I LOVE the holidays but man, they are EXPENSIVE! No matter how much we try to reign in, it adds up. This year the costs of everyday basics have gotten so high that it’s making us think how to cut on extras, and the holidays come first to mind.
When the hubs and I had our first kid we spoiled him! A luxury at the time we could afford. Not so much anymore…
As a family of 5, the little ones are getting old enough to understand the concept of presents, we have to equal the playing field (sorry monster 1).
How do I keep us on track and still let the kids have a great Christmas? Read below for my 5 tips aside from just budgeting.
The biggest tip is to stay organized! Make a list so you don’t over shop. Know exactly who you need to buy for and set a budget per person.
Simplify- If you can simplify your list. Not everyone needs something big and expensive, sometimes something homemade can mean more to them because it shows time and thought. You can also have the kids help with it and build on family time like baking, or making homemade cards.
5 ways to save!
1. SHOP EARLY! That’s right I actually start my shopping right after Christmas when it’s DEEP sale season while most items are 50-75% off!
It works well with:
-Toys for kids, bath sets, accessories like mitts, hats and, scarfs especially since kids are always losing them! Purses & wallets and even jewelry can be bought in advance throughout the year and tucked away.
2. Sales items! This is an obvious one, but I don’t mean wait for the big sales coming up like Black Friday or Amazon Prime Days. Every single day there is stuff on sale. Take a minute and look in the clearance section of whatever store you’re in to see if anything suits someone on your list.
3. Create baskets or gift bags. These are really great ideas that you can personalize. One of the perks is you don’t need to buy it all at once! Shop slow add pieces here and there when you find them on sale. Things like mugs, socks, accessories, beauty products, books, magazines or colouring products for small kids. Toss in a few treats at then and voilà a custom gift.
4. Gift Cards. Everyone loves gift cards because it’s small and easy and allows the person to chose what they want instead of getting something they will just return. The trouble is they almost never go on sale. My tip is buy them throughout the year. If you know exactly which ones you want then purchase 1 per month or per pay.
5. Homemade gifts. Homemade gifts can work for different people, even if your not crafty (like me).
Items that are always a hit are sweets- pretty much anything chocolate covered, pretzels and fruits, cookies? It’s easy enough to melt chocolate, dip and set! Last year one of my friends gifted us a set of pepper jelly she made and put in little mason jars, it was delicious and super cute.
Not only are treats yummy, it’s practical and budget friendly, since your mostly like making batches of goodies you can gift multiple people/families.
If you are the crafty type then knitted winter wear, or framed art/pictures etc…
Once you have started shopping, you need to find a place to stash them from the ‘snoopsters’! How to hide the wonderful items? TOTE BINS… Mine is labelled Decor and NO ONE looks in it!
Don’t forget to label everything so you know who it’s for! Keep a running list and see if you’re over or under on your budget and as always let me know if any of these tips worked for you.