Happy holidays friends! Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year because I get to reconnect with family and friends. And of course exchange gifts! This season, there’s more pressure than others, because it’s the first time in over a year since we will be able to comfortably get together. There’s pressure to spend more in order to make up for time lost when the COVID-19 pandemic peaked in the U.S. I’m here to tell you you don’t have to feel that way. You can fully enjoy the holiday and be generous while maintaining a budget. Here are some of the best frugal tips to save on your Christmas shopping this year.
Budget How Much You Spend
Make A List & Stick To It
Once your budget is finalized, make a list of the gifts you intend to purchase. This will require some time to research to put together, but will save time and money once you start shopping. Every time you go shopping, this list should be with you. If you’re shopping online, the list should be next to your keyboard. If you are shopping in-store, your list should be handy. It will take a lot of self-control and discipline to stick to your list, but your future self will thank you for it!
Coupons are a great way to lower your shopping bill. Retailers are constantly offering coupons to shoppers in an attempt to lure them to their stores and websites. Take as much advantage of these as you can.
Choose Gift Cards
If, for whatever reason, you believe you think you will no stick to your budget or you list opt for sending gift cards instead. Gift cards get a bad rap as being “lazy gifts” but personally, I like receiving them. I can pick the items that I actually want and like. A big advantage to gift cards is they are offered in different denomination from $5 to $100, so they can fit any frugal person’s budget.
One of the best frugal tips to save on Christmas shopping is to start your shopping early. It is already proven that when you’re in a rush you’re prone to making mistakes. Waiting until the last minute means you’re more likely to overspend. Also, being on a tight deadline (December 25th) prevents you from shopping around for bargains or more affordable alternatives because you just don’t have the time. Save yourself the pressure and money by shopping early this year.
Don’t Get Caught Up With Retail Discounts
Department stores use discounts to get customers to purchase items they did not plan on purchasing. Buying an item that you did not plan on getting at a 35% discount is NOT saving you money. You literally just spent money on something that you may not ever use. Don’t fall for the promotions trap. Focus on the list of gifts you plan to give your loved ones.
If you’ve experienced hardships this year or simply want to be stricter about your budget, consider buying less gifts. It’s tempting to want to show the people in your life how much you love them by presenting them with numerous gifts, but if these people also care for you, they would understand the goals you have for yourself. Also, people tend to appreciate and remember the person presenting the gift and the effort rather than the gift itself. Resist the urge to play Santa Claus this year your future self will thank you for it.
Many people struggle with finding a balance between being generous and frugal. This post is to show you that it does not need to be one or the other, you can have a healthy balance of both. These are the best tips to save on your Christmas shopping that I have found so far. Don’t forget to share your own tips in the comments!