These great ideas will save money on Christmas gifts, yet still allow you to give gifts that will be loved!
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I still remember the quandary that my husband and I felt that first Christmas holiday shortly after we got married 9 years ago. We were torn between giving nice, expensive gifts that we really couldn’t afford or smaller, less flashy gifts that fit our meager budget.
We really wanted to be able to be generous and bless those we were giving gifts to! At the same time, we were trying to get on our feet financially and so it didn’t seem very smart to spend a lot of money either.
I don’t remember how we remedied giving gifts on our shoestring budget that first year. But, I do know that over the years we’ve gradually come up with ways to give gifts that are meaningful and also easy on our pocketbook. An added bonus is that by keeping things simple, we’ve found it easier to stay focused on the what we consider to be the real meaning of Christmas- Christ’s birth and loving each other.
How to Save Money on Christmas Gifts
Set a Budget
Decide ahead of time how much you are able to spend on each person and then stick to it.
The goal here is to stay under your total set budget. So, if you are able to find a great gift for one person that is $5 less than what you had budgeted, go ahead and have fun spending that extra money on another gift for someone else!
Shop Year Round
This is one of my favorite ways to save. By shopping year-round for Christmas gifts, you have more opportunity to get great bargains.
Watch for deals online, check clearance racks, flip through sales flyers and anytime you see an item for a great price ask yourself if it would work as a Christmas gift for someone on your list. You’ll be surprised how many incredible bargains you can score!
Here are some of my favorite place to find gifts online for good prices:
- Groopdealz – deals on household, clothing and home decor
- Cents of Style – deals on clothing
- DaySpring – huge selection of quality, Christian themed products. Watch their sales and clearance for some great buys!
Both my family and my husband’s family have been doing this for the last number of years, and we love it. It allows us to have the fun of giving to each other without totally breaking the bank.
And since my husband is the 2nd oldest of 10 children and I’m the youngest of 5, if we didn’t do it this way, there would be a lot of gifts to buy.
Do a Kid’s Only Exchange
This year my family decided to just exchange Christmas gifts between all the grandkids. Money is tight for several of us, a number of us adults felt like we don’t really need anything anyway, and different of us have a lot going on right now, so it was a way to reduce stress too.
I don’t know that I’d want to limit gift-giving to the kids only every year, but I’m very okay with scaling things back a bit sometimes!
Need some fun, inexpensive gift ideas for kids? Here are 50 kid’s gifts that are all $10 or less!
Give Family Gifts
Family gifts are another fun idea. Basically instead of each person exchanging gifts, each family exchanges gifts and gives something that the whole family can enjoy.
A few ideas would be a food-related gift, a game the whole family might enjoy or an experience gift. I love this because it helps keep things simple, while still enjoying the spirit of giving.
Limit the Number of Gifts
While we haven’t ever done this, I know some families that set a limit on how many gifts each person gets. For instance, they might do one practical gift, one clothing gift and one toy/fun gift. I think this is a great option if your family is prone to giving lots of gifts!
Buy with Discounted Gift Cards
Did you know that you can buy gift cards online for less than their actual value? It’s true! And we like to use those savings to our advantage!
If we know that we are going to be purchasing a gift for someone at a specific store, we’ll buy a discounted gift card first and then use it to pay for the gift. Snag the gift item during a sale and use the gift card as payment and you’ll save even more!
Here are two of our favorite sources for discounted gift cards:
- Raise.com (save $5 off your first order when you create an account with this link!)
- Gift Card Granny
Make Your Gifts
Obviously, making your own gifts isn’t always a money saver, but generally, it will be. And the thing that I love about homemade gifts is that they tend to be cherished more because they feel extra personal.
Use your talents and the things you enjoy doing to create unique handmade gifts. Do you love to bake? Give homemade bread, cookies or muffins. Enjoy crafting? Make some fun items such as sweater pillows, homemade soap or wall decor.
A fan of knitting? Give some handmade mittens, scarves or socks. Good at changing oil? Give a free oil change or two. Be creative and think outside the box, and you’ll almost always come up with a winning idea!
Give the Gift of Time
Some of the best gifts don’t cost a thing and often they are more meaningful than huge, expensive gifts too!
Make coupons for things like breakfast in bed, a 20 minute back rub, a homemade meal, an evening of babysitting, an afternoon of helping with anything the person wants, one time mowing the yard, etc.
One year my sweet sister-in-law gave me five gift-of-time coupons like this and I think it was the best gift I ever received! As a busy mom, being able to redeem those coupons to give me a lift whenever I needed it was such a blessing.
This might sound super cheap at first, but hear me out. The last several years both my family and my husband’s family agreed that it’s okay to buy used items to give as gifts.
This allows us the freedom to shop at yard sales, thrift stores and Craigslist, saving even more money. It is especially easy to find great toys inexpensively this way. Give them a good bath and they are good to go!
Save Extra When Shopping Online
If we end up buying gifts online, we always shop through Ebates because it allows us to earn a percentage back for our online purchases- up to 40% actually! The great thing is, you can also use coupon codes on your purchases too, to get maximum savings. Definitely an easy way to save a little bit more money on any gifts that we purchase online!
Want to give Ebates a try? You can earn $10 by creating your Ebates account through this link.
LOOKING FOR GREAT GIFT IDEAS? HERE ARE SOME!
- 50 Awesome Cheap Gifts for Kids that Cost $10 or Less
- 50 More Awesome Cheap Gifts for Kids that Cost $10 or Less
- 40 Frugal Gifts for Men that Cost $30 or Less
- 15 Inexpensive Fun Teacher Gift Ideas
- 20 Inexpensive Homemade Gifts for Kids
- 20 Inexpensive Homemade Gift Ideas
- Gift Ideas for Families
- Gift Ideas for College Students
- The Best Gifts for Knitters
- Gifts for the Crafty Girl
- Gifts for Pregnant Women
HOW DO YOU SAVE MONEY ON CHRISTMAS GIFTS? I’D LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT IT!