9 Ways to Save On Christmas Gifts

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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Yes you guessed it, there are only 42 days left until that jolly ol' man flies down your chimney, leaves you that new blender you were asking for, and the realization that you are hosting this year's New Years party hits you. Before you go into panic mode, I have compiled a list of 9 ways to save on Christmas this year that will help you save time and your money...and help you enjoy this holiday season.

1. Make a List
In order to save money and have a stress-free holiday, make yourself a list of the names of every person you are planning to give a gift for and the gift ideas. If you usually give a coffee shop gift card to your mailman, don't forget to put him down on your list as well! And don't forget to check your list twice!

2. Buy Gifts After Christmas
This might sound strange, and might not help your situation this year (unless you have a time machine out back) but it might be a great way to save on gifts for next year. Stores are always getting rid of the old to make way for the new or the next holiday. So you can for sure find sales around this time. It's always best to think ahead, and with ideas fresh in your mind it might be best to buy some gifts right after Christmas.

3. Start Your Shopping Early
The worst thing about the holiday season is the last-minute shopping. Malls and stores flooded with people scrambling left and right looking for their gifts to purchase. This tends to put a negative image on the holidays and puts a strain on your wallet. Thus to avoid all that stress (and save more of your money), shop early! That way you can enjoy your nice peppermint latte with peace of mind that you are well ahead of the game!

4. Set A Budget
This is an important aspect to saving money. By setting a budget, you know how much you can spend. Yes your family deserves the best, and you might feel that you need to give them the best. But if you can't afford to give expensive gifts then you shouldn't. Make sure you know how much you can spend this year and don't go beyond that.

5. Shop During Sales
This is probably a no-brainer for your grocery shopping, so why don't you think like this for Christmas gifts, too? My main rule to shopping for gifts: I never buy at full price. No one will ever know (unless you tell them) and you are happy to give a gift that is expensive without paying the full-price.

6. Make Homemade Gifts
While this might not work as well on children, it does work best on your adult friends and family. Giving homemade gifts is a neat way to give a one-of-a-kind unique gift that you are sure they won't receive again. Think of baking cookies for your elderly neighbour, or creating a scrapbook or photo album for your grandparents.

7. Keep In Mind What Christmas Is About
Whether this is the day of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ or coming together and spending time with loved ones, keep in mind what Christmas means to you. It isn't always about giving the biggest gift or spending the most money. It should be about what you value and what is important to you.

8. Do a Secret Santa Exchange
This one is a great way to save on gifts. I remember doing this when I was in high school with my friends. Have your family draw names of only one person. This way, everyone receives a gift and comes together to celebrate Christmas.

9. Be Practical With Your Gifts
Why give someone something that they already have? By giving practical, you know you are giving a gift that they will most likely use. You don't have to only give practical gifts. But try to incorporate them with your other gift. If you are giving a pajama set to your sister,  add a new bath towel that she told you she needed.

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