Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Christmas Shopping on Budget
Christmas time is quickly approaching, and I could not be more excited! I absolutely love everything about the holidays! The music, the decorations, the shopping...but my budget? Not so open to taking such a holiday hit! Thankfully, I have found many ways to help save during the holidays! Are you looking to shop on a budget? Here are a few quick tips that have helped me out:
Once the holiday shopping season starts, the stores are more crowded and the deals go a lot faster! Beat the holiday rush by shopping throughout the year. Many toys actually go on clearance right after the holidays...and again towards the end of summer to clear out for new toys for the holidays!! I personally start checking for sales come January. I shop for birthdays first (my kids' birthdays are in August), and once I've finished shopping for that, I immediately move on to Christmas. By looking throughout the year, not only are you able to find great deals, but you are also spacing out your spending so your budget it taking less of a hit at one time.
Giveaways can be a great way to have the chance to win some amazing holiday gifts. I personally love gift card giveaways for this, as they allow me to purchase whatever we need, but have found many great toy/dvd/book giveaways that make amazing gifts as well. It's not guaranteed, of course, but if you're lucky enough to win, this can be a great way to stretch your holiday budget further!
I like to try to have the bulk of my holiday shopping done BEFORE Black Friday, but let's be honest...the sales are WONDERFUL! If you're brave enough to fight the crowds, it's certainly a great way to get great gifts and a great price! Don't want to brave the stores? Some stores offer Black Friday prices online as well!
Find a great deal, but your store is out of stock? Price matching at a different store can be a great option! Walmart and Best Buy are both great for this, and can reduce your gas usage by allowing you to shop in one store as well. Personally, when possible, I love price matching at Best Buy...we get great prices AND earn points as reward members! Which leads us to...
Best Buy, Sears, KMart, Toys R Us...these are just a few great stores that offer great rewards programs that allow you to earn money back for the purchases you make! Thanks to a wonderful Kmart/Sears promotion last year, I was able to get back nearly what I spent as a Shop Your Way Rewards member! This made for great FREE gifts!!
We mostly think of coupons for food, but there are great toy coupons available as well. Target is my favorite when it comes to coupons! Their holiday toy add included some wonderful coupons that allowed me to get the most for my money AND their Cartwheel app has been amazing this holiday season. Each day they offer one toy for a whopping 50% off!! Awesome! If there is a store you shop at frequently, be sure to get on their mailing list. Gymboree and Osh Kosh B'Gosh send out great coupons often which are good not only for holiday shopping but throughout the year as well (we all know how quickly kids grow!). Some stores like Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works even send out coupons for FREE products (with or without purchase!).
The rest of these tips focus on getting the best deals in store, but making your own gifts can be another great money saver- and a great way to show someone how much you care! Not crafty? That's okay! Bake cookies, buy an inexpensive mug and add a hot cocoa mix, take a photo of your little ones and frame it for the grandparents! The possibilities are endless!
What tips do YOU have for Christmas shopping on a budget?