Our Cozy Den gave us some strategies for saving up for those Christmas gifts.
It's easy to spend more than we realize during the holidays....one minute you've got a nice, neat, short list of things to get...the next minute, you're being sucked in by lightning deals and Aunt Eunice's forgotten gift (who you forgot last year, too!).
Check out these five easy ways to sock away some extra cash for the holidays!
- Stock up on FREE gifts.
- At least two or 3 times a month, I am offered a free gift from one of my favorite companies, Shutterfly. They offer a TON of pretty photo gifts that are perfect for Grandparents, Aunts, & Uncles. Throughout the year, I upload several of my favorite photos of my kids, along with pictures of the kids with their loved ones. When the email hits my inbox that I have Only 24 Hours to claim my free item, I can usually make and order the item in less than 10 minutes, paying only $3-7 for shipping.
- I also save points for various companies, like Disney Movie Rewards, Kellogg’s, etc. You can also collect points for Huggies or Pampers products, if you buy those, and let your friends and family know that you collect codes, in case they have points that they were just going to throw away! In the fall, I cash in all of my points and usually get 3-4 really nice gifts, and I don’t even have to pay shipping for them in most cases!
- Some of my kids’ favorite gifts were the things I made them for little or no cost. You can make a Lego table, a train table, kids’ artwork displays for grandparents, or one of the million ideas on Pinterest. I also make cute little home ornaments and baby photo subway prints for friends and family. (They make great wedding and baby gifts!) One way I love to save money doing this is by getting supplies in the clearance section at Hobby Lobby or Walmart. Another way to do this is with online scrapbooks, printable coloring books, or video collages. Still other ways include offering your services (babysitting, landscaping, baked goods) or simply the gift of your time (great for older folks). The possibilities are endless!
- It may sound heartless, but you don't have to get a gift for everyone you know! As finances become limited, you will have to prioritize who gets a gift, and what kind of gift they get. That doesn't mean that you don't care about the other people; it only means that you'll need to get more creative with them. Go Christmas caroling and take a small plate of cookies. Make some memories. They might even appreciate it more than the book or tchotchke you were going to get...
- Use cash to pay for items at the grocery store, and stick all of the change into a cider jar. Do this all year and watch that jar get very very heavy! You might be surprised to find that you can save $500 or more, just from your change!