Americans spend roughly $465 billion on the Christmas season each year. This includes people spending $1,000 on holiday gifts, food, decorations, and gifts for themselves.
Not everyone can spend that kind of money at Christmas. If you are doing Christmas on a budget this year, there are ways to save so you can still buy for everyone on your holiday list. Check out these tips to help you spend less.
Make a List
It’s always best to have a plan. Don’t just go into the store and pick out gifts because chances are you will spend more. Having a list helps you stay organized and spend what you want without impulse buys or overbuying.
Don’t Buy Christmas Cards
Instead of wasting money on cards that will most likely get thrown away, make your own Christmas cards. You could even skip them altogether to save even more.
Pay in Cash
Create an envelope with your Christmas budget. Use cash to pay for gifts, so you can keep track of your spending. If you use a card, you may add in a few small purchases that slowly add up without you realizing it.
Search for Deals
Compare prices across various stores. You should not buy from the first store. Checkout ads or review various sites.
Find the best prices by researching online before you set foot in the store. You can price compare to find the best deals. You may even find a better deal online, so you don’t need to fight the crowds.
If you have something specific in mind, you may want to research to see if you can find the best price Black Friday shopping. Some stores offer Black Friday deals before the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Use tracking apps to get the best deals like Walmart’s Deal Tracker or Paribus. You can also ask stores to price match if you find a better deal somewhere else.
You can stick to your budget better if you do not have anyone else with you. Others, like family or friends, may encourage impulse buying. They may also try to influence you to buy things you do not need or something off your list.
Don’t Pay For Shipping
You can avoid shipping costs by picking up in the store. Most stores have a minimum for free shipping. There’s no need to spend an extra $10 to ship if you can just drop by the store and grab it.
You can save time and money by picking up your order.
Encourage Gift Exchanges
Instead of buying for multiple people, suggest a gift exchange where you only buy for one person. Everyone will still get a present, but you won’t have to buy as much.m
You can focus on getting the best gift for one person. This is a great way to save with people in the office, family, and friends.
You can give one present to couples or to a family. Give them something everyone can enjoy. A family gift can be something like games or gift cards for an outing.
You can buy a more expensive gift instead of little gifts for each person that will add up. Examples of gifts include:
- Parents – framed family photos, tickets to a show, restaurant gift cards, meal service
- Kids – video games, larger toys like Barbie Dream House or playset, board games
- Couples – wine, weekend getaways, meal service
This will trim down your list and save you time and money.
Look for Purchases with Free Gifts
Watch for promotions like “Buy 1, Get 1 Free” or a free gift card with purchase. Take a look to see if these are reasonable, and you can get two gifts for the price of one. With a gift card promotion, you can use that gift card to buy additional gifts.
Split Up the Costs
Don’t wait until December to start your shopping. You can rearrange your budget to start crossing things off your list in October or November. The stores start having deals before Christmas, so you can avoid spending everything all at once helping you limit your stress.
Rearrange your budget by eating out less. Use that money to buy a gift.
Before you go to the store, look for coupons in addition to the best deal. You can check out sites like Retail Me Not to see if there are any additional codes to help you save even more. Don’t buy anything before you check for an additional discount.
Do It Yourself
Maximize your gift-giving by making homemade gifts. Don’t procrastinate on these gifts because it can be just as stressful. Try making cookies or a meal for friends and neighbors.
You can also have the kids help make stuff for grandparents that they will enjoy for years to come like a picture frame, picture with hand or footprints, or Christmas tree ornaments.
Buy Small First
When you start shopping, don’t buy the most expensive items first. You may feel like you should spend more on others. Instead, start with the smaller gifts first, and you may end up spending less this way.
Use Cashback Sites
If you are buying online, use a cashback site. These sites are portals that let you shop your favorite stores and get a discount. Go to the cashback site and click on the store you want.
After you make a purchase, you will get money in your account. If you were going to buy this item anyway, it’s free money. Check out sites like Ebates, MyPoints, and Swagbucks.
Can You Do Christmas on a Budget?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy Christmas. You can still buy gifts for your friends and family with Christmas on a budget. To save money, you just need to start shopping early, do your research, check for coupons, and stick to your list.
With a little planning, you can have a great Christmas that is stress-free. Keep checking out our site for other money-saving ideas. You may even find other ways to save money in your daily living to give you some extra money for your Christmas budget.