Monday, December 5, 2011

How to Save Money During the Holidays

This year has been an amazing year as far as "money spending on gifts" goes. And part of the reason is because I have made smart decisions. Because of these decisions, I am still able to get an abundance of gifts for my family and friends without breaking the bank. It's like the best of both worlds.

So here you go.

Just a few things that I have done that has helped me. Also, if you have any great tips, please do share! I am always looking for more ways to save money.

1. Start shopping for Christmas beginning in January. And continue throughout the year. Set money aside specifically for Christmas shopping money. And check ads weekly. Keep your ears open. Listen to what your family says... like..."Oh that would be nice to have." And write it down! Then, kind of make a mental note when going through ads so that when it goes on sale and a pretty significant drop in price, you buy it! Then wrap it up right away. {It makes it even more fun when Christmas time comes around and you can't remember what you got the person. In my case though, I somehow always remember. Ugh.} But honesty, this is the first year that I had done it.. and it's amazing how stress-free Christmas shopping has been. And no arguments with the husband. And? I have tons of presents under the tree.

2. Check out other competitors before making a purchase. Browse the internet. Take that little extra time to make sure you are getting the best price. Some of the places that I like to check out are amazon.com, macys.com, overstock.com. Also keep in mind that amazon and overstock often times have free shipping and no taxes. This is key.

3. Never pay full price. Unless it's an apple product {because that's the only thing I know that never goes on sale, pretty much}. Otherwise, believe me... everything goes on sale. And if you start shopping in January and not December... then you won't be in a time crunch and won't be pressured to pay the full price. You call the shots. Not the store. Pretty much.

4. Dollar tree. Can be your best friend. Not dollar general, not deals... but dollar tree. Where everything is a dollar. And a lot of my little decorations around the house are from there. 1 dollar for wreath?! Heck yes!!! I'll take it. 1 dollar for a wreath holder? Um, bomb! 1 dollar for a bell ornament around the door, and the cutest thing I ever did? Well, that just makes me feel like I just won the lottery. In addition to decorations they have all sorts of crafts, frames, glasses, etc... all for a dollar. All making a diy person a very happy happy shopper.

5. Get your butt out there after Christmas! And check out the 50-75% off Christmas stuff! I mean it is a steal. I have done this for 3 years in a row... and I get things for change. Ornaments. Jars. Wreaths. Plates. Etc. But what I really score big on? WRAPPING PAPER... and tape... and name tags! I buy enough to last me for the following Christmas. So can I just tell you that this year after the 100+ presents that I have already wrapped... I still have 5 rolls left. Yes. Without spending full price and I didn't spend a dime during the holidays this year. The places I like to go to are... walmart, tjmaxx/homegoods, walgreens, cvs, target, kohls. Walmart the best though!  Oh and boxes. Boxes galore! Those go for cheap!

6. Never spend money on Christmas cards. Unless you absolutely want to. As a blogger, every year Shutterfly offers free cards for a sponsored post. So does tiny prints. And there are other companies like mypublisher who just giveaway free x-mas cards. If you are patient, believe me, they will end up free. I haven't paid for x-mas cards in 3 years.

7. Kids are the easiest. Honestly. You have to clothe them anyway right? I buy Elliana's wardrobe a year in advance. So those little numbers? Get wrapped up! Voila, she gets excited for yet another present to open. And as far as toys go, she already gets a ridiculous amount from our families, so we buy "educational" material that to her she would view as a "toy" gift. Either way, we would buy it for her regardless, so in the end, I'm just "wrapping" it up and calling it a Christmas gift. It's like I'm not really spending money on her for Christmas per say. Same with my nephew, I buy him stuff when I see a great deal, stuff that I would get him anyway. A year in advance. And I wrap it up.

8. Take advantage of store coupons. Like Kohls for instance. They send out every 2 months a free "10 dollar card" to use on anything. Hello! Free gift. So usually this is a "kid" present, or "baby" present where you can pick up an outfit, blanket, or whatever. For free. No strings attached. So every 2 months (sometimes monthly), average 6-8 a year? That's 6-8 free gifts. Love Kohls for that. Macys also has great coupons that they send out on a monthly basis, 20% off and 10 off 30. These are steals. So stack these coupons with the store deals, and you walk out the door (or checkout online) feeling like a champion. I promise you.


 9. Retailmenot.com . Visit that site when you are getting to buy something. Find the store that you are buying from, and it will show you any active coupon codes for free shipping, 5 off, 10 off, or more! Hey, anything and everything helps!

10. Make your own crafts. Ever since pinterest.com has come out, I think the options are endless. And there are projects that only cost you a few dollars! Great projects to also do with the kids. For instance wreaths can cost you anywhere from 20-80 dollars. If not more. You can make your own for 10.


There you have it. My number one thing I think is starting your shopping in January. Plus it's fun. If you enjoy buying gifts for others, I would highly recommend this.
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P.S. I am guest blogging over here today. Want a delicious go to recipe? Go read!

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P.P.S Don't forget to get your Christmas lists ready to link up tomorrow!! More info here.

8 comments:

  1. I love your tips! This year was the first year I started shopping early. I've pretty much got it all taken care of. I am not one of those girls who like the craziness of mall shopping at the last second. shoot me.

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  2. these are great tips! i just found retail me not (i think i found it through you) and i've saved on a few purchases. definitely going to start shopping earlier next year because there are so many expenses at this time of year, not including gifts.

    last year we cut down our christmas gift giving just to our parents and our kids. that has saved us a lot and much running around/stress!

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  3. wow girlie!!! These tips are awesome!!! Seriously, I am so grateful for you posting things like this. Ever since I started following you forever ago, we started couponing...we love it! We save so much! Even just grocery shopping for 2 people. I think this weekend, we save about $50. Im not nearly as good as you...but im learning :)

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  4. Those are great tips! I love buying Christmas decorations the day after Christmas too. It saves tons of money!

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  5. GREAT tips! Unfortunately they require a certain level of organization and foresight that I do not possess, BUT I'm going to TRY out some of your tips in 2012 and see how it goes!

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  6. Great list mama!! Amen to Dollar Tree I went there for all my little ornaments in a bowl thing (was supposed to glue them on a wreath but gave up! haha)

    Thanks to YOU I paid ZERO on cards!:) Love ya!

    and Amen to buying clothing FAR in advance, Vincent is ready to go for next year too! And you better believe I just picked up a swim suit for Jude haha!:) and seriously its like Christmas all over when you find the stuff you forgot you bought!:) LOVE IT!

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  7. these are great tips. i always try to do some of my christmas shopping throughout the year as i see sale items that remind me of people.

    loving your blog! im now following. :)

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