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Top Five Ways to Save on Christmas Gift Giving

This article contains five tips for people to save on their Christmas shopping. It suggests ways on how to set a budget, cut costs, and start planning for next year.

By Ellen McKay

I realize it’s less than a week to go until Christmas, but a lot of people still have Christmas shopping to do.  In hopes of saving your sanity and your bank account, I’ve come up with a “Top 5” list of ways to save on Christmas gift giving.  If you’ve finished your shopping – you can start planning on implementing these tips next year!

1.        Skip it!

The easiest way to save money on gifts is not to buy them at all.  Talk to the people you normally exchange gifts with, and see if they’re willing to give it a pass.  Over the years, I’ve exchanged gifts less and less with people, as I don’t really need more stuff, and we’ve all got bills to pay.  If it’s too late to pursue this option this year, suggest it now for next year, while everyone is feeling the pain of blowing the budget.

2.        Pick names

If you have a large family or group of friends, pick names – so you’re only buying for one person or one couple.  By narrowing down how many gifts you buy, you can put more focus into the ones you do buy, and make them more meaningful.  This is often done for adults, but could be implemented for children as well – after all, they can only use so many toys!

3.        Set a price limit

Set a limit on how much you can spend per gift.  This can be something agreed upon with whomever you’re exchanging gifts, but you can also set it yourself.  Take a good look at how much you can really afford, and make sure you stay within your limit.

4.       Bargain hunt

Shop around.  There are tons of deals on this year.  Scour the weekly flyers and make a plan of attack.  You can find great deals at second hand stores – I’ve found items with the tags still on them there.  There’s no point in paying more money for something than you have to.  This doesn’t mean you “cheap out”; it just means that you get the most bang for your buck.  Note:  Be sure not to fall into the trap of buying something just because it’s a good deal.

5.        Don’t impulse buy

As I noted at the beginning of the article, Christmas is less than a week away and that can lead to panic.  If you don’t have time to get gifts for everyone on your list, sit down, and think it through.  Try to buy for those whom it means the most to, or people who won’t be getting gifts from anyone else.  For all others – write them a nice card with an IOU, or give them a picture of what they’ll be getting.  Tip: This will work better for adults than with kids! J

Happy shopping all – just keep it on a budget!

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