1. Start shopping for next Christmas December 26. You can get decorations, wrapping paper and holiday items at huge discounts and store them for the next year.
2. Shop year round for Christmas gifts. This helps reduce stress during the holiday season and doesn’t hurt the pocketbook as much. If you find a good deal that would make a great gift, buy it and save it for the holidays.
3. Make a budget and shopping list and stick to it. Write down the names of people you buy gifts for, the gifts purchased and how much you spent. A list like this is especially helpful if you buy gifts months ahead of time. It’s easy to forget you already bought something if it’s been in storage for nine months. I also recommend keeping receipts in one place for reference or returns.
4. Shop Amazon.com. Great sales. No crowds. No lines. Free shipping on orders on $25 or more.
5. Remember what the holidays are really about and don’t be afraid to cut back spending. Many adults have opted to not give gifts to each other and just focus on the children. Another option with large families is to draw names, so each person only gives a gift to one other family member.
6. Cash in rewards points for gift cards or prizes for gifts. Swagbucks is an easy way to earn free gift cards.
7. Shop when stores are less busy. Several readers mentioned shopping when the store first opens and one said Saturday night is less crowded.
8. Leave young kids at home when you shop. If you must take them or have older children, have them help pick out gifts for family members.
9. Buy gift bags on the cheap. Dollar stores have great gift bags and are much cheaper than department store prices. My personal favorite is to buy a reusable bag to use as a gift bag. They are usually around $1 and double as an additional gift. I also use the Sunday comics for wrapping paper.
These are such excellent tips and I want to thank my readers for sharing their holiday shopping ideas. Any more holiday shopping tips?