The holidays do not have to be a time of financial worry. There are many ways to have a frugal holiday season that will leave money in your wallet! Here are my top 10 money saving tips this holiday season.
1) Make a List: And stick to it! By creating a list you will have your must have items at your fingertips. The urge to buy a gift “because it is so cute” is lessened when you see first hand what you planned on buying. After checking items off your list you can easily see what items you still need and you will not forget that you bought Janie and Jill those legos and dolls already. Creating a list will help with finding the best deals as well. Take your list with you when you shop!
2) Use Coupons: So many items we purchase have coupons. Try searching for “item Coupon” and see what your results yield. Often coupons are from previous newspaper inserts, home mailers, magazines, or can be printed from the internet. If you cannot find a coupon check a site like ebay. Paying $1.50 for a $10 coupon is still an $8.50 savings!
3) Shop Through Cash Back Sites: When you shop online always shop through cash back sites like Ebates (read more here), Mr. Rebates, or Shop at Home. Sign up with the cash back sites, search the site for your merchant, click the link, and you are on your way. Your account will be credited a few days later. After your account reaches a certain dollar amount a check will be mailed to you.
4) Make Your Own Presents: With a homemade present you are sure to delight the recipient. Homemade presents cost a fraction of the cost of store bought presents. Turning this in to an activity with children is an excellent idea. Coupons for free babysitting, dishes, and breakfast in bed are always a special gift to receive. Be sure to start your home made presents early so you do not rush at the end of the season.
5) Enter Contests and Giveaways: You have to enter to win. There are so many fun contests out there (even on this site). Someone has to win, right? Well, you could be the lucky person. If you there is a must have item on your list be sure to search for “item giveaway” or “item contest.” Enter as many contests or giveaways as possible to increase your chances of winning.
6) Start Early: The earlier you start shopping for gifts the more likely you will find a terrific deal. Starting early means you will finish early as well!
7) Regift: Take a look around your house. Tucked away in the back of the shelves do you have unopened gadgets from your wedding or toys you tucked away that you forgot about? Did you buy a candle only to come home and realize you don’t like the scent? It’s time to give those things away! And as a bonus you will get rid of unnecessary clutter in your house.
8) Shop Discount Stores: Stores like Home Goods, TJ Max, Marshalls, and even the Dollar Store have terrific deals. Do you really need to spend $5 on a roll of wrapping paper when you can get one for $1 at the Dollar Store? Add the perfect ribbon and no one will be the wiser.
9) Stock up for next year! Hit the sales immediately after Christmas and tuck away items for next year. Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes all have unbelievable clearance prices to clear their shelves before year’s end.
10) Set a budget. Realistically look at how much you can afford to spend on Christmas. Once your budget is set decide how much you will spend per person on your list. Use cash if possible since you cannot spend what you do not have!
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