Honestly I do budget, but I shop very carefully, too. I think my best budget saver is bartering though for goods and services...I traded engraved wine glasses I did myself for guitar lessons for my stepson. We are spending less this year but I don't think it will be obvious Holly
I don't budget. I spend what I can afford at the time. Last week I bought some books for my youngest granddaughter and her brother who is 8. Since they live on a military base I bought them at Borders where they wrap and ship. That was an impulse purchase. The rest of my grands are getting gift cards in denominations that I can afford. I buy them each pay so that I don't have a huge decrease in my money right at the holiday. Of course, I lost my job last February and only started a new one in August at half the salary I was making. So every savings counts. I just posted a hub on how much to tip the people who provide you with services. I'm not an authority but used some common sense when I wrote it. http://hubpages.com/hub/Bear-N-Mom-Chri … ould-I-Tip
I'm with Rebekah on this - home-made presents this time. Apricot jam made in the late summer. Wild local mushrooms, preserved. Olive oil from non-treated olives - (have got some olive trees.) I've never made drinks like cherry or apricot brandy but will try them next year. :-)
This is actually a tough year at my house. I think my son is only getting two presents, one which I made. With no job, and living in a state with 10% unemployment rates, it's been difficult to find a new job in my salary bracket. When I normally have money though TJ Maxx or Big Lots has great deals on kids toys, or I put together Christmas baskets for cheap with a pound of Starbucks Christmas blend and some festive mugs from the dollar store. It's fairly cheap and a lot of people have loved them!