7 Festive Ways to Save Money Christmas Shopping
It’s that time of year again, and if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, now is the time to do it. However, shopping for gifts can be challenging during economic uncertainty, especially when you’re looking to save money. Budgets are tighter, and the things you want and need cost more. Yet, this doesn’t mean you can’t have a great holiday.
We devised a plan to make your holiday shopping and gift-giving easier. Here are 7 festive ways to save money while Christmas shopping.
Start With a Holiday Budget
Few things are worse than the “uh-oh” you can experience when you realize after Christmas that you’ve overspent. To avoid this, create a holiday budget that aligns with what you can reasonably spend while also allowing you a little wiggle room.
Limit Your Gift List
If your budget is tighter this year, you’re not alone. We all must buckle down and limit our spending. That means getting creative about who is on our list for gifts and how much we spend. One practical way to do this is to narrow your list by cutting back on the number of gifts you plan to buy. Then, distribute your holiday budget accordingly.
It’s easier to prevent a mistake than to fix one later. Track your spending as you shop, and check gifts off your list as you go; this way, you’ll avoid overspending and prevent duplication. Paper and pen work well, or you could use a digital notepad or a holiday shopping app like Santa’s Bag (iOS), Christmas Gift List (Android), or Fudget.
Shop the Sales!
Once you know your holiday budget and have your list prepared, you’re ready to shop. Start with local Christmas fairs and sales.
Finding the time to shop sales when you’re busy can be challenging. One way to address this is with a Google search. Filter the product search to fit your gift-giving needs. Customizing your search makes comparison shopping a breeze and helps you stick to your budget. Alternatively, shopping at Christmas fairs and bazaars is fun and may help you find something unique for a deal.
DIY Your Gifts
Homemade gifts make fantastic presents and offer another great way to save money during Christmas. Also, homemade gifts are creative and unique, so the recipient receives a one-of-a-kind present they’re sure to treasure.
There are many ways to approach DIY gifts. Here are a few options:
- Create something
- Bake holiday treats
- Sew something
- Make Mason jar snow globes
- Create a tied fleece blanket
- Create personalized holiday gift baskets
Gift Experiences for Lasting Memories
Instead of a traditional gift, give the gift of an experience personalized to the recipient’s interests. By doing so, you’ll create lasting memories while saving more money. Some ideas might include the following:
- Movie tickets
- Sports event
- A trip to a zoo, aquarium, or museum
- Spa certificate
- Ice skating
If you want something to wrap, you might coordinate a DIY-themed gift basket to include small items tailored to the recipient’s tastes and a gift experience.
Re-Gift with a Twist
In the past, re-gifting gained a bad reputation translating to “the gift that no one wants.” Today, re-gifting has evolved into something fresh, fun, and exciting. There are several ways to approach re-gifting, so we’ll review a couple of our favorites to give you some ideas.
The Upcycled Re-Gift
Those with art and craft skills will love this one. The idea is to buy something gently used and personalize it for the recipient with notions, monogramming, etc. For example, you might buy a child’s plain T-shirt secondhand and add a Minecraft iron-on transfer to transform it into something new.
Books and Candles
If you are looking for a gift to give a teen or adult reader, why not re-gift a couple of gently used books (in the genre the recipient enjoys) along with a bookmark and a candle? Books are a great option to inspire those with love for words and stories.
Gift Cards and Gift Sets
We’ve all received a gift set that doesn’t fit our interests. It happens. The good news is you can re-gift this to someone else who would appreciate its qualities. Just make sure you don’t give it back to the same person who gave you the gift! Another option might be to pair a small gift card (like $10 or $20) with the gift set if your budget allows it.
The Final Word
If you plan to buy gifts, you can save money on Christmas shopping by limiting your list and the number of gifts you give. For your immediate family, follow the rule of four:
Finally, the best gifts are always personalized to the recipient. Know your recipient’s likes, dislikes, and interests before you shop. You’ll undoubtedly find or be able to create a unique gift that each person will love. Also, you don’t need a large budget to give a great gift. So, get your creative juices flowing, make something, bake a treat, re-gift, or provide an experience they’ll never forget.