Everybody loves getting a gift for the holidays, and if you’re like most adults, you enjoy giving your friends and family gifts just as much, if not more, than receiving them. However, when you’re short on cash or you’re just trying to save a little bit, the holiday season can seem like it comes at exactly the wrong time for your checkbook.
While you may not be able to get out of giving gifts this year altogether so that you can keep all of your money like Scrooge, there are some ways that you can give some wonderful gifts without dipping into your savings account or feeling the pinch after the new year. Use this guide to help you save some real cash this gift-giving season.
You can also use a variety of these tips year round when you need to give somebody a gift for everything from a birthday to a housewarming party.
Start Shopping Early
Shopping for friends and family members can be very costly, especially if you have a long list of people to buy for. While you probably can’t shorten that list without hurting some feelings, you can start doing your holiday shopping before the holidays.
Think about it – retailers know that people are going to be doing most of their holiday shopping in the month of December, so very few companies choose to have a lot of really good sales. Big retailers might have some sales as incentives to buy, but when there’s so much demand for gift-related goods, why would a retailer lower the price, other than to get you to buy more? With a finite list of gifts to buy, most people simply aren’t going to buy more than they need, so they won’t buy extra gifts.
Whenever possible, do your holiday shopping advance. Fall sales are generally better and you can find all sorts of items that are going to be popular for the season before they’re everywhere.
Related post: Why You Should Start Your Holiday Shopping Sooner
Make Your Gift
Buying a large volume of gifts for the holidays can cost you a fortune, and if you don’t have a ton of money in your checking account, you simply might not be able to do it. If you really want to cut down on how much you’re going to spend this holiday season, making your own gifts is one of the best things you can do.
When you make gifts, you have a variety of different options. You can make gifts for each person – something you think they might want – or you can make a group of gifts like a batch of candles. When you make a group of gifts, you’ll save even more money by using all of the same supplies.
Of course, you will need to make sure that everyone on your list will like your gift. If not, don’t fret. You can still buy one or two different gifts and make the rest, saving yourself a significant amount of money over buying everything for the holiday season from the store.
Bake Your Gift
The holiday season is not just about gifts, and if you’re like a lot of people, you probably look forward to all of the sweet treats and delicious food that’s synonymous with the season. While you may not want to eat everything that comes your way if you’re on a diet, that doesn’t mean the people around you won’t enjoy a home-baked gift for the holiday season.
Even if you aren’t an expert baker you can still make something simple and give it to your friends and family for the holiday season. Small gifts like a loaf of bread or a cake – especially when paired with homemade preserves – can be great ways to show you care without spending a small fortune.
Give Your Gift Post Holiday
If you’re going to see somebody on or before the typical celebration for the holiday occurs, you won’t be able to use this tip. However, if you’re getting a gift for a friend or family member that you won’t be able to see until after the holiday is technically over you might be able to save a bundle.
How? By going to the stores when they are having post-holiday sales and loading up on items that have been drastically reduced. Nobody is going to know or care as long as you pick something you think they’ll like, so why not save yourself some real cash by shopping late this year?