Now that I’m a mom of six, I don’t pull all-nighters on Black Friday shopping sprees anymore. I love shopping so much it makes my hair curl even more than normal. But once I filled in my spreadsheets with everyone on our gift list and what we’d bought them, we weren’t actually saving money. We spent more.
A total turn-around and new mindset transformed our Christmas shopping. We LOVE spoiling our kids with fun toys but after a decade of broken toys or unused gifts, we changed. Our minds. There’s no point on blowing our budget on expensive plastic trucks that won’t last until New Year’s or expensive electronics that’ll turn them into hermits.
We cut back on our spending, taught our kids to give back, and now spend Christmas happily ever after. Mostly.
One of our traditions is saving change for charity throughout the year. We use those funds to provide Christmas gifts for the needy like Bible storybooks, stuffed lambs, or a goat (this year’s goal!). Getting your kids involved and giving back at Christmas is a much-loved family affair.
My money saving strategies come from a stance of, “No, you don’t need that just because your friends have it.” There’s freedom in saying no, friends.
But if you must, here are 7 simple ways to save big on holiday shopping–
- Make a budget. It’s crucial to determine your spending allowances and stick to it! And consider using cash this Christmas instead of credit cards. Otherwise, you risk paying off this holiday spending spree for the next several years and those Black Friday deals cost.
- Create a spreadsheet. I know, this sounds crazy but having your gift list written down saves time, energy, and money. You’ll know exactly how much you spent, who you spent it on, and how much you have left in your budget. Any fellow Type A shoppers here?
- Shop online. You can find just as many great deals online as you can in the stores these days and you don’t have to fight the crowds. Check back here later for my online shopping list suggestions!
- Buy BIG and buy for your home. The best deals on appliances and home furnishings are during the holidays. Need a new washer and dryer? Or a fridge? Now’s the time to buy and save hundreds!
- Going out? Plan your route! Ready to join the holiday madness after you stuff yourself with turkey and the fixings? Different stores open at different times so skip standing in lines for hours and start at the store which opens first. You’ll save time and money!
- Be flexible. The person in front of you got the last hot new toy? Don’t panic. Send out a search party to find another one! I’m kidding. But you might text a few other shopping buddies ahead of time and ask them to keep an eye out for a particular item and you do the same for them.
- Leave the kids at home. (With dad or grandma, of course.) Happy shopping!
I hope these tips help you save money, time, and energy this holiday as you shop until you drop. Not a big shopper? Keep clear of the crowds and check back in a few days for my online shopping gift guides for everyone on your list!