The Thanksgiving holiday is behind us now, and we are heading full gear into the Christmas season. If you haven’t already hit the stores to get gifts this year for family and friends for the holidays, consider getting ahead of the gift buying frenzy and start thinking about planning ahead for what you are going to buy. After all, Christmas is one of the highest spending times of the year for many individuals.
Check out these 10 ways to save on your Christmas shopping!
1. Workout what you can afford before shopping
Before you start planning what you are going to be buying each of your family and friends, take a look at what you can afford to spend. Ask yourself, “What can I afford to spend on Christmas?” Christmas is only one day of the year – don’t let it ruin your bank account.
2. Make a list
Get a list together and write down everyone you plan to buy a gift for. No matter how small the gift might be make sure you add it. Include the maximum amount you are also willing to spend on each person.
3. Do some online research
If you are unsure of a specific item to buy, search for the item on reputable online reviews. You can check sites with user reviewers and ratings like Amazon.com or Cnet.com to find out which products have a good review. To compare online prices to get the best deal, use a comparison shopping site like Pricegrabber.com.
4. Find discount codes
5. Consider a group gift
Try and “white elephant” exchange, a secret Santa strategy, or going in with co-workers, family, and friends on a gift.
6. Get more frugal with your gift giving
Come up with more frugal and creative Christmas gifts to give to family and friends. These can lead to a lot of savings and often can be more personal of a gift as well. Here is a list of 100 Frugal Christmas Gifts for some ideas.
7. Set your budget in stone
Don’t get tempted to go over your budget when you are out shopping. You might find something that might be the “perfect” gift for your family member or friend, but it’s not worth it in the end. Stick to what you planned on spending beforehand.
8. Give time instead of giving a gift
Offer your time instead of a gift can be more memorable and much less expensive. A night of babysitting for a new mom or a girl’s night out with a friend can seem much more appealing than a store bought gift.
9. Don’t send Christmas cards
As much as this is one of my favorite Christmas tradition to do, Christmas cards have become more of an obligation than something fun to do. The cost can surely add up if you are trying to keep a budget this Christmas holiday season.
10. Send E-Cards instead of mailing Christmas cards
Remember you don’t have to buy into the commercial hype of going shopping and coming home with big gifts or several of them and be in debt. The holiday season is not about who bought you the best gift, but spending time with loved ones and enjoying each other’s company. Be merry, festive, and jolly with your family and friends instead of worrying about not buying them the best gift.
Tell us in the comments below how you save on your Christmas shopping!