How to Save Money on Christmas Gifts 101:
Does anyone else fear watching their bank account drop lower and lower as the days creep closer to Christmas? I love Christmas, probably more than the average human, however when living on a budget, Christmas can be a stressful time. It can be difficult to save money on Christmas gifts when you want to give a nice, meaningful gift to your loved ones.
I love giving gifts to people, but between my family, my husband’s family, our friends, my class of third-graders, my student’s parents, and my classroom helpers, there’s not much money left after all the gift spending has been done. But with bills coming the next month, you can’t just blow all the money you have for the sake of giving gifts. So what’s a person to do?
I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that help me not go bankrupt in the Christmas season, and will hopefully help you keep some money in the bank as well. Let’s take a look at my 10 must-know tips to save money on Christmas gifts.
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Enjoy video better than text? Watch my YouTube video on how to save money on Christmas gifts!
10 Must-Know Tips to Save Money on Christmas Gifts for Everybody
1. Create a Budget
Creating a budget is the first in most important thing that you must do when making a plan to save money on Christmas gifts. Without a budget, it’s easy to go crazy overboard with your spending and have nothing left after you’ve bought gifts for everyone.
Tip #1 for your Christmas Gift Budget – Determine who you will buy gifts for:
Instead of blowing through all the money, make a list of everybody that you need to buy gifts for.
Tip #2 for your Christmas Gift Budget – Determine how much you will spend on Christmas gifts for each person AND how many gifts you will buy for each person:
It’s important to set a budget for how much you will spend on each person, and even the number of gifts you’ll be buying for each person. This is especially important if you have kids, because usually you’ll be giving more than one gift to your kids.
Be realistic with how much you’ll spend on each person. It’s okay to have to spend a little less money than you’d like if it means having enough money leftover to pay the bills or keep your savings padded. There is no right or wrong amount to spend on each person, only you know how much money you have and how much you can afford to spend.
If you’re really hurting for money, you can always spend time with somebody as a gift, such as going on a fun outing or event together.
Tip #3 for your Christmas Gift Budget – Use an automatic money saving app to save money for you effortlessly.
Another super useful tool I use to save money on Christmas gifts is something called Digit. Digit is an automatic money-saving robot that monitors your bank account and saves money for you every day without any work on your part. I started using the app on November 3, 2018, and today is November 22, 2018.
In those 19 short days, I’ve already saved $228.72. I haven’t had to do a single thing after I signed up for the digital app, linked my bank account, and set my limit so that Digit will not take any money out of my bank account if it drops below a certain amount. It’s seriously the EASIEST way to save money and is perfect if you’re not as diligent as you should be at transferring money into your savings, like me. 🙂
I love Digit, my automatic money saving robot, and plan to use him to save for many things in the future such as a family vacation, a house, etc. The great thing about Digit is you can have multiple savings goals going at once, such as “Christmas Gifts” and “Family Vacation”, and “Emergency Savings”. You don’t have to just use him to save towards one goal, Digit will divide up your savings each day among all of your “savings goals”.
If you’d like to give Digit a try, you can sign up here using my link and get a free $5.00 bonus, my treat to you! And most importantly, Digit is secure and will insure you up to $250,000.
2. Take Pictures of Things
This tip will save you tons of time and money. All throughout the year, anytime you see something you think somebody would like as a Christmas gift, or if they are with you and tell you that they love something, take a picture of the item and keep it in some type of picture folder on your phone.
You can either buy those items immediately and save them until Christmas, or you can wait until a sale is going on and buy the items then.
Either way, you know you’ll be buying something the person really wants and will enjoy. It certainly puts the joy into giving when you know you’re gifting something the person will love and use.
3. Choose Value Over Price
It can be easy to want to skimp out and buy somebody some random gift off the first shelf you see because it’s got a fat sale tag on it.
However, if you gift someone something they don’t even want, it will just get thrown away or never used, and you’ve essentially just wasted money on something.
You can still find gifts that will have value to someone that don’t cost a fortune. Be creative, just don’t choose a gift for somebody because it’s cheap. That’s no fun for anybody involved and you might as well just save your money.
4. Ask People What They Really Want
It’s never a bad idea to ask family members, kids, and relatives for a “wish list”.
Asking people what they really want is a fantastic way to save money on Christmas gifts because you can choose a gift from the list that fits your price range and then you’ll know that they will really like it.
5. Shop at Discount Stores
I went to Burlington Coat Factory for the first time a couple weeks ago to do some Christmas shopping with my husband and was shocked at how great the prices were.
Name brand clothing, toys, beauty products, home-decor, etc for a fraction of the cost you’d find it elsewhere.
Definitely hit up the discount stores such as Burlington, Ross, T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s, and even Grocery Outlet (they’ve got great kitchenware items, candles, beauty items, home decor, etc) before shopping at stores like Target.
Those stores will tremendously help you save money on Christmas gifts that you would have spent double the amount on elsewhere.
6. Make DIY Gifts Using your Local Dollar Store
I’ve found countless videos on YouTube with great DIY gift ideas using items from the Dollar Tree, the dollar spot section at Target, Walmart, etc.
I’ll link a few below, but if you search on YouTube “DIY gift ideas Dollar Tree”, you will find tons of videos with great ideas.
The DIY gifts aren’t junky either, you can definitely find some great ideas that people will actually like.
7. Use Rakuten to Get Cash Back
I use Rakuten every time I shop online to earn cash back on purchases I’d already be making anyways.
Rakuten gives cash back for stores such as Old Navy, Groupon, Sephora, Ebay, Macy’s, Overstock.com, and many more. If you also want to save money on Christmas gifts when shopping online, you can use my link to sign up for Rakuten here and receive a $30 bonus when you make your first purchase for $30. So essentially you’re getting a $30 product for free!
Tip: I downloaded the easy to use Rakuten button to my browser so whenever I hop onto a website that Rakuten gives cash back for, it automatically pops up and tells me I’ll get X% of cash back for that store. It’s extremely helpful so I never miss an opportunity for cash back. Get the button here, it’s free and effortless to use.
8. Buy Gifts That Are Eligible For Returns
Amazon is super handy when it comes to making shopping easy, however not all items are eligible for returns.
It’s a huge bummer when you order something that you end up not wanting to keep but can’t get your money back for it.
Be smart and only buy gifts that qualify for returns.
9. For Out of Town Family, Buy Online With Free Shipping
Sometimes shipping to out of town family and friends can cost more than the items your shipping. When possible, shop online and send your gifts with FREE Amazon Prime Shipping. If you don’t have Amazon Prime Shipping, you can use my link here to get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime and ship all your Christmas gifts for free!
10. Shop At Costco if You Have A Membership
I LOVE Costco. Costco has fantastic prices for HIGH QUALITY items.
From books, to home gadgets, to clothing, high quality toys at a great price, to delicious Christmas candy, you can find it all at Costco.
And they have a fabulous return policy so you don’t have to worry about getting ripped off if your item needs to be returned.
And That’s a Wrap!
I hope these 10 tips will help you save money on Christmas gifts the same way they’ve helped me stay under budget this season and not stress over money. Have a very Merry Christmas and happy savings!
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Below I’m sharing links and codes to earn money with my favorite saving money resources that I use on a regular basis and truly find valuable: (all of these are completely free to use/sign up for):
Scan any receipt (groceries, gas, restaurants, and more) to earn points towards cash back in the form of gift cards. I always cash out for Amazon. I use Fetch rewards in addition to Ibotta because Ibotta usually gives me more money back but takes longer to use. With Fetch, all I have to do is take a picture of the receipt and I instantly get points. Earn 2,000 points (4,000 when promotions are going) when you sign up for the fetch reward’s free app using my code – 6VQ1A
Ibotta is an app used to earn cash back on purchases. Simply add the items you bought in the app and take a picture of the receipt to redeem your money back. I like to check the app before going shopping to see what high-paying cash back items are available. Get $10 on me if you get the free app and sign up using my code – icnaysv
I use honey to get cash back when I’m online shopping and to inform me of price changes on online items. I downloaded the honey browser extension to my computer so when I’m online shopping, I will automatically receive cash back for qualifying items. No research or logging into the Honey website is required. It saves me money with zero effort. Honey also tells me if an item is a good deal or not. It will show me the item’s price over the past several months so I can see if it’s a good time to buy or if the item’s price is jacked up. This is my favorite feature of Honey’s by far because I can always make sure I’m not overspending. Get 500 points free ($5 value) when you sign up for honey (it’s free) using this link.
I also use Rakuten in addition to Honey because they also offer cash back for many online stores. I use both because Honey shows me price changes while Rakuten does not, but Rakuten offers cash back on 3,000+ stores so if Honey isn’t offering cash back on a store, there’s a good chance Rakuten is. Rakuten also offers a free browser extension so you can automatically earn cash back without having to do anything. Just make sure the browser extension is downloaded to your favorite online browser and start earning cash back when you shop online. You can sign up for Rakuten using my link (it’s free) and earn $30 cash back when you make your first online purchase of $30 or more. So essentially, my link gives you a free $30 purchase. Enjoy!
Buy new and used clothing for discounted prices and sell your own new or gently used items from your closet and earn money quickly. Poshmark also allows you to buy/sell home decor, shoes, baby toys, makeup/beauty products, and more. Get $10 free to use on Poshmark when you sign up for Poshmark using my code “meredithanne26”
Mercari is another buy/sell app I use to buy and sell new or gently used clothing, shoes, and items. I love that I can use both Mercari and Poshmark to buy secondhand items because it raises my odds of finding what I want to purchase. Get $10 off your first purchase when you use my link to sign up for Mercari.