Holiday Shopping can be stressful especially when you don't have a lot of money or are trying not to go into debt! This year having 3 kids in day care is the toughest year for Brendan and I financially. We don’t have a lot of money to spend on Christmas but still want to get something for everyone on our list. So here is our game plan:
Make a List
I made a list on my iPhone of everyone we will be giving a gift to including teachers, people at work, etc. Then I tried to come up with potential gift ideas for that person.
I am trying to cut back this year on what we buy for our kids. In years past I have gone overboard! I loved the idea of them waking up and walking into the living room by the Christmas tree to see all the gifts that Santa left. Our Santa doesn’t wrap gifts so they are all out in the open and I wanted them to see mounds of toys. This is completely unnecessary and ridiculous. My girls found a toy computer the other day that was buried in a drawer and are playing with it as if it is new. So they don’t need 200 presents each. They will be equally excited to get a couple gifts. I'm fortunate that they are young enough that they aren't asking for cellphones and ipads!
When making the list of gift ideas, I was also concentrating more on what do people need. Now this should be done within reason, I’m not going to be purchasing my nephew only socks or underwear! But I'm trying to fulfill what they need and a little of what they want.
I am a notorious gift card hoarder. I will save gift cards for years waiting for the perfect item or the perfect time to use them. So I have tons of gift cards to stores and Visa gift cards too. I decided that now was the perfect time to start using them. I thought we would be able to get people gifts without actually spending our own money! So I compared the list of gifts with the cards to see if any matched up (obviously anything can match up to the Visa gift cards).
Before heading to the mall, look at the Store Ads to get an idea of what good prices are for the items on your list. Bring store coupons with you and try to stick to your list. Don’t be swayed by a Sale sign because it really isn’t a good deal if you don’t need it. (I have trouble with this and need to keep repeating this to myself like a mantra!)
While I absolutely love shopping in person, I’m finding this year I’m doing more online shopping than ever. Here are some websites I suggest checking out when online shopping:
Zulily-Zulily has daily deals on women’s clothing, shoes, kids clothing, shoes, and toys. I check this website frequently to see if anything on my gift list appears.
Jane- Jane has great deals on accessories that make wonderful presents.
LivingSocial and Groupon- These both have items that can make good gifts. I tend to focus on the goods section for holiday gift giving instead of the more coupony deals. This way people won’t know how much you spent. I purchased a LivingSocial for whiskey rocks for my brother. He enjoys a good drink and I'm making a gift basket with the whiskey rocks and glasses.