This post may have affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, we will be paid a commission at no additional cost to you.
The price of Christmas gift and stocking stuffers can quickly add up. If you are like me and my family, you are on a budget for purchasing Christmas presents and always looking for ways to save money.
Here are some Christmas money saving tips and tricks to help you get Christmas presents on a budget this year.
So, my husband’s idea of how to do Christmas cheap is to not participate in Christmas at all. That isn’t my first choice, although simplifying Christmas is a splendid idea. And I have heard of several families who have cancelled gift giving within their own families and instead focused more on creating special memories together.
One of the important things to remember is that your kid’s memories are going to be the feeling of Christmas – the feeling of laughter and being surrounded by the people they love. The traditions that you have upheld or created in your family. Not necessarily the specific gifts that they get, although they might remember the special ones.
With the idea of simplifying Christmas, I’ve heard the saying:
Something you NEED
Something you WANT
Something to WEAR
Something to READ
I’ve had friends use this saying for the gifts they give their kids as well as the items they put into their stockings and it has worked well for them.
2. DIY Gifts
Making gifts yourself can sometimes be cheaper as well. Not always though, haha. I’ve had it cost more money then if I’d just purchased something, so plan it out and compare it with the price of the gift you might buy. There are a lot of gifts you can make for less money, especially if you do it as a large batch so many people get similar gifts that use the same supplies.
Speaking of planning it out and pricing what the gift may cost:
3. Make a List of All Your Gift Buying Expenses
There are so many expenses that add up so quickly! Start a list and write everything down – who or what parties you need to buy gifts for, put a maximum amount to spend for each person/party. If you have ideas on what you want to give to each person, include these or if not, try to come up with some ideas to jot down next to them.
Start planning way in advance. I like to have a rough draft list completed by the end of summer. If I’m really on the ball, I already have a few gift purchased as well.
4. Plan for ALL Expenses
If you are planning to ship some gifts to out of town family or friends, make sure to include this expense on your list. Include any DIY gifts – include the supplies and costs needed to make these on your list. I would also say plan to spend some money on the wrappings and gift package decorations – figure out roughly how much you will need and add this to your list.
5. Check out Discount Stores
Check out the discount stores such as Ross, TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning and even Home Goods. If you have stores in your area that are similar – check them out! They frequently carry Melissa and Doug toys and puzzles for cheaper than what you can find at the “normal” stores, such as Target.
Not everything they carry is name brand, but I found an amazing, super cool Playmobil castle for more than half off last year at Home Goods. We were able to give it to all our boys as a shared gift and they totally loved it. The packaging was in perfect condition, nothing was broken or missing. It was a total steal.
For stocking stuffers – check out Michaels Arts & Crafts (Hobby Lobby may have the same type of items, but we don’t have one around here, so I don’t know). Michaels carries many different items for around $1-3 such as small paint books that have paint and the pages to paint, sticker books, different wooden paint kits, wiki stix sets and other fun, small craft sets. They also have a section of misc. small toys for about $1-5 of weird fun things – pail of goo, squishy lizards, jumping beans, magnetic face person (Woolie Will?) and other toys.
Either download the Michaels app to your phone or go to the Michaels store website and it is guaranteed to have a coupon for you to use. They almost always have a coupon for 40% off an item. There are so many great items to use that coupon on. They carry the animal Safari toob sets, cool science kits, clay, misc. art/craft sets and all sorts of other great craft items for kids. If you are ever around a Michaels without your kids (rare, I know!), make sure to stop by and pick up one item they have that you can use a coupon for. Then, store it until Christmas, Hannakah or another special occasion arises that you need the gift for.
The dollar store is another great place to get some smaller items. We don’t have any stores like Dollar General where I live, it’s pretty much strictly Dollar Tree as the only dollar store option, so you might be able to buy more things from these types of stores than I can. I like to keep an eye out whenever I am at Dollar Tree, which isn’t all that often, but I do stop by at least once around the holiday season. They almost always have some sort of cool band-aids that the kids like – Minions, Emoji’s, Transformers, Camo, etc. Occasionally, they have the fancy toothbrushes that are the kid electric ones. I like to walk the kids aisle, there isn’t a lot I buy down this aisle, but occasionally I do buy the glow sticks for my kids or I might come across some led finger lights and I can open the package and give each kid one and if there are extra each kid might get two or I save the extras for another time.
6. Buy Used
If it is for your children and especially if they are younger (aka they won’t notice as much) you can also try buying some gifts used off of Craigslist or eBay. I’ve purchased a discontinued Diego (Dora the Explorer’s cousin) toy lot off eBay that was very inexpensive for my son when he was about 2 or 3. He LOVED it. I’ve purchased Magformers off Craigslist and again, my kids didn’t care or notice that they were used. They were just happy to have Magformers and this particular set had wheels, which they were ecstatic about.
7. Use Camel Camel Camel
If you aren’t familiar with Camel Camel Camel, it is a great browser plug-in for your computer. You can use it when shopping on Amazon. When you are on the product you are interested in, click the browser extension and a graph pops up that allows you to see the different price points the item has been in the past. You can set an alert to be emailed when the product is at or below whatever price you set. I will warn you that the prices move so quickly during black Friday/cyber Monday I don’t know for sure that you will get the email intime.
This is great to set up with the items you are planning to buy people. Just know there are no guarantees the price will hit that low before Christmas.
8. Use Ebates
Make sure to start all your online shopping through eBates. If you are unfamiliar with eBates – the short version is that it’s a cashback site that pays you to shop.
How it works is you can either start on their website and click through to the merchant’s site or you can install their browser extension or app on your phone. With the app, you would start there when shopping on your phone and with the browser extension a little box will pop-up when you are at a participating store.
If you haven’t checked out eBates, I strongly suggest you do. The money does add up. I hardly shop online, except for Amazon (which they recently added and hasn’t been part of the cash back I’ve received) and I have had several checks for over $10. It isn’t a ton of money, but it’s nice to get that check in the mail and put it in the bank!
There are a TON of stores that participate in this too. Such as Gap, The Children’s Place, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Home Depot, Cabelas, Kohls, American Eagle, Groupon and a lot more.
You can find out more and sign up for eBates here.
9. Check Deal Sites
I’ve purchased gift certificates for gifts several times off Groupon. It’s a great way to get gift certificate/card deals.
You can find several name brand items at Zulily for a really good price. They are similar to the deal a day sites, except they have more than one deal per day and they have their deals longer than a day.
I hope you found some practical ways you can get Christmas gifts on a budget this year. If you have more ideas, please let me know in the comments below. I’m always keeping an eye out for new Christmas money saving tips.
If you liked this post, I’d love for you to PIN IT!