The holidays can be a stressful time for most of us. We're all pretty well aware that a bigger chunk than normal will vanish from our bank accounts.
I love giving, so I'm not completely upset about this. I tend to give throughout the year but Christmas is my time to go overboard and pour my heart and soul into thoughtful gifts for my family. Sadly, my paycheck quickly gives me a swift kick to the rear and reminds me that I am no millionaire. Womp womp.
Luckily, giving gifts doesn't necessarily mean you have to give your soul just to be able to afford things for your family and friends. I'm here to give you some quick tips to help us save some serious money this holiday season.
Browse before you buy.
You're in the store, surrounded by all the other holiday shoppers. You've found the perfect gift, for the perfect person. What do you do? Well in the heat of the moment you run to the registers, filled with joy that you can now cross that person off of your list of people to shop for.
Let me tell you what you did wrong. You just fell victim to an impulse buy. Not your typical impulse buy where you get that shirt because it's so cute and you "can't live without it." This buy is entirely different. Because you're already so overwhelmed and the holidays chaos surrounding you is making your head spin, you grab what you want without even thinking of potentially getting a better deal.
Well, thanks to stores like Amazon and eBay you can price match right from your phone. So while you're in the midst of your "Oh crap should I buy this or not!?" moment, pull out your smart phone and do a quick price match. You can often save yourself dozens of dollars just by ordering the same product online.
These sites are the ones that I use most often but there really are so many. You can even type the product in mind right into Google and do a quick search that way. The internet is a very convenient thing, take advantage of it! Especially in times like these.
Coupon. Coupon. Coupon.
Just because you're buying something as a gift, does not mean you need to pay full price for it. Why would you pay full price if you have that coupon hidden in your email or your weekly newspaper? You'd be a ding dong NOT to!
Worried someone is going to think you're cheap? Well, surprise! No one knows you used a coupon. You don't need to tell anybody. Heck, I brag about the good deals I get when I use coupons! They're made to save you money regardless of who you're spending money on. Don't be scared!
Weekly ads are your friends.
Most of the stores have been sending out their holiday ads for weeks now. They boast about the great deals they're having on pretty much all of their merch. Now's the time for you to stock up! Get all of the gifts that you can while things are on sale.
Have a gift idea in mind? Check the holiday ads or the store's website. Maybe they're having a great sale on the item. If they're not, check back in another week and see what they have this time around.
Obviously this tip will only get you so far. You can't be shopping on Christmas Eve when things are picked over, expecting to get a great deal. Well, I guess you can. I just wouldn't trust putting your shopping off THAT last minute!
Amazon Prime is a lifesaver.
Where would I be without my Amazon Prime? I tend to do most of my holiday shopping online, so this is a huge lifesaver for me.
Amazon Prime gives you great deals on great products, all while having FREE SHIPPING! Oh yeah, I said it. Most products on Amazon team up with the Prime benefits and offer free 2-day shipping. No minimum!
I signed up for Prime a few months ago and it already has saved me a large chunk of money in shipping. I'm forever grateful to the genius that came up with this.
As someone who purchases things from Amazon year round, this has really been worth it for me. I have already saved more money by having free shipping than I pay for my annual subscription.
A year subscription to Amazon Prime costs $99. If you would like to take advantage of the FREE 2-day shipping by signing up for Amazon Prime you can sign up for a free 30 day trial by clicking here.
Shop well known shopping "holidays".
Obviously black Friday is over, but cyber Monday is here! Take serious advantage of these deals from the comfort of your own home. No makeup? No shoes? No problem. Cyber Monday is meant for people like us!
Other shopping holidays will pop up between now and Christmas. Some stores even have their own special events. So make sure you're signed up for the newsletters of your favorite stores so you get their deals and specials!
A lot of stores have deals leading up to Christmas day even, so make sure you're on top of your game!
Make a gift.
Are you a master crafter? Maybe you suck at crafts but are a master when it comes to Pinterest.
Making a unique and thoughtful gift doesn't have to be difficult. Thanks to Pinterest and all of the helpful crafty blogs out there you can have the perfect gift made in a very small amount of time.
Some of my favorite gifts to make include:
- Scrapbooks containing awesome old pics of family and friends.
- "Care packages" containing homemade candles and sugar scrubs.
- Baked goods, you can never go wrong with baked goods.
You don't have to be Martha Stewart to get your craft on. Just check out Pinterest and you'll be a gift making beast! Follow me on Pinterest here to see what I'll be making this season! :)
Thrift a gift.
No, do not get your family some old, worn out, stinky sneakers. Unless they're into that kinda' thing?
Thrifting a gift does not have to be frowned upon. It would be extremely affordable and unique. Maybe you found some old decor at a thrift store. Fix that bad boy up, throw a coat of paint on it and you've just combined the last step with this step!
Sometimes it's easier and more affordable to buy second hand. And that is totally okay. Giving gifts is greatly based around the thought that goes into it. If your gift is from your heart and has the best of intentions, then the receiver will love it regardless of where it's from or how much it costs.
What did we learn?
Giving gifts for the holidays does not have to break the bank. You can still budget and have an affordable holiday season without skipping meals trying to afford it.
Be aware of the price tag and know your options. The first pick isn't always the best pick. The first price isn't always the best price for your wallet. Know your budget but don't be afraid to go all out for your family.
Give from your heart. Give with good intentions.
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