Christmas is the most joyful time of the year, but also one of the most expensive times of the year. Between decorations, hosting Christmas parties, extra food, traveling, and of course, the GIFTS, the budget can get pretty tight and the last thing you want to do is to go into debt during the holiday season. I have gathered my top 8 ways of saving money on gift giving through the holidays.
1.) Pairing gifts for couples
This year, instead of buying 2 separate gifts for my parents, I decided to get them a Kuerig for them to share. I also told my siblings about this so they could get them some K-cups to go along with it! Another way I have made gifts for couples in the past is making a movie night gift basket with a Christmas movie, hot chocolate mix, popcorn, candy, and some cozy socks or get a pre-made gift basket. Or you can keep it simple with a set of movie tickets and a gift card to their favorite restaurant.
Everyone loves pictures. You could buy a session with a professional photographer to do family portraits and use it as a gift for the whole family. Or you could print out some cute pictures from your wedding, vacation, graduation, or new baby and getting some frames to go along with it. If you use Shutterfly, you can get free unlimited 4×4 and 4×6 prints that can go to parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends.
3.) Black Friday and Cyber Monday
A great way to save money is facing the terrors of Black Friday to go out and get the deals on those hot ticket items you are looking for or waiting til Cyber Monday and ordering it all online. Also, a lot of companies offer free shipping around the holidays which you could take advantage of so you don’t have to go out at all. But if you do shop online, do not procrastinate or it may not get to you in time and that would be no fun.
4.) Retailmenot and “Super Cash”
Now the Retailmenot App is awesome. They work with tons of stores, you can get in-store and online coupons, and they have deals on gift cards, you can get cash back, free shipping and more. Anytime you go to buy something, check the app for that store and see what offers they have going on. Another way of saving some money is using things like Kohl’s Cash and Old Navy has Super Cash where when you spend X amount of dollars, you get $10 or $15 dollars back. Unfortunately, these deals do have specific dates that they can be used but if you do some shopping before the holiday season, the Super Cash you get can be used before Christmas and go towards some gifts!
Homemade Assortments are as cheap or expensive as you choose for them to be and are super cute and fun to make. You can do anything from a travel cup or mug filled with candy, a gift card, gum, and head phones with a scarf or blanket wrapped around it OR you could get a blanket or pair of socks with some with lip gloss, lotion, body spray, nail polish, and some makeup. The options for this are limitless. I think these are super fun for friends, co-workers, and extended family.
6.) Homemade Gifts
Again, this is another fun and cheap option that you could do so much with. Baked goods like cookies, fudge, or hot chocolate kits are always a good option because you can do them in bulk and give them out to everyone. Some other fun ideas are homemade bath bombs, body scrubs, lip balm, ect.
7.) Pulling Names or Secret Santa
We do this every year with my mom’s side of the family where we separate into 2 groups, adults and kids, and put every ones names into a cup and everyone pulls a name from their group. We put a $50 limit on gifts but you could do $10, $25, or $100, whatever fits everyone budget. Then each person has to get a gift for the person’s name they pulled. We do not keep the names a secret, so we can ask people what they want but you could keep it a secret to add more mystery. This is fun for extended families and office parties.
8.) Chinese or Elephant Christmas
Now, this is the type of Christmas we do with my dad’s side of the family. Again, set a price limit (we use $25) and each person brings one gift. So my family of 6 will bring 6 different gifts to mix with all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents gifts. Count how many people are there ( we usually have around 20) so we write out the numbers 1-20 on little pieces of paper and everyone pulls a number. Whoever gets number 1, goes up to the table and picks 1 gift and opens it in front of everyone. The 2nd person has the choice to either pick another gift from the table or steal the 1st persons gift. If they decide to steal, the 1st person goes back up to the table to pick another gift. Then number 3 has the choice to steal or pick. If you are stolen from, you can either steal someone else or pick one from the table but you cannot steal back what was just stolen from you and the same gift cannot be stolen more than 3 times. The trick to this game is to make sure you pull the highest number so you get to see what everyone else’s gift and can pick anything you want. The great thing about this is that it is very interactive with the whole family and you only have to buy one gift.
So those are my 8 ways of saving money when buying Christmas gifts. What ways do you save money throughout the holidays?