By Rhonda Dehaini • December 01, 2017
It’s that time of year, and with Christmas, Hanukkah, and holiday parties just around the corner, now is the time to shop - and save. Sometimes it seems like your holiday gift list is an endless scroll of names, but don’t resign yourself to spending a sack full of cash.
You’ve heard it before, but this one is a cliche for a reason. Mental lists aren’t reliable, and paper lists get misplaced, so try a digital list that you can easily save, edit, and organize. The best part? You can't forget it at home. Copy and paste it into an email, text, or app so you’ll have it with you until every last gift is checked-off.
Make a list of people you’ll need a gift for, and the date you’ll be expected to have it by since holiday parties and gatherings can come at any time of the month. If you have a list, you’ll be able to keep an eye out for ideas and deals while shopping. To make it easier on yourself, have an idea or two marked next to each name. This can be as simple as “jewelry” or “toy” so you know what sections to skim through. If you have a specific gift in mind make sure you prioritize that in case it sells out early!
Last minute shopping leads to snap decisions that can cost you big time. Once you have your list, estimate how much you’re comfortable spending on each person. Rather than narrowing your options, this will make your life easier when it comes to making decisions and avoiding impulse purchases.
When done right, this option can be the most meaningful gift you can give, and it will keep you from spending extra on useless, cheap, or generic gifts. Homemade presents are a cherished holiday tradition. From baked goods to spa baskets, there is a plethora of gorgeous, classy, and simple DIY ideas on the internet, and you’d be surprised at how quick, simple, and low-budget they are. Host a family fun night and where you can craft and create these together!
The importance of presentation can be overlooked in a last minute rush, but it’s one of the most important parts of the holidays. You can get an expensive gift, but it won’t have the same impact if it’s half-hazardly thrown in a bag with some tissue paper. A beautifully presented gift, on the other hand, could be half the price and still outshine the pricer option. This especially holds true with homemade gifts. Drop by a dollar store, thrift store, or find a sale where you can get some nice looking plates or platters for a bargain, then plate your baked good, including a card and a bow.
We know, you know. Even so, it’s worth mentioning since this is THE season for coupons. Stores have amazing deals right now, and many of them are offering free shipping on orders of any value until Christmas or Christmas Eve. Search for coupons before you go on a rushed and impulsive shopping spree. Keep an eye on your holiday gift list, and make sure you search before you shop!
Rhonda Dehaini Rhonda Dehaini is a freelance writer from California with a passion for savings and hunting down the best deals. Her experience working in the online media industry includes freelance work, marketing, and blogging. As an avid traveler, pet owner, and pop culture addict she knows how to budget expenses so she can live the life she loves without limitations.