Are you someone that enjoys the crazy Christmas shopping time? You don’t create DIY Christmas gifts, and you just love to enjoy the holiday season and shopping is a part of that fun and excitement?
Well, I have family members that are just like you. They aren’t really crafty, they enjoy the excitement of buying loved ones things that they really desire to have around the holiday season, and so they are definitely holiday shoppers.
That got my mind thinking, we don’t all have to save money the same way around the holidays. Some can save by making things and some can save by using smart shopping tips.
Then there are others that might decide to do both.
So since the DIY Christmas gifts have been covered, I wanted to share some smart shopping tips on ways you can begin saving on Christmas shopping from now until Christmas. Here are my tips:
How to Save on Christmas
1. Don’t Shop from the Hip
Not turning Christmas into a financial disaster begins with proper planning now. You will have to start making out your Christmas list now. That way you’ll know who you need to shop for.
Then you need to decide now what their gift will be. Will you buy them the latest electronics? Could you bake them something or make them a gift? Or would you like to give them some nice lotions or a candle? Knowing who you are shopping for and what they’ll get will allow you to think things through, budget, and see where you can trim things down a bit.
Remember, if you don’t follow this tip, you’ll step foot in the mall, see all of the options, have no idea who you are shopping for and what you plan on buying, and could potentially blow your budget really quickly. That is if you set a budget, to begin with.
Then you’ll either have to scrimp on the rest of Christmas or end up in debt. You don’t want this scenario. So take time to plan out who and what you are shopping for so you aren’t tempted to shop from the hip.
2. Start Shopping NOW
When you shop earlier, you don’t usually have to hunt very hard for gifts because most people wait until the last minute to begin Christmas shopping.
When everyone else is sweating over what to buy, you’ll be cool, calm, and collected with already wrapped gifts under the tree. This will stop you from buying things out of desperation or pure exhaustion.
Not to mention, you’ll have time to actually shop instead of just grabbing. This means you might be able to find a less expensive yet equally exciting gift for that special loved one in your life. Or you could also have time to hunt around to find the best deal.
3. Do Your Prep Work for the Big Shopping Days
The biggest shopping days of the year are Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (the Monday after Black Friday.)
With that in mind, if you dare to take on these shopping days, you’ll have to scour the sale ads. Often, many websites will give snippets of certain sales that are coming out on Black Friday. This means you have more time to prepare and decide which stores you want to camp in front of at 2 am.
Honestly, I’m not a Black Friday shopper. I worked at the mall for a year in college and that pretty well killed any shopping desires I might have ever had.
However, there are some people that really love shopping on this day. So for them, prepping for where you are going and which sales you really want in on definitely starts with doing your homework. The same rules apply for Cyber Monday because a lot of websites crash because of the amount of traffic.
However, I do love Cyber Monday because it equals great deals, no crowds, and you don’t even have to get out of your jammies if you don’t want to!
4. Use Your Money Wisely
My solid advice to everyone is to avoid debt. It is a nasty little ball and chain that stops people from being able to go and do what they want in life because they are stuck to a desk trying to pay off what they spent yesterday.
I know, we live in a time where debt is hard to avoid, but Christmas does not have to be a time that you add to your debt.
My advice is to stick with cash only. Talk to your bank to see if they still offer a Christmas Club account. If not, then set-up an account at another bank where you can deposit money, but it takes longer to withdraw it.
Or you could save your change all year long to make up your Christmas budget. There are so many creative ways to save money for Christmas. It doesn’t have to be super complicated.
However, I will say this, if you have a budget in mind and are self-controlled, then it could be a good idea to use a cashback credit card. That way you receive cashback on what you were already planning to spend.
However, only do this if you have the cash in hand to turn around and pay your bill. Don’t go into debt trying to make money on your Christmas budget. It just isn’t a good idea.
5. Consider Online
I do most of my Christmas shopping online. I live in the country so it is a decent snip for me to get to a town with a mall.
Not to mention, I’m not a huge fan of large crowds. So I just stay home, shop in comfort, and wait for my packages to arrive.
Plus, around Christmas, it gives me a great opportunity to hunt for who has the best deals, online coupons for the store I’m shopping at, and also most stores offer free shipping around Christmas.
Don’t forget that stores also offer special promo codes for online shoppers to save more money. So don’t forget that shopping online for what you already planned to buy could not only save you gas but also could mean saving on what you are buying as well.
6. Put Loyalty Cards to Use
I love loyalty cards. I have a loyalty card for trips to the movies, one for the grocery store, one for the gas station, and even one for my favorite clothing store.
However, I realize that when I use my loyalty card now, I could be saving money for Christmas.
Keep that in mind at this time of year. If your grocery store is offering so much money back on your loyalty card if you buy 2 of something that you’ll actually use, then do it so you can save up that money for buying gift cards at your grocery store around Christmas.
If you stop at the gas station a lot, then save up those points to purchase lottery tickets as part of a Christmas gift this year.
Or if you purchase clothing at a store, save up those points on your loyalty card to get a discount. Some stores even have specific days to shop where you get certain percentages off of your purchase. Remember these stores when creating your shopping list so you can save money.
7. Don’t Go All Out
Next, remember that Christmas is not about a gift under the tree. Don’t think that everyone is going to be staring at the price tag on the gift.
Honestly, this is why I became more of a DIY Christmas person because I got so sick of everyone competing for the best or most expensive gift. I began trying to spend less and less money on Christmas because I didn’t want my children to develop that mindset about the holidays.
I encourage you to buy your loved ones (if that is your preference) a gift that they will enjoy without feeling like you have to buy the crème de la crème gift.
Then you can enjoy the holidays within your budget and not dread all of those payments for the rest of the year. That is the one thing I remember my late grandfather saying to me. He said this while watching the news report on Black Friday one day.
He said, “Jennifer, all of these people scurry around to buy all of these gifts for one day and spend the next 12 months paying for it. It makes no sense.”
Now, the older I get the more I appreciate his viewpoint. He was right. It makes no sense to make 12 (or more) months of payments for one day of gifts being exchanged.
I encourage you to think of that when picking out gifts for your spouse, children, or other family members and friends. Christmas can still be great without having the latest and greatest of everything.
8. Revisit #1
Finally, I encourage you to revisit tip #1 after viewing all of these tips. Once you have taken all of them into account, look at the list again. Decide which gifts you’ll need to hunt for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Then see which gifts you have to go to a store for, and which you can shop online. Make notes of these things so you have it in your mind to find the best deal and not just buy the gift when it is right in front of your face for a higher price.
Also, look at your cashback cards and loyalty cards. Can you make any of them work for you during the holiday season?
Get a solid game plan together where you can still enjoy shopping this holiday season but without busting your budget. Then enjoy yourself!
You now have 8 solid tips for saving money this Christmas when shopping for gifts. I hope that some of them will help you to save money, or at least get you to think about the financial side of Christmas shopping so you’ll make better decisions.