Every year, the average person spends around $800 on holiday shopping. If you're looking to save money this holiday season, this number may seem rather intimidating. Try these 12 methods to save money if you want to save money on your holiday expenditures without being a scrooge.
1. Make a list- and stick to it
This may seem like an obvious one, but making and following a holiday shopping list can save you a lot of money. When you have a list of people you need to buy gifts for, it's easier to stay on track and resist buying unnecessary items.
Here are a few ways you can create your list:
- List everyone you intend to buy a gift for, and next to their name, write down a thoughtful but affordable present you think they would appreciate. This will help keep you from overspending on individual gifts, as well as make sure that you don't forget anyone important.
- Create two lists with people would like to buy for and people you need to buy for. This distinction can help you stay mindful of your spending- remember, you don't need to buy a gift for everyone in your life, but it's nice to show appreciation for those who are important to you.
- Add up the total of both your lists to get a rough estimate of how much you'll need to spend in order to stay within your budget.
2. Set a budget
Another great way to save money during the holidays is to set a budget for your spending. Once you know how much money you can realistically spend, it'll be easier to stick to your list and not overspend.
You could also split your budget up by setting a price for various occasions like:
- Birthdays gifts for friends
- Birthday gifts for family
- Christmas gifts
- Father's Day
- Mother's Day
- Wife or girlfriends anniversary gifts
- Kris Kringle at work or with friends
3. Shop early
If you start your holiday shopping early, you'll have more time to comparison shop and look for sales and deals. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
When you shop early it really means whenever a store or website has a sale, you buy then instead of waiting. This could be anything from an End of Season Sale to mid-year clearance.
4. Shop Online
Shopping online can be a great way to find deals on gifts. You can often find items for cheaper prices online than in stores, and you can have them shipped directly to your door. Just be sure to factor in shipping costs when comparing prices.
Some websites like Amazon offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount. While other sites like eBay offer free delivery on thousands of items.
There are specific dates for online sales events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but you can often find deals and sales throughout the year if you know where to look.
5. Use Coupon Codes
Another great way to save money when shopping for gifts is to use coupons. Many stores offer coupons that can be used both in-store and online, so be sure to take advantage of them.
Some coupon sites offer straight discounts or a percentage off your purchase. Some even offer loyalty programs where you will receive a huge discount on your first purchase.
6. Buy Generic or Non-Branded Items
When it comes to gift-giving, it's often the thought that counts, not the brand name. So instead of buying expensive brand-name items, opt for cheaper generic alternatives. Chances are, your friends and family won't even notice the difference.
Most factories that manufacture gifts also make the same gifts for other wholesalers which means the quality is just as good, but the price is cheaper.
7. Shop at discount stores
Discount stores like Target and K-Mart often have great prices on holiday gifts. It's a well-known secret that K-Mart offers a ton of great gift ideas at their everyday low price. Some of their already lower-priced gift ideas may even have discounts on them. Look out for other local discount outlets near you and with some time and footwork you'll find a great gift idea that's not only good for your wallet but a perfect gift someone will love.
8. Compare prices
Don't just buy the first item you see. Take the time to compare prices at different stores before making your purchase. This can help you save a significant amount of money. These days you can compare prices online before you even step foot into a store.
And there are many price comparison websites out there to help you find the lowest-priced item. On top of this, you should also check out websites that alert you when an item goes on discount. These types of websites monitor the price of an item over various websites and can email you as soon as they go on sale.
9. Use Cashback websites
Cashback websites are a great way to earn money back on your holiday shopping. All you have to do is sign up for an account and shop through their site to earn cashback on your purchases.
You can then use this cashback towards your holiday shopping budget or withdraw it as cash. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions before signing up, as some sites have minimum payout thresholds.
10. Join a Warehouse Club
Warehouse clubs like Costco often have great prices on holiday gifts. You can often find items for cheaper prices at these stores than at regular retail stores. Just be sure to factor in the membership fee when comparing prices.
11. Make Your Own Gifts
If you're really looking to save money this holiday season, then making your own gifts is the way to go. This can be a great way to show your friends and family how much you care without spending a lot of money.
There are tons of DIY gift ideas out there, so take some time to look around and see what you can come up with. You can also get your friends and family involved and make it a group activity.
12. Give the Gift of Time
One of the best gifts you can give is the gift of your time. This is especially true if you have friends or family members who are always busy and never seem to have any free time.
So instead of buying them a materialistic gift, why not give them the gift of your time? This could be in the form of taking them out to lunch or coffee, going for a walk with them, or even just sitting down and catching up.
No matter what you do, they'll appreciate the gesture and it won't cost you a dime.
Saving money on holiday gifts doesn't have to be difficult. By following these 13 tips, you can easily slash your holiday shopping budget without being a Scrooge. So put down that credit card and start saving!