Thursday, September 1, 2011

Christmas on the Cheap

So, I know that Christmas is still four months away but I wanted to share a few of my tips for making it through the holidays without spending a ton of money. My number one tip?

Start now!
I've found that it really helps to spread your gift purchases out over a few months, then it doesn't hurt your budget quite so much. Plus, it really helps reduce your stress level when Christmas does come around. No more fighting the crowds to pick up last minute gifts! Make a list of everyone you will be buying gifts for and when you pick something up to give to that person, just write it out next to their name. That way you don't buy something and then by the time Christmas comes around you've forgotten what you got them (I speak from experience...)

Get creative
Who says you have to BUY gifts? Handmade gifts are great because not only are they cheap, the person you give them to knows that you actually put more effort into it than just running to the store. A great idea is to make small gift baskets filled with handmade items that are customized for each person. One year I got really into crochet and so I made everyone scarves and hats. If you're crafty, artistic or love to cook/bake then get to work on making a few gifts! It's fun and can save you money! Need some inspiration? Why not check out

Do surveys
No, surveys won't make you rich, but they can give you a little extra spending money which can be very helpful near the holidays. I highly suggest signing up at Opinion Outpost. You get $1 for every 10 points that you earn and most surveys are worth between 10 and 50 points. I have just recently (about 3 weeks ago) started using opinion outpost again and I'm already up to $20! You can redeem your points for amazon gift cards, citi bank gift cards or a check. I'm currenlty saving the money in my account so that I can redeem it for an amazon gift card closer to Christmas and hopefully get a nice gift for my husband.

Daily deal sites
I have received SO MANY free or cheap items from daily deal sites! My favorite is definitely because they give you a $10 credit just for signing up and they constantly have deals for $10 or less. I'm always posting these deals on here but in case you missed them or have just been lazy about signing up, DO IT NOW! You will have to enter your credit card information when you sign up for a deal but they won't charge you, it's just to make sure that you're a real person. I have personally scored many freebies from this site and can tell you that it's legit.

Some other daily deal sites that I love: - Features fashion and accessories specifically for men. - Get a free $5 credit for signing up and free shipping on your order. - New members get a free $3 credit.

Shop the Clearance racks
"But clearance racks only have last seasons stuff or damaged items right?" WRONG! You can find so many great items on the clearance racks/aisles, you may just have to do a little bit of digging which, in my opinion is the fun part. And don't forget about the clearance sections of online stores! You can usually combine a good online sale with coupon codes for percentages off or free shipping.

These are just a few of the ways that I save during the holidays. What are some ways that you save? Share your ideas in the comments.


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