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The holidays are on the way and this means that a lot of shopping will take place. If your budget is tight this year, you wonder how you’ll be able to pay for the kids’ presents and other gifts that family members request. Don’t despair because in this post I’ll discuss creative and frugal ways to shop this holiday season. It doesn’t mean that you’ll have to buy things of poor quality. It means that you’ll be able to buy the best gifts without breaking the best.
- Create a List and Budget
It is a good idea to write a list of the gifts you’ll purchase before you shop. Once you create the list, compare the prices of those gifts at multiple retailers and write the prices down. After you take this step, create a holiday shopping budget based on the prices you’ll pay for the gifts. A budget helps you stay on track while purchasing gifts. Another idea is to save up cash every pay period at least a few months before the holiday season. By doing this you can avoid the need for credit cards during the holidays.
2. Focus on Retailers that Offer Free Shipping Deals
On my local news last night I heard about how the major retailers seek to win over customers with cool shipping discounts. Take advantage of the shipping wars this holiday season. Target will offer free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase required beginning Nov. 1. With this feature you can save hundreds on gifts.
3. Get Your Side Hustle On
If you already budgeted for your holiday shopping but want to purchase extra gifts for loved ones, look into ways to boost your income. Some good side hustles include:
- Freelance writing
- Virtual assisting
- Selling goods online
- Data entry
- Ebook publishing
- Garage sales
- Part-time work at retailers
Having extra income allows you to be more generous to those you care about this holiday season. Maybe you’ll be inspired to donate gifts to those in need such as the children of incarcerated parents, victims of natural disasters, children of deceased veterans, senior citizens on fixed incomes, single mothers and those who recently lost their jobs.
4. Shop with Old Gift Cards
If you have gift cards that you received within the past few months from retailers that you don’t visit often, use those cards before they expire at the end of the year. Chances are that some of those retailers offer gifts that your family and friends might like. You’ll save tons of money this way.
5. Make Homemade Treats as Gifts
Not all gifts have to come from the store. If you’re an excellent cook, prepare tasty treats for loved ones. Make a few pans of lasagna then freeze them in decorative baking pans to give to those who love pasta dishes. Or you can make a few batches of chocolate chunk cookies for your parents to enjoy.
6. Give the Gift of Investment
Of course you’re giving toys and clothes to the kids but what about a gift that will help them in adulthood? Open a savings account for each of the kids and contribute to them each pay period. So often we focus on the material things but we don’t think about what the kids will need to sustain themselves as they grow up. Many traditional banks and online lenders offer the 529 college savings plan so this is another great option.
7. Buy Christmas Gifts All Year Round
Since retailers hold sales all year round, why not get an early start on your holiday shopping? When you see discounted items on your list that are on sale, buy them and then put them away until Christmas.
With these helpful strategies, you don’t have to go into debt in order to purchase the best gifts.