Christmas is right around the corner! Are you feeling the financial pinch already? If so, make sure you don’t miss these ten super simple ways to save big on holiday shopping this year.
They may seen easy, but each of them will bless you more than you know.
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1. Buy Less
So, this should go without saying, but I think it needs to be said: If money is tight, it’s okay to buy less.
Your kids do NOT need a huge pile of toys on Christmas morning. You also do NOT need to get gifts for every single teacher, all your friends, your co-workers, the mailman…
If you have the money to do these things – that’s great! Go ahead! But if you don’t, it’s truly okay to cut back. Just get a few meaningful gifts for the ones who matter most to you and forget all the rest.
Chances are, they probably won’t even notice.
But for the gifts you DO buy…
2. Shop Through Ebates
Doing any Christmas shopping online this year? Go through a cashback site like Ebates and you can get cash back with every purchase you make! It’s super simple, and they support hundreds of really well-known places you’re probably planning on shopping anyways — places like Kohl’s, Amazon, ToysRUs, Ebay, JCPenny, Walmart and more.
Whether you’re planning to do a lot of online shopping, or just a little, it adds up fast.
3. Do Your Research Before You Buy
Found the PERFECT Christmas gift you KNOW they’ll love? Before you put it in your shopping cart – wait. Did you shop around to make sure you got the best deal?
Now, I don’t recommend physically driving to every store in town, of course (that would be time-consuming, and you’d waste all your savings in gas money). But if you’re shopping online, or if you have your smart phone in your pocket at the store, take a few seconds to see what other stores are charging.
This simple habit only takes a few seconds, and you may just be surprised at what you find. It’s super common for prices to vary dramatically between stores (especially if one is having a sale), or you might be able to find a very similar product for a fraction of the cost.
4. Check for Coupons
Similarly, while you’re checking prices at a few different stores, take a second and see if there are any coupon codes available.
There are a few different ways you can do this. Personally, my favorite site to look for coupons is RetailMeNot.com. I always check there first before I go to stores like Kohls or JCPenny’s – who regularly release coupons I may not have on hand.
You can also just Google “store+printable+coupons” or “store+coupon+codes,” replacing “store” with whatever store you are shopping at. It only takes a minute, and you can save big.
5. Shop Through a Deals Site
Sites like these regularly have amazing deals that would make great gifts — everything from Food and Wine to Tech Gadgets to Jewelry and more. I’ve gotten vouchers for family photo sessions and given vouchers for lazer tag and dinners out. It’s definitely worth a look!
6. Get Organized
Buying one set of gifts or holiday decorations is expensive enough. Buying in duplicate is worst. That’s why, before you buy ANY holiday gifts or decorations this year, you want to sit down and make a list.
- Heading out gift shopping? List out all of the people you want to buy for, how much you want to spend on each, and what gift ideas you have so far. Figure out what you have already and what you still need to get. That way you aren’t buying more, more, more for people who you should be done buying for.
- Cooking a dinner for friends and family? Make a list of everything you need and check things off as you get them. That way you aren’t buying a bunch of things “just in case.” You’re only buying the things you actually need.
It’s crazy how quickly you can go over budget when you don’t know what you need, so you start grabbing a bunch of stuff “just in case.”
7. Re-gift, when appropriate
So, opinions vary on whether or not re-gifting is appropriate, but I say “Go for it!”
Just make sure you follow these rules:
- You must give the gift to someone who would actually like and enjoy it.
- This someone should not know or be connected to the original gifter (to avoid embarrassment for everyone).
- The gift should be fairly generic, not a one-of-a-kind heirloom.
Honestly, if the person you are passing the gift on to would truly love it – why does it matter where it came from or how much you did or didn’t have to spend on it? You’re still giving a thoughtful gift. That’s what matters.
8. Keep Celebrations Simple
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love going all out for the holidays as much as the next person. And yet, these elaborate plans and celebrations can easily get out of hand REAL fast if you’re not careful. When money is tight, you have to keep it simple.
- Have 5 friends over instead of 10.
- Host a potluck instead of buying all of the food and drink for everyone.
- Get creative with the plain Christmas ornaments you have on hand instead of buying all new (expensive) decorations.
- Wear what you have on hand without feeling like you must go out and buy a whole new outfit.
9. Draw Names
Have a lot of people in your family? Instead of buying for everyone, convince everyone to draw names instead.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept, it’s simple. Just write everyone’s name on separate slips of paper, drop all the slips in a hat, and have each person choose a name. Everyone buys a present for the person whose name they chose, instead of buying a gift for everyone.
Not only is this considerably cheaper (because you’re only buying for one instead of several), but you can give better gifts this way as well because you only have one gift you have to focus on.
10. Make it Yourself
Homemade gifts can be so special and meaningful. That’s why it’s such a shame when they end up taking waaay more time and costing waaaay more money than you originally estimated.
The good news is, there are plenty of really awesome homemade Christmas gifts you can make that don’t look cheap, that don’t take forever, and that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Here are a few examples:
Embroided Gloves – Country Living
Jewelry Magnets – Country Living
Homemade Sugar Scrub – LoveGrowsWild.com
So there you have it! 10 great ways to save money on your holiday shopping this year! Hope you find them helpful!
How do YOU save on your Christmas shopping each year – any good tips? Share with us below!