 12 is rolling around fast, thats is aniv. of my dad's death (2 years).

I have my mom calling me yesterday telling me that she wants to move into a house right beside me. I think thats great but I think its her grief tallking. I think Dh is sick of me talking about this party, but I need to think about this instead of christmas being different and all of the sadness that now surrounds my mom and this time of year. I need to make someone else feel better to remind me that everything will be okay.

Does any of that make sense to you?

#23 ldybec72  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2007 - 5:35 am

You could check local stores or coffee shops etc and see if they might be willing to donate gift cards or gifts for your party. Just explain the situation and what you are trying to do. I have done this for work in the past with GREAT success! :yup: Usually they ask for the request on company letterhead. Many businesses are looking for tax write offs at this time of year so they are happy to do it! :D GOOD LUCK!

#24 Amy02  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2007 - 8:01 am

I think asking around for donations is a great idea. We do this for our school and receive an unbelievable response. McDonalds is usually good about handing out coupons for a free coffee (or something else small). Or ask local restaurants for food donations. Macaroni Grill will always donate bread for parties. Good luck!

#25 hopeky94  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2007 - 12:41 pm

You could check local stores or coffee shops etc and see if they might be willing to donate gift cards or gifts for your party.

Just explain the situation and what you are trying to do. I have done this for work in the past with GREAT success! :yup: Usually they ask for the request on company letterhead. Many businesses are looking for tax write offs at this time of year so they are happy to do it! :D

GOOD LUCK!


If you did this and got some really nice stuff (like some $20 GC's or a package of gourmet coffee or some other nice gift items) but not enough to give to everyone, you could have everyone at the party put their name in a hat and draw out winners for the "special" prizes! :)

Oh, just thought of somewhere to check for freebies: local insurance agencies and similar offices! I was a customer service rep for a Farm Bureau office in my state, and we always had lots of little freebies to give away, like pens, mirrors, rulers, ice scrapers, sports team schedules and/or posters, etc. And this time of the year, we also had wall calendars... I even read in my hometown newspaper that one of the funeral homes is giving away 2008 almanacs this year! At FB, if someone came in asking for a large # of the freebies, we had them explain what they wanted and why to one of the agents. And as long as it wasn't going to make us run short on the items for giving to our customers, we nearly always gave something! But you need to ask asap, because they may need time to round up the number of items you need (i.e. may need to find more in office or may need to order more from supplier).

HTH!!! :D

#26 bugsette  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2007 - 3:37 pm

try flea markets/garage sales... you never know

#27 love a deal  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 7, 2007 - 4:51 pm

I'm sure I'm going to ruffle a few feathers here, but I would almost find it insulting to get a deck of cards for some type of Christmas gift at a company Christmas party. I'm sure you have the best of intentions, but are these adults were talking about? I would think just about anyone would rather have a slight chance at a nice gift than something that you picked up at the dollar store. You could have made some type of game or drawing for 1 or 2 gift cards or even cash. I'm just looking at it from the perspective of a hard working employee. Just my opinion!:cool:

#28 Kandy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2007 - 1:20 am

You could check local stores or coffee shops etc and see if they might be willing to donate gift cards or gifts for your party.

Just explain the situation and what you are trying to do. I have done this for work in the past with GREAT success! :yup: Usually they ask for the request on company letterhead. Many businesses are looking for tax write offs at this time of year so they are happy to do it! :D

GOOD LUCK!


Going on with this idea, I had posted in another thread about a $5.00 gift of a car wash (maybe local place would donate a car wash)

If you have a chik fila they may donate free drinks coupons or such and evey Arbys may for something like this. I know (wallyworld) used to donate tv's and such to our company for xmas parties. Wouldn't hurt to ask....

Then if you got a few "Big" items everyone could play dirty santa with the other items and "raffle" the donated items.

#29 jbdinos  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2007 - 6:37 am

I'm sure I'm going to ruffle a few feathers here, but I would almost find it insulting to get a deck of cards for some type of Christmas gift at a company Christmas party. I'm sure you have the best of intentions, but are these adults were talking about? I would think just about anyone would rather have a slight chance at a nice gift than something that you picked up at the dollar store. You could have made some type of game or drawing for 1 or 2 gift cards or even cash. I'm just looking at it from the perspective of a hard working employee. Just my opinion!:cool:


I know what you mean, but I took it that these people work as much as they can but that they are not in the best of circumstances and that one deck of cards might be all they get for Christmas and in some cases one of the few things they get as a family. So for people who have nothing I think they will be thrilled with a deck of cards where those of us that can easily go buy a deck of cards if we want one wouldn't be as thrilled.

Myself... I just love it when someone gives me a Christmas card because I feel honored that at this time of year and as expensive as things get that someone thought of ME :-) I did dollar store "relaxation" baskets that cost me 1.50 each for my staff 2 years ago and they are STILL wishing I would do it again.... so it depends on the circumstances of the people and some stuff like the baskets I did are really good quality from the dollar stores.... In fact I went to the dollar tree store and got a pic frame there for 1.00 and my DH thought I spent about 10.00 on it.... very nice quality... I am thinking of getting a few more to use as "prizes" at our Christmas program at work and finding some games to play.

So, OP.. I think what you are doing is AWESOME!!!!! and just wanted to show the other side of the coin as I think I have been in as bad or close to as bad of circumstances as some of the workers you have..... let us know how it ends up!

#30 jarerice  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 8, 2007 - 7:04 am

I'm sure I'm going to ruffle a few feathers here, but I would almost find it insulting to get a deck of cards for some type of Christmas gift at a company Christmas party. I'm sure you have the best of intentions, but are these adults were talking about? I would think just about anyone would rather have a slight chance at a nice gift than something that you picked up at the dollar store. You could have made some type of game or drawing for 1 or 2 gift cards or even cash. I'm just looking at it from the perspective of a hard working employee. Just my opinion!:cool:


I thought about the same thing to be honest with you!

But the money I'm using for the Christmas party is supposed to goto a safety party. Mainly to be used for food. We have already put up a tree and lights that came from my house.

I asked the guys what they want IF I could buy them gifts. All of them said FUN stuff. They are the ones who brought up decks of cards and board games. They work hard all year and their money earned goes towards stuff they have to have. Many of them buy beer everyday. So I guess in their minds beer is just another thing they have to have. Their money is put towards rent or boarding room rent, car note (some have cars and other walk and have bikes).

My point is, They wanted fun stuff because usually don't buy themselves fun things.

So thats what I bought!

I bought books, crosswords, wordfinds, dice, coffee cups with candy in them, checkers, chess, Tv Trivia, diminos, cards and little fun things.

My workers do not expect anything from us for christmas. But after we all out up the tree and lights and they thanked me and some saying that our tree may be the only tree they can call their on this year, I wanted to get them gifts.

Many of these people do not have homes, so I wanted to get stuff that could go in their backpacks, stuff that could be used/played with while they are waiting for their ticket to go out.

I am breaking up the gifts so each of them will get 1 big thing or 2 small things (crossword and the deck of cards)

I wanted to get them something to remind them that the world is not all bad.

And if I remember correctly, It's not the cost of the gift that matters, IT'S THE THOUGHT!

Does any of that make since?




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