Be a Savvy Shopper and Give Great Gifts This Holiday Season

Now that the madness of Black Friday is over...err...should I say Grey Thursday? Not really sure which it is but, either way, I'm not a big fan. Now don't get me wrong, I've scored some great deals on Black Friday online and Thanksgiving weekend sales but the one time I did the legit Black Friday craziness, I walked away with nothing- it's madness! Deal shopping is not for the faint of heart, if you're one who is a homebody, easily stressed and doesn't like shopping; then it's best to just online shop those deals. But maybe you're like me: I love shopping, especially getting it for a deal (more money to our travel fund!). When it comes to gift giving, it can get convoluted at times. "I saved all this money on this and this!" but, was it really what you wanted to get for someone or was it just a good deal? Remember, don't buy things only because they are on sale. It's always cheaper if you don't buy it! Here are some practical tips on giving great gifts and saving money.

How to be a savvy shopper this holiday season:

  • Make a list and budget: who and what
  • Do your research: watch your flyers and online deals for discounts/promotions. (i.e.- sign up for email at your favorite shops and if you're a Target fan like me, download the cartwheel app or a crafty person, download that Hobby Lobby app for that "anytime" 40% off coupon)
  • Time is of the essence: it may be a little less somewhere else but think about your time (and gas); Is it worth it to go over to the other store just to save another dollar and what if they don't have it in stock?

I also love the guidelines in this blog from Money Saving Sisters for gift giving and how to help your kids not get the "gimme, gimmes" at Christmas: 4 Gift Christmas Challenge – Want, Need, Wear, Read.

Giving great gifts:

At the thought of giving great gifts, dollar signs usually appear! Well, let's look at it another way: What makes a great gift? In my experience, being one who doesn't have a whole lot of money to spend, knowing the person, their personality, needs and wants helps getting that great gift! My husband came from a very practical family and we always just get money for Christmas (which I love!) but, I'm a bit more old fashioned in my approach, I put a lot of thought into giving a gift for someone that they will be delighted to open and is $25 or less!

Here are some of my favorite budget-friendly gifts to give:

  • Handmade gifts: a personalized apron, jewelry, flannel baby blankets, hot rice bags, book bags etc.

  • Gift baskets: I love to go to the Dollar Store or dollar section at Target to score fun fillers for a gift basket. Fancy napkins, wine glasses for a gourmet food basket. Hair clips, notebooks, fun office supplies for a girly or ladies fun basket. The Dollar Store is also a great place to get cellophane basket wrap, baskets and basket paper filler too.

  • Gift cards: restaurant or ice cream cards to go out, iTunes cards for games or music and Costco card to get groceries and what not.

Related: Creative Gift Giving: 50 Non-Toy Gift Ideas

I hope your Christmas brings great joy, less stress and money saved!

About the author…Rebekah was born and raised in Washington and currently resides in Montana. She is a dance teacher, mother of two and creative soul. She enjoys cooking, baking and creating with fabric.