6 Tips for Holiday Shopping on a Budget
It's the holiday season and you're scrambling to buy every gift on your shopping list, but you (and your wallet) are running on empty. Stop the holiday shopping madness! Gift expert Leah Ingram
, author of the blog Suddenly Frugal
, shared these holiday shopping tips to help you save money (and your sanity) while on the hunt for the perfect gifts.
- Plan your holiday shopping strategy."I try to change people's mindsets about holiday gift buying by asking them to approach it like it's grocery shopping," says Ingram. "You don't go grocery shopping without a list, coupons or some shopping strategy so I suggest you take a similar approach to holiday shopping. Make a list of the people you need to buy for and what you are going to get and then stick to it.
- Cash in credit card rewards points!"Even though my family lives frugally, we use credit cards to pay for household expenses so we can stockpile points to earn gift cards and make a dent in our holiday spending. Check if you have a credit card that offers these benefits, and through normal spending you may be able to save on your holiday shopping."
- Put old gift cards to good use."All of us have gift cards left over from Christmas, Hanukkah and birthdays," says Ingram. "In my family, we have a gift card wallet where we put all of our gift cards and then use them for holiday shopping. Look to see where you've stashed extra gift cards because you may be able to use them for holiday shopping too."
- Negotiate a good deal."Everything is negotiable, and it can't hurt to ask for a good deal," Ingram explains. "You may be pleasantly surprised to get a discount, and if you don't, at least you know you've tried. Also check to see if you have any affinity or membership cards to AAA, museums, local groups or professional affiliations that earn special discounts."
- Take advantage of Free Shipping Day."Go to freeshippingday.com, which lists hundreds of websites that have all agreed to offer free shipping on December 16th."
- Buy what you know they love."If you've given a gift in the past that someone loves it's okay to give that gift again," says Ingram. "My brother-in-law gives me earrings every year, and every year I can't wait to see what he has picked out for me. You can also donate money to someone's good cause in their name. It's meaningful and isn't just more stuff that gets shoved in a closet. And, for the hard-to-buy-for person, you can never go wrong getting them a gift card!"