Money Saving Tips

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

5 Steps to save money on Holiday Gifts

If you are worried about the cost of buying all those holiday gifts etc. here are 5 steps you can take to keep those costs down.

1. Set expectations with friends and family. Let them know if you'll be cutting back on the number of gifts or how much you plan to spend. This is especially important for children, who often have unrealistic expectations about gifts and don't fully understand the cost factors. Also consider price-limited charitable donations in the family's name.

2. Look for ways to cut back on the number of gifts you buy. There are many ways to shorten your gift list. If you have a large family or group of friends, ask if they'd like to draw names out of a hat and give one gift per person. Or give family gifts, such as a board game, a "movie night" with gift certificates to a video rental store and snacks, or a pass to a local museum rather than individual gifts.

3. Consider homemade gifts. There are many heartfelt, thoughtful gifts that don't come with a sales receipt. You could cook some treats; put together a photo album; make a themed gift basket full of smaller items, like tea, paperback books or gardening tools; or give the gift of your time by making homemade coupons or certificates. There are some ideas on Christmas Decorations.

4. Make a shopping plan. Don't head out to the mall without a specific list of gift ideas. This is how you end up spending more than you budgeted for. Look through catalogues or on Internet sites for ideas and develop a list before you even step foot in a store.

5. Look for bargains. Take the time to look for ways to save money on gifts. Try to buy several things from one catalogue or Internet site to save money on shipping, or better yet, look for sites that offer free shipping. Comparison shop using the fliers that come in the weekend papers to find the best deal around or use websites that do price comparisons for you.

Happy Holiday Shopping

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