So this year we are on a seriously tight budget, but we have the same number of people that we want to buy gifts for this year. It is going to take some creative work on my part (and I don’t mean crafty, because I was not blessed with that gene AT ALL) to get meaningful gifts for everyone on our list while still keeping our finances in check.
But I do have a few key strategies! Wanna hear ’em? Good!
1. Shopping through “alternative” means
- This means that I’m checking out places where I haven’t really looked before for something special. I’ve been browsing the local thrift stores for the past few months and found a few things that I think loved ones will like and that were far less than what I would have paid at a retail store. You can even occasionally find items with the tags still attached!
- I’ve also been scoping out Craigslist. This is an EXCELLENT resource for baby and toddler gear and toys and even household items that folks no longer want/need.
- Finally, I’ve been using Swap Mamas to trade things I have but no longer need for things someone else doesn’t need. It is really cool, because no money is involved. You just swap! There are all sorts of things on Swap Mamas, but this is also especially good for baby/toddler stuff.
2. Getting brave
- I’ve been more bold lately about asking online retailers for small discounts, especially if I don’t see an online coupon code available anywhere. I tend to try this out if I’m a new customer or if I’m going to buy several things at one time. The worst they can say is no! Try it out; you may be surprised! And if they do say no, definitely don’t take it personally. They have to earn money so they can buy holiday gifts, too! 🙂
3. Giving something the person truly wants
- You may be surprised how often people ask for gifts that may require some thought or some time, but very little money. For example, my sister-in-law is asking for favorite recipes. Yes, it will take me a bit of time to gather my favorites for her, but it will be virtually free. And it’s what she wants! I think she’ll like it much more than, say, a cashmere scarf that I could easily find and that would be luxurious, but not as special to her as my favorite recipes.
- If someone on your list really does want something that is more expensive, see if you can go in with a few (or several) people to help make that gift a reality. If it is what they truly want, they would probably rather have one nice gift from several people combined than several gifts from several people that they didn’t want or need. This really just depends on the person, so you’ll have to judge for yourself whether or not you want to do this.
What about you? What are your key strategies for saving money during the holidays?