Gifts are important but so are your finances. We may like to spend all the money we have (or don’t have on the people we love) but reality means that we have to keep our finances in mind. Here are some ways to save money on gifts.
Let’s not kid ourselves. There is not a magic way to save money on gifts. There is no way to have an extensive gift list and buy the perfect gift all on a miniscule budget. In order to REALLY save TONS of money on gifts you have to do the following:
- Give less gifts
- Give smaller gifts.
Those two should be the main focus when trying to cut down on holiday expenses. See if you can get anyone in your life to agree on a “no gift exchange” rule. Adults are usually more amenable to this type of agreement. Trying it with an 8 year old will probably backfire.
We should all reduce the amount of materialism happens around the holidays. But if you are going to disappoint your children for life or cause an irreparable family rift then you can’t just skip presents or buy something from the dollar store. If you need to save money on gifts, don’t do it in a way that will ruin any other part of your life. Of course, this all depends on the culture and lifestyle that you identify with. So much of what we do it affected by our culture and social circle.
Here are some ideas that can help you save some money on gifts. If you are lucky and diligent then this may help you tremendously. The best way to tackle overspending is to make a STRICT budget and really stick to it. You can decide how much you will spend per person or total and then really stick to it. I use an envelope system to save money all year round for the gifts I want to give.
How to Save Money on Gifts
- Be open. We all want to find and give the perfect gift and sometimes we have in our heads exactly what that gift should be. Be open, if the item you are searching for is out of your price range or is never going on sale then it’s time to think of other options
- Shop sales mindfully. Black Friday sales and per-holiday sales often have steep discounts on some amazing items. But keep in mind that the price you see “on sale” could have been manipulated to seem to be a steeper discount than it actually is. While Black Friday is a great day to do some shopping and a great time to find deals, don’t buy it just because its on “sale”– make sure you are actually getting it for cheaper.
- Shop clearance. There is nothing wrong with getting something off the clearance rack. Small children, in particular don’t usually care if something is the latest and greatest. A toy is a toy and a book is a book.
- Pair up. For more pricey gifts, see if chipping in with someone else can save you some money (and time). Maybe a group of siblings want to get together to get something nicer for their parents. If done correctly, this can lower individual costs and sometimes the combined gift is much nicer than what you could have afforded on your own.
- Give a family gift. If you have family that has many kids, maybe consider buying a family gift instead of individual gifts. If you do this properly it can save you some money. Consider a gift that everyone will enjoy-like a large toy or game or an experience that they can all do together- a membership to a museum or zoo (for example).
- DIY or Do it Simple. There are so many meaningful gifts that can be given that are DIY or partial DIY. Picture books, magnets, framed poems can all be lovely meaningful gifts that don’t break the bank. With a little creativity and time you can create some truly memorable items that probably will be cherished for much longer than that Starbucks gift card.
- Skip the babies. And if you can’t then give them something small or cheap. Dollar Store or Target dollar section works well for this. They really, really don’t need something big and is honestly a waste of money.
- Use Amazon (yes-this an affiliate link). Amazon is currently offering free shipping for all shoppers and has rolled out a targeted program allowing Prime members to have all their items ship at once which allows add-on items to ship without a $25 minimum. Keep on scanning deal sites and flash sales to score some great deals.
- Use deal sites. There are so many blogs, twitter accounts, and Instagram pages that are devoted to finding you great deals. Check these every day and sign up for alerts to get the limited time offers that are available.
- Use Ebates/Rakuten (again-an affiliate link). Don’t spend more because you think you will get cash back as the amount is not that large. But it does add up especially if you do a lot of shopping online. And its always nice to get a check a few weeks after the holidays are over.
How do you save money on gifts? Do you have any tips to share with us? Hit the comments or let me know on Twitter!