Who wants to save money Christmas shopping? Me!!!
Several years ago, my parents and Jason and I withdrew from the name drawing we did on my dad’s side of the family. What had ended up happening over the years is we would draw names and then write down our wish list. Nothing wrong there, but issues started arising. One person didn’t like what they got and it became necessary to get gift receipts. Then when the gift was returned it may be discovered that the giver didn’t pay a full $20 on the gift like they were supposed to. Oh, and not to mention the exchanging of $20 gift cards! Drama Drama!
To us, that was NOT was Christmas and gift giving was all about. Way too much drama and totally ridiculous.
So we did our own thing. Some years we would do one gift for the entire family. I believe my mom is doing that again this year. Sometimes we would do a small personalized gift for every-one.
Regardless, giving gifts costs. But you can still give wonderful gifts from the heart without breaking the bank.
Here are some easy ways to save money Christmas Shopping:
- Make a list of everyone you are buying/making for and then a list of what you are giving them.
- Shop online through Ebates. They offer coupon codes and cash back for many sites.
- Watch sale flyers.
- Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday are good times to shop, but many times the deals get even better closer to Christmas.
- Baked goods are great gifts, and if you can or preserve foods, a jar of jelly is awesome as well.
- Shop throughout the year. I try to decide early on what I’m making and then watch for sales on the supplies I need. This alone can help a lot.
- If you feel like you need to “gift” every single person you know, try making a batch of my Monster Cookies and putting them on pretty plates for your neighbors, co-workers and other non family/ not-so-close friends.
Two other ways you can save money Christmas shopping:
#1 White Elephant grab bags can be a lot of fun as well. Where everyone wraps up a white elephant gift and you all take turns unwrapping a gift or claiming someone else’s. We did that with my mom’s family one year. Lots of fun and teasing!
#2 Talk. All of my siblings made it to my mom’s for Thanksgiving and we got to asking each other what we wanted for Christmas. The 3 kids who live at home had all sorts of ideas. But those of us who were married/moved out, couldn’t think of one thing. So us older ones had a little discussion and it was decided we would do small, less than $5 gifts for each other, and then do our normal gifts for the parents and younger siblings.
And lastly: If you cannot afford to buy gifts, then don’t. Explain to family ahead of time that you/your family will not be taking part in the gift exchange this year. Do not go into debt just to “look good” because debt never looks good. 🙂 If you are given a gift from someone when you cannot give in return; consider a handwritten and sent by mail thank you card. In this day and age of online messaging, handwritten means a lot to most people.
If you want to save money Christmas shopping by giving small gifts but want something unique; consider checking out my $5 gift guide I created last year from Etsy stores. I love using Etsy as a place to find gifts. I get to give something unique and I’m helping out the little guy!