If you are trying to figure out how to save money on Christmas, then you are on the right page. These money saving ideas work for anyone – no matter your budget.
It can be easy to go crazy and overspend during the holidays. While many shop all year long, most people do not start any shopping until Thanksgiving (or later).
This is when the deals start to creep onto your television and into your in-box. It can become overwhelming and you can quickly over-buy and lose control.
But saving money on Christmas or Hanukkah doesn’t have to be difficult. There are simple, practical things anyone can do to keep the spending in check while getting the items you want.
SAVING MONEY ON CHRISTMAS AND HANUKKAH
Create a Budget and Shopping List
Before you jump in and start buying willy-nilly, you should have BOTH a budget and shopping list ready.
Once your budget is in place, determine what it is you will buy or make. If your budget is tight, you may want to try homemade gifts (check out one of my Pinterest boards for some ideas). Make sure you stick to your list so that when the mail comes in January, you’ll be happy to see fewer bills show up in the mail box!
Make sure it is a deal you need
If you find buy something only because of the price, was it really a deal? If it was something you would not have purchased at regular price doesn’t mean you should when it is discounted. Even if you get it for $10 because you are saving $15, that is another $10 taken out of your holiday budget.
Make sure that when you see a deal, that it is something you need to buy and not something you want to buy just because of the price.
Don’t get sucked in by Black Friday
Just because it is Black Friday, it doesn’t mean that those are the best deals you can find. Some of the best days to shop include:
- Days leading up to Thanksgiving – Toys and Electronics
- Cyber Monday (the first Monday after Thanksgiving)
If you take a minute to actually look through the Black Friday Ads, you may notice they are underwhelming. Many items are not even on sale. Don’t fall for the hype of Black Friday. That means, don’t think that means you are guaranteed to get some of the best prices of the shopping season.
If you do plan on getting out to shop, you can read my Best Black Friday Shopping Tips. If you want to stay home instead, we’ll be here to help. Our amazing database will be filled with coupon codes and offers!!!
While I do sometimes shop in the stores, I will admit to doing most of my shopping online. I am just so busy that getting out is not as easy as it has been in the past. Between that and the weekend madness, I’d just rather spend time at home with my kids.
When I have the patience to wait for an online offer, I can often find deals that I can’t find in the store. If you see one of these – grab it!
My favorite place to shop is Amazon, where I have an Amazon Prime membership. In my experience, the $99 annual fee more than pays for itself in shipping savings alone!!! During the holidays, they watch competing sites and will drop their prices to stay competitive.
And, when you are shopping online, make sure you use the right extension, so you can get PAID to shop online! Sites such as Ebates, pay you a small percentage of your purchase back. You can also use Paribus, which watches your purchases for price drops and pays you back if the price drops within a few days after you you shop.
Use your phone
Every time you shop, check your phone! Apps, such as Coupon Sherpa, have nearly every current store coupon available. Before you head to checkout, or even while you are waiting in line, pull up the app. A few seconds of scrolling could result in big savings!
Don’t worry about the price
I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend the same amount and give my kids each 2 or 3 items which will last than 10 items which will fall apart. In addition, I don’t care what my kids give me either.
One of my favorite gifts was a silly snowman coffee mug that cost $1 at one of our Dollar Stores. I love it most of all because my daughter was so proud that she not only picked it out herself but spend her own money to buy it for me. She reminds me of this when I dig out that mug for my hot cocoa each winter.
I’ve received many gifts over the years, but this small mug is the thing I remember. Your family will do the same thing – if you give something from the heart – or just do what you can to make the holiday memorable, that is what matters most of all.
You probably won’t remember what gift you were given in 2 years, but you will remember that special moment where your child smiled or your last photo with grandma.
Shop with gift cards
You read that right. Don’t just buy gift cards for people on your list, use them to shop! When you have a gift card, you will limit what you can spend. Load the card with the budget for the store you are visiting — and take no other cards or cash with you! Then, you can’t overspend. It’s impossible.
To save even more, seek out discounted gift cards. You can often find these on Ebay where they are discounted anywhere from 5 – 10%.
Stop shopping when the list is done
This may seem like it is common sense, but it may be harder than you realize. Look at your list. Are you done getting something for everyone? If so, stay out of the stores. It is so simple to see something and pick up “just one more item.” Doing this can quickly add up into 5 – 10 more items and quickly blow that budget you set in step #1 above. Like I tell my kids ……. “put down the toy and walk away.”
Seek out clearance items
No matter the time of the year, stores will have some items on clearance. Find these areas and look through the items. I’ve found some of the best toys and other gifts to give to people on my list. My budget was happy and so was the recipient.
Your holidays should be about family and friends and not financial stress. Some smart tips now will help make January even brighter (as there won’t be bills showing up in the mailbox).