Last month I wrote about whether or not it was too early to start Christmas shopping or not. Well, I have a surprise for you…the Christmas shopping season is only that much closer now. With that in mind, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tips to save money while shopping for the holidays.
If Santa didn’t have his own workshop staffed by elves in the North Pole, I’m confident that even he would comparison shop. When you’re busy Christmas shopping, comparison shopping is a must! You can often find items that are considerably cheaper elsewhere just by doing a little legwork. It drives my wife nuts at times, but when we’re out shopping, I’ll pull out my phone and check a price against what Amazon is charging. It’s not always perfect, but often times you can find it for cheaper there. There are various other phone apps you can use, but the point is you need to be comparison shopping if you want to save money on your Christmas shopping.
Use a Christmas Shopping List
I know, a Christmas shopping list – big deal. Well, it really works at saving you money on Christmas shopping. Not only does it help you stay on track, but it can help you strategize your spending to get what you really want to buy for that person in your life. The list can be as simple as a mental note of things that catch your eye throughout the year or making an actual list. The point is that a Christmas shopping list can help you plan what you’re going to buy.
Don’t Go Shopping With the Kids
We learned early on as parents to not involve the kids with Christmas shopping. Why? Because they’ll ask for things that could cause you to spend more as a result. Not only that, but taking them shopping can also throw you off the task at hand at make you less focused on what you might want to be spending. If you have kids, you know they’re always asking for things. It’s part of their nature. Take advantage of that by making a list or remembering what they mentioned wanting and use that as your guide along with your Christmas shopping budget. If going shopping without them is a challenge maybe try and swap babysitting duties with another family so you both can be focused with your Christmas shopping.
Think Outside the Box
An often overlooked way to save money on Christmas shopping is not considering used items a viable option. I know it may sound cheap, but you can often find very good items, especially things like toys at a very reasonable price at thrift stores or the Goodwill. The key is to knowing what to look for and having a keen eye for what may be of good value. While this option may not be a good one for everyone on your Christmas shopping list, for kids especially, it can be a great way to save some money on Christmas shopping.
What are some of your favorite ways to save money on Christmas shopping? What things did I leave out?
Image by Alliecreative/flickr
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