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Tips for Saving Money on Holiday Shopping

Saving Money on Holiday Shopping

How to get the most bang for your buck during Christmas season!

We’ve all been there….you have kids and you want to make Christmas the MOST magical experience of their lives….so, you wind up spending WAY more than you anticipated and start the New Year off in debt!  Hey, don’t feel bad….I’ve gone WAY overboard on Little Man pretty much every year of his life so far!  But, this past year I’ve put in certain steps to help make the Holidays more manageable….especially since that’s when little Jellybean will be arriving.

1.  Set a Budget!

The key to saving money on holiday shopping is to set a budget and STICK TO IT!  I’ve set a budget of $150 for Little Man and $50 for Jellybean (I mean she’s only going to be like 4-5 days old so her budget is mainly so I have stuff in the pictures and she doesn’t feel left out when we look back years from now. 😉  Now, this budget for Little Man is pretty large but I have a few big ticket items that I’m wanting to do this year….like a bike…and with the bike comes the helmet and knee pads, and elbow pads, and an awesome bell, and a basket….you know, all the important stuff!  So make sure that when you’re making your budget you are including any little extras you want to go with the items….like batteries and such….because those little items will start to add up!

2. Keep Track of EVERYTHING You’re Spending!

For everyone else I’ve set a budget of $20 and have made a tracker to keep up with who’s getting what and exactly how much I’ve spent.  You don’t have to get all fancy…I just use a word document and I list:

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Name- Budget- Gift Bought- Amount Spent So Far

That way I know exactly what I got who and how much I’ve spent.  Keep it simple!

3. Start Holiday Shopping EARLY!

I start using this tracker on January 1st of EVERY year because I like to buy gifts throughout the year and stock up before the holidays even get here.  Most years I like to be completely done Christmas shopping by the time Thanksgiving weekend arrives….that’s when I go buy Hubs’ big ticket item of the year and then I can enjoy the holidays with crafts, baking, and making memories!

Throughout the year if I see something that I just know is perfect for someone on my list I’ll buy it, add it to the tracker, and store it in the designated Holiday closet…..which is just the utility closet in the playroom that I’ve put a lock on.  This is a great way to spread the expense of the holidays out and I usually find better deals this way too…..not to mention the items I want are usually in stock.

4. Don’t Run Around Looking for the PERFECT Toy at the Last Minute!

The problem with waiting until the holidays is that items start selling out and then you’re just out of luck or you’re spending so much time running all over town looking for the hot toy that your child just HAS to HAVE!  That’s why I always start early!  No running around town for this pregnant mama!!

5. Plan Ahead By Testing Out Toys….Find out what your kids REALLY like!

Walmart is helping parent’s get a head start on their Holiday shopping needs this year by hosting Toyland events in their stores….it’s going to be a fun event where you can go and test out the hottest toys of the season and find that perfect gift for your little one before all the chaos of the holidays hit!  So take the kids and go check out the hottest toys….including the ever-popular DohVinci playsets, Flutterbye Fairies, and FurReal Pets. The dates are:

  • October 11
  • November 8
  • November 15
  • December 6
  • December 12
  • December 13
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What tips do you have for saving money on Holiday shopping?  Share in the comments below!

Melissa Llado
Melissa is a busy mom trying to survive the preschool years. She loves a good Pinot Grigio and cuddling up on the couch for the latest super hero movie. Her kids enjoy getting in the kitchen and helping make a mess trying new recipes! Even though she's constantly creating new and delicious treats she usually winds up buying grocery store treats when it's time for her to take snacks for school-- at all of the teachers' dismay.
Melissa Llado