Now that we’ve gotten knee-deep in loads of ways to save up some extra moolah for our Christmas shopping, it’s time to start thinking about how much we SPEND on Christmas. Because when you get right down to the nuts and bolts…it really doesn’t matter how much you save if your SPENDing is out of control, right?
So what are some effective spending strategies?
Here are a few questions to consider:
Is there a way to spend less on the normal gifts?
You may be used to going through the same routine every year to purchase certain must-have items. (i.e. Photo gifts for the Grandparents, candy for the stockings, a gift basket for the boss…) Maybe you feel comfortable with your photo site for creating photo gifts. Possibly you save some of this shopping for a last minute run and throw them in your cart. Or you just haven’t asked the question, “Can I get this item cheaper?”
If you feel very loyal to a particular product, I am not going to try to talk you into switching to another brand. However, here are some tips for finding things at a lower price:
- Create a list of the items that you know you will be buying this year. (More tomorrow on planning materials.)
- Begin looking out NOW for good deals on these items.
- If you’re looking for a great deal on something in particular, leave a comment on this post and I’ll try to keep my open for you!
Can I buy less this year?
Recently, my husband and I have been discussing the idea of being much more intentional this year on Christmas gifts for our sons. It’s so easy to get caught up in the madness of the hottest toys and gifts. My dilemma last year was that I found so many amazing deals that I felt I had to snag them. Too late, I realized the error of my ways and felt a sense of disappointment as my son tore through his gifts on Christmas morning. They weren’t nearly as purposeful as they should have been.
Make a plan to be purposeful with your gift giving this year. Our goal is to focus on quality rather than quantity. If a gift won’t provide them with hours of fun, learning, or exercise, it probably won’t make it under the tree! This may mean cutting back on the amount of presents that we give, but let’s be honest–is that so bad?
How can I think outside of the box?
- Instead of purchasing Christmas music, listen to it on Pandora, or Playlist.com or the good old fashioned radio!
- If you have a large extended family, consider the benefits of drawing names this year. We did that many years ago with my family and have never looked back!
- Are you creative, crafty or handy? Use your ‘gifts’ to make gift-giving even more special!
- Have you ever considered the wonders of the Dollar Store? My Mom just bought me six beautiful mugs there. Had she not told me, I would have never known!
Look for ways to save on what you DO buy:
If you are shopping online, here are some sites you may want to take advantage of:
- Retailmenot.com: Use it to search for coupon codes that could reduce the amount you spend on any particular site.
- Ebates, Cashbaq, ShopAtHome: These are all cash back sites. Sign up for an account and then search for a store on the site. Click through the link that they provide and receive a percentage of your purchase back in your account.
And FINALLY, be sure to follow me for GREAT deals! Click here to sign up for my Christmas savings newsletter, which begins in early November!
Are you ready to make a PLAN to tackle your Christmas Savings? Then check out our FINAL day of Seven Days to Christmas Savings: Let the Planning Begin!