We all like to spend money on our friends and family at Christmas time and there are few things as satisfying as being able to buy and give a gift you just know the recipient will love. However, if you need to tighten your belt a little this year in the Christmas gift department, or you’re just looking to curb your consumerism here are a few tips to help you save on Christmas gifts.
1. Make a list, and check it twice
Obvious? Yes. Predictable? Yes. Pointless? No. Making a list of the people you need to buy gifts for, and working out what you are going to get them before you leave the house means you are less likely to overspend on a person. How many times have you gotten carried away collecting the perfect gifts for your sister, only to realise your brother’s present now looks too small and you need to spend even more on him now too?!
2. Make a budget and stick to it
This should be done when you make your gift list because it allows you to see just how much you are spending on the festive season and chances are you’ll be inspired to curb your spending and set a limit. Setting a limit also stops you from over spending because when you reach the budgeted price ceiling, you know you need to stop shopping. If you are struggling for csah and are going to use your credit card, consider applying for a 0% purchases card before you spend. Its going to save you some serious interest.
3. Do not wait the last minute
Shopping earlier than December can save you money on your Christmas gifts. Firstly, there is more demand for all kinds of gifts and their prices increase and their availability decreases leading shop assistants to say things like ‘I can get it in before Christmas but you’ll have to pay the extra rushed shipping costs…’ Secondly, shopping in the Christmas rush is expensive for parking, petrol and incidentals like coffee and lunch breaks in your shopping marathon, but if you pace yourself, you can save on your entire gift buying experience.
4. Shop for Christmas bonuses
If you are shopping in the Christmas rush you can still save on gifts by seeking out those great seasonal bonuses. Around Christmas time many retailers will package up products and gifts to offer gifts with purchase. While you may be tempted to boost the original recipient’s gift, you can instead use this gift with purchase as a gift for someone else on your list.
5. Make and bake
Making gifts is a sure fire way to save money so if you are handy with a sewing machine why not whip up some Christmas stockings for your nieces and nephews, or if you want to give out hampers, bake the cookies and make the jam yourself, there are hundreds and thousands of free festive recipes online.
6. Secret Santa gifts
Instead of buying gifts for all of your friends and family, why not set up a Secret Santa draw within your gift buying groups. This is as simple as putting everyone’s names in a hat, and each person draws out one name, and buys one gift, with a budget set for the gifts by the group.
7. Shop online
This is another way to save on the parking, petrol and snack costs of Christmas gift buying because you don’t have to leave the house. Plus, you can often find the same products from the stores in the mall, in online stores for much cheaper because online stores have lower overheads and staffing costs – savings they can pass onto you.
8. To wrap up…
Skip the expensive wrapping paper. Glossy Christmas patterned paper can add hundreds of dollars to your final gift budget but simple brown or white paper with coloured ribbon can make an equally impressive gift – the paper will just be ripped and recycled anyway. Or you can use non-traditional gift wrapping tools as part of the gift – why not wrap gifts in tea towels or bath towels, or make a ‘Santa Sack’ from a pillow case?