12 ways to save now on gifts in December
We know, we know – it’s only October. BUT, Christmas is around the corner and for many Americans that means lots of shopping, wrapping, and travel. But what kills our piggy banks more than anything is last-minute shopping sprees. Here’s our guide on 12 ways to save before the holiday strikes:
When in doubt, budget it out
First things first, set a budget. Count up how many friends and family members you plan on buying for and plan your spending accordingly. Basically, break down how much you expect to spend total, make sure it makes sense with what you currently earn income-wise and strive to stay under that budget. Period.
Save boxes, bags and wrapping paper
Don’t throw away those shoe boxes! If you’re purchasing clothes and come across paper stuffing, nice boxes, ect., be sure to store them away. This will help you reduce the cost of buying things to pack gifts in at Christmas time.
The early bird gets the worm
Remember, the early bird always gets the worm. Start your shopping as early in the year as you can to beat the last-minute markups.
Spread out your purchases
Instead of shopping all at one time, when you see a deal, grab it! That way, as the holidays get closer, you’re not left short on cash from last-minute buying sprees that end up costing you way more than it’s worth. Try shopping one time a month and spread out your purchases. It’ll help reduce stress and you’re shopping will be done and out of the way so all you have to do is wrap the gifts!
Make a list and check it twice
Physically write down what you’re buying for everyone. This will help when it comes to price comparisons and finding the right deal. You can add columns next to their names with prices from Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc. and weigh out which store has the better deal.
Online shopping is king
Go to Amazon.com and check for daily deals. Offers online can often offer better markdowns for shoppers. Check in each day to see if there’s anything you can mark off your list. Besides, this will ultimately save you gas and shipping if you’re a Prime member. So, it’s a win, win.
Collect the coupon. Be the coupon.
It should go without being said, but coupon hunting is another great way to save. Collect the coupons that come in the mail, in the paper, and online and sort them by expiration date so you don’t miss out if they’re expiring soon. If you find the deal you need for the perfect gift, allow a portion of your spending budget to be used to purchase.
You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg
Don’t get us wrong. We don’t want to encourage you to “cheap” your friends and fam, but your budget should be reflective of your income and sometimes we feel obligated to spend much more than we can afford. Stay true to your bank account and don’t jeopardize your savings to compensate for an overly aggressive holiday budget.
DIY your gifts
If you’re a creative soul, you may just have to run to a local arts and crafts store to get your gifts up and started! Sometimes, the best gifts are homemade gifts and they end up meaning a lot to the recipient.
Black Friday is its own holiday
Black Friday is the bomb for those who love shopping in the store. You get to see the product, push a buggy or two out of the way to dramatically reach for the last item on the shelf and then bask in all of your money saving glory. Aside from the savings, this can be a fun time with friends and family who love to shop til they drop.
Reuse the tree – unless you must have a real one
Buy a lit, reusable and beautiful Christmas tree and save for the rest of the years to come. Real trees can get expensive so cutting that out of your budget may allow for more financial wiggle room.
Get budget-savvy with decorations
Go to Dollar Tree, Dollar General or Hobby Lobby and shop for fun and easy Christmas décor for your home. You can get an elaborate and beautiful look for pennies in comparison to shopping at traditional Christmas stores.
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