1. Make a list – Write down the names of everyone you have to buy for so you know exactly how to divide your funds.
2. Set a budget… and don’t go over it! Make sure to set a budget for social events too. Figure out how much you can really afford to spend and make sure to stick to it.
3. Shop online – Online retailers sometimes offer cheaper prices than at the mall but beware of shipping costs which can cancel out your savings. Here are some online shopping tips.
4. Free gift wrapping – Some stores offer free gift wrapping as long as you’re patient enough to wait on those busy shopping days. Or try making your own gift boxes, like this colourful idea using paint chips.
5. Take your time – Don’t rush to buy all your gifts at the last minute. You might end up overspending because you don’t have time to shop around. Desperation breeds higher costs!
6. Ask for a better price – If you don’t ask, you won’t find out if you can get it cheaper. Just remember: be polite, not aggressive, when asking or a discount.
7. Plan your holiday food shopping carefully – Make a list of exactly what you need and don’t go overboard. You don’t want to end up throwing out food over the holidays — it’s not only a waste of money, it’s a waste of food.
8. Ho ho hold the extended warranty – Planning to buy appliances or electronics this season? You’ll probably be offered an extended warranty, which is considered a waste of money according to some. Read this post on why you need to be careful.
9. Use your library – From holiday music to movies, your local library has ways to help you entertain for free.
10. Donate to a charity – Instead of a gift, consider donating to a charity in someone’s name. You’ll be doing some good and you can get a charitable receipt to help you out at tax time.