I find that Christmas shopping is usually something you love or something you hate. Whether you love it or hate it there is such a thing as smart Christmas shopping.
If you find yourself struggling to come up with the money you need to even do your Christmas shopping, I’ve got 12 sneaky ways that you can start saving the money you need, beginning today. Check those tips out and then come back here so we can talk about how to get the most bang for your Christmas dollar.
As someone who has lived a frugal lifestyle throughout my entire life, I’ve mastered the art of saving money. Not all Christmas shopping is created equal, however, and there are some shopping tips that are essential to being a savvy shopper.
Here are 12 things you can do to master the art of smart Christmas shopping in your life this year.
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Ebates is how I earned a nice bonus check by shopping for school clothes this year, and it is how I save a ton of money on Christmas shopping every year. It’s free to join and there aren’t any strings attached (hard to believe, I know), and it’s literally like getting paid to shop from the comfort of your own home. You can read more about Ebates and sign up here (it’s FREE!)
Get to know the clearance section
In every store you visit whether in person or online, browse the clearance section. It does take a few extra minutes, but it is quite often going to be well worth your time.
Shop outside the box
Great prices, unique items, and stress-free shopping can often be found in stores that you might not often think of when you think of Christmas shopping. You can find amazing Christmas presents at drugstores, home improvement stores, card shops, and even coffee shops. Get creative in finding Christmas presents by shopping at some new places this Christmas season.
Use prepaid credit cards or gift cards to avoid overspending
Going into debt while Christmas shopping is not a frugal girl’s dream, so any way you can keep your spending in check is worth doing. I find prepaid credit cards and gift cards to be an awesome way to do this. When the money runs out, you’re done shopping!
Take smaller shopping steps
Do your shopping a little at a time. Shopping marathons often give way to overspending simply because you go numb as you start to see the totals pass before your eyes. This is especially true if you’re having a day after Thanksgiving shopping marathon. Buying Christmas gifts a little at a time is a great way to stay within your budget.
Save money with giving gift cards
Gift cards are not only a great way to keep from overspending, they can also be a great way to save some money on your Christmas shopping when it comes to giving gifts. Many places like restaurants and coffee shops offer perks for buying gift cards, especially if you are buying more than one. Seek out these deals and take advantage of them. Gift cards are always a well received gift.
Seek out price matching
Save money on gas, save time, and save stress by taking advantage of stores that price match. If you’re feeling brave, you can even ask stores you want to shop at if they price match with stores that just aren’t your preferred places to shop for whatever reason. Especially during the holiday rush, stores are looking for your business. You never know what that might mean for you!
Not all Christmas sales and deals are created equal. Know your prices, know what good price points are, and know how deals you want to score are supposed to work. Not all sale prices are anything to jump at, especially on the day after Thanksgiving. It pays to shop smart.
Sometimes, you can find brand new things with tags at places like thrift stores, Ebay, garage sale sites on Facebook, and others. I have gotten some amazing gifts this way through the years.
Write it down
Keep a log of what you’ve bought and for whom on your Christmas list. This is the best way to avoid both overbuying and overspending. Buying multiple gifts for the same person unintentionally is a real easy way to blow your Christmas budget.
Keep it with you
I cannot tell you the number of times that I haven’t been able to take advantage of an awesome deal because I didn’t have something with me. Whether it’s coupons to stores you regularly shop at, the log you created in the step above, a gift card or something else, make sure you carry these common “shopping things” with you. I learned this one the hard way. I have a small basket in my car where I keep coupons and things like that. Gift cards are always in my purse, and I take a picture of my log to avoid having to carry the actual log with me. There’s a smart bonus tip for you!
Keep a close eye on Groupon
Groupon is a great place for so many things, and they really ramp up the gift giving products during the holiday shopping season. It’s nearly always a great deal on whatever you’re looking for. When looking to do some smart Christmas shopping, don’t forget Groupon.
Christmas shopping can be a large part of any family budget, but you can be a smart shopper and buy the things you need at a great price. Start early, be smart, and do these 12 things to save some serious money this year!