When Christmas is less than a month away, you don’t have time for curling up next to the fireplace with your favorite book. You start making your Christmas budget and looking for gifts for your family and friends. When you have a tight budget, your gift search can be a real challenge. This isn’t a life crisis, though. When you start early, you can save tons of cash and end up gifting the best presents ever. I know that because I tried a couple of different ways, so I’m sure it’s possible not to overspend on gifts and get shopping done in advance. Take a look at some of the smartest ways to save on Christmas gifts this year.
1. Family gift
You can easily buy one gift for the whole family instead of buying separate gifts for each person in a family of four. For example, movies are always nice gifts for families. You can purchase many interesting films for just a couple of dollars. Restaurants’ gift cards are always appreciated by all members of a family too. If you want to make a bit more personal gift, think about a food gift basket. You can fill the basket with food that you buy or cook, the choice is yours. If you decide to make a family gift basket, make sure you set a budget before you start. If you are not careful, the cost can be much higher than you planned.
2. Off-season shopping
One of my favorite ways to save on Christmas gifts is to shop off season. I always make a list of upcoming holidays and the gifts I need to purchase. I carry the list with me every time I go shopping. When I find a half price thing in March that can be a great Christmas gift for someone, I take an advantage and buy it. November is a wonderful time to go Christmas gift shopping as well.
3. DIY gifts
DIY gifts are one of the best things to give those you love and don’t love. Not only will you save some money on them, but will also create something special. DIY gifts are perfect for grandparents, teachers and a big family. Ask your children to help you make gifts, if you have any. They will be happy presenting gifts they helped to make.
4. Gifts for kids only
Many families only purchase Christmas presents for kids. If you have an extended family with several siblings, talk to them about not purchasing gifts for adults. Don’t be shy to start the topic. Many of your family members are really thinking the same thing that you are. Make sure you set a spending on the kids that fits your Christmas budget.
If you received a gift last year that you didn’t like, it’s not necessary to bring it back to the shop. You can keep it and use as a Christmas gift. This will definitely save you some cash, and help you get rid of an unwanted thing. But make sure that the person that you give it to is not the one who presented it to you. Re-gifting works great with books, cups, jewelry, and many other knickknacks.
6. Give the gift of service
If you can’t afford to buy a gift for someone, think about helping them out with a project. This could be either assisting them in putting up their tree or helping cook Christmas dinner. The gift of service can be something non-holiday related too. Moreover, you can help them when they repair their car or help remodel their kitchen. A lot of people will be more grateful for a gift of service than a store-bought gift.
7. Shop for Christmas gifts at yard sales
If you look carefully, you can always find some neat gifts at yard sales. If one of your family members like antiques, this is a wonderful opportunity to shop for them. Plenty of new gifts can also be purchased at yard sales. Moreover, you can buy many brand new beauty products at mega low prices. This year I’m planning to purchase a couple of new gifts at yard sales because my budget is absolutely pinched.
Christmas is certainly a joyful time. But often it becomes overwhelming because of tight Christmas budget. You can have an amazing time and relax, though, if you become a savvy shopper. Despite a financial crisis, we can make each other a bit happier this Christmas. After all, who said we should buy expensive gifts only? What’s your best way to save on Christmas gifts? Any tricks to share?