Discount Gifts: Four Tips For Saving Money On Gifts This Holiday Season

If you need some ideas to make your holiday dollars stretch, you’re not alone this year. Many people are faced with tough decisions regarding their spending and gift-giving habits. Look to the following tips to reduce your spending this year and make this holiday season enjoyable for everyone.

1. Try to limit gift exchanges.
Most people are in the same boat this season and could do without the extra expense of yet another gift exchange. If you feel comfortable with doing so, pitch the idea to your group of friends or family members. Plan a potluck holiday party so that you can all spend time together, without the pressure of buying gifts. Many families have reduced their expenses by having an exchange just for the children, or by drawing names so that each family group exchanges with one other small family group. Groups of friends can exchange Christmas cookies instead of spending money on separate presents. You might be surprised by how many people want to skip the gift exchanges (or limit them) this year.

2. Make your own gifts.
If you’re a crafty person, there are tons of presents that you can make that can reduce your costs this holiday season. Crocheted blankets, scrapbooks, personalized note cards and beaded bracelets are just a few of the craft items that you can give as gifts. Visit your local library to look for craft books to get even more ideas. Buy your supplies at a wholesale or discount store so you’ll save even more. Try to bundle gifts together. For example, make bracelets for all the women in your family so that you can make them all at once, which saves you time and money.

3. Bake your gifts.
Everyone will enjoy baked goods this time of year! Scour the Internet for new cookie and sweet treats recipes. In addition to cookies, you can bake fudge, bread or biscotti. Decide on three to four recipes. Plan to spend a Saturday before the holidays baking your gifts, and, before your baking date, start stockpiling ingredients by watching the sales. Many grocery stores will put holiday baking supplies on sale in the winter months. Purchase inexpensive decorative plates at a discount store and then use colored cellophane to cover the plates. You can also buy jars and layer the goodies in them.

4. Shop online with coupon codes.
Look for particularly deep discounts and coupon codes on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) as well as Cyber Monday (the Monday following Thanksgiving.) Make sure to shop as early as possible so you don’t end up with extra shipping charges for expedited delivery.

The best way to save money on holiday gifts is to purchase items throughout the year when you have find them on sale. So, once the holidays are over, keep a running list of gift ideas and shop the clearance sections. That way, you’ll have more time and energy left over for all of the holiday merriment.

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