10 Tips For Saving Money On Christmas Gifts
Christmas is just around the corner and for most of us our wallets are just not ready. Don’t dampen your holiday spirit with woes of finding affordable gifts. Instead, use these 10 tips for saving money on Christmas gifts to help take the pinch out of holiday gift giving.
1. Know your budget
Ideally, your Christmas expenses should be calculated as part of your yearly budget. If this is not the case for you make sure you at least decide in advance exactly how much you can budget without going into debt. Once you have this figure in mind, list everyone you plan to buy for and assign a maximum amount to each person. Shopping with these figures in hand is a great way to ensure you stay on track when you are on your gift giving search.
2. Shop Early
It can be tempting to wait for those Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales but the best way to get the most Christmas bang for your buck is to shop as early as possible. In fact, you will find that many stores begin their toy clearance in September. This allows the store to make room for the upcoming Christmas season and can be a great way for consumers to save money on Christmas gifts for the kids.
Another helpful tip is to have Christmas in mind all year round and pick up things as you see them on sale. Remember, it’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping. As a matter of fact, there are those who begin December 26th in preparation for the next Christmas season.
3.Use Discount Gift Cards, websites, etc.
Gift cards are not just for giving. In fact, there are places such as Cardcash.com and Giftcardgranny.com that sell gift cards at discounted prices. If you are into online shopping, consider using sites such as ebates.com and get cash back on every purchase from a variety of retailers. Combining these two strategies can save you a ton of cash.
If you prefer to shop in the stores, there are apps available for smartphones and other mobile devices that allow you to find bargains on the go. RedLaser.com for example allows you to scan barcodes so that you can find the best price online and at local stores.
4. Watch Those Deal Sites
Sites such as Groupon, Tippr, and Livingsocial (just to name a few) track deals and discounts from national retailers. Other sites like retailmenot.com can be great for finding discount codes to use at hundreds of online retailers.
5. Avoid Those Shipping Fees
We all love to catch a great deal, but sometimes those shipping fees make your fabulous find a flop. Avoid those shipping fees by using sites like freeshipping.org to determine exactly who is offering free shipping. Also, many big name retailers offer free site to store shipping. Consider having your purchases shipped to your local store instead of directly to your home. It just may be worth the savings.
6. Be Crafty
One of the best way to cut cost when it comes to Christmas gifts is to make them yourself. Some great ideas include burning your own CD of special songs, poetry, or readings. This is particularly special if it is a song or poem you've written or that holds some special meaning. If you are talented in the areas of crafts, knitting, drawing, etc. utilize these talents to make gifts for your family that can be treasured for a lifetime.
7. Give the Gift of Service
Not all gifts have to be tangible. Be imaginative by giving redeemable coupons to each family member. These coupons may be redeemed for such things as running errands, doing dishes, a back rub, etc.
8. Try a Gift Exchange
This is particularly useful if you have a large family. Instead of trying to buy a gift for everyone, play "secret santa" by drawing names and only buying a gift for that one person. This is a great money saving way of ensuring everyone gets something and no one breaks the bank.
9. Develop a Plan to Stick to Your Budget
Having a budget is great but set yourself up for success by putting away your credit/debit cards and only bringing the budgeted amount in cash on your shopping trips.
10. Buy household Gifts
Consider buying one gift for those married couples in your life. Gifts for the household can save you loads of money.
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