1. Shop all year round. Ok, so this probably won't help you now, but keep it in mind! :) Get a big storage bin and keep all your gifts you find throughout the year in there. I also keep a list of the items in the bin so I don't forget who I already have done!
Most of my gifts are from clearance areas after a holiday/season ends - sometimes they are giving stuff away! If you have a sports fan you're shopping for, wait until right after the season is over. Last year, we got nice Adidas Notre Dame shirts for less than $5 at Kohl's in January! Right after Halloween this year, I bought some clearanced Disney princess costumes for $6 for dress up clothes/costumes next year.
|Yes, I'm living my childhood through my daughter ;) #disneyprincessforever|
Also, don't be afraid to check out garage sales in the summer and stock up on goodies. You won't believe the things you'll find with tags still on them!
2. Use freebies wisely. Got a free shutterfly book coupon? Jess used hers to make adorable books for her kids! If you go to Kohl's, use your Yes2You and Kohl's cash for gifts. We use a credit card to pay off our utility bills (only do this if you are paying them off in full - don't go into debt!) and get a ton of reward points for it! We then use those reward points towards gift cards to give as gifts.
|Jess' free Shutterfly creation :)|
3. Earn cash back. If you aren't using Ebates already, you are missing out! You can get cash back on pretty much any online purchase you make - hotels, stores, Amazon, etc. We also use Swagbucks to rack up points and earn Amazon gift cards. If you are purchasing items online for the holidays, this is a great way to get a little back in your pocket! And if you'd like to join in on the fun, the links provided to the websites are our referral links. :)
4. Have a gift exchange. Our family used to buy gifts for everyone, and that gets really pricey when you have a lot of people like we do. This year, we used drawnames.com as our Secret Santa headquarters! This site is great - it draws the names for you (you can specify no getting spouses/kids, etc), keeps wish lists for everyone, and lets you ask questions to others anonymously. Best of all - it's free!
5. Make your own gifts. We've made coupon books for our husbands (make sure you follow through with your coupons!). Our sister and sister-in-law made us ornaments last year that were so adorable. Do you have any crafting ability - sewing, crocheting, drawing, painting? Can your husband help you make something (if you need help with tools like I do haha)? When we were kids, our parents made us a Barbie house out of scrap wood and that is by far the best Christmas gift we've ever received! Check out our Pinterest board for more DIY Christmas gift ideas!
|The cute little ornaments my sister made last year...the chalkboard picture frame wasn't gifted, but is super easy/cheap to make! :) It would be a fun gift to give!|
6. Volunteer. Rather than material items, give your time or talent in another way. Volunteer at a local shelter or holiday event. Another idea - instead of giving gifts to each other, adopt a family or soldier! Jess and I adopted soldiers one year and it was so fun picking out gifts for them!
What are your favorite ways to save around the holidays? I can't wait to hear some other tips!! :)
Linking up with Elizabeth, Tara, Britt, Sarah, Denise, Katie, Keri, and Becky for their Monthly Link Party