Christmas Shopping on a Budget

We are officially 5 days away from Christmas! Oh my goodness, how did it sneak up on us so fast? I am short one gift, and am hoping to go out and get it today and then finish wrapping. I want to try to get all of my shopping done before this weekend since I know the stores will be crazy the weekend before Christmas!

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With that being said, I bet that some of you will be out shopping for some last minute gifts in the next few days. Christmas time can be hard on everyone’s wallets and bank accounts, as we are all spending more money than we normally do buying gifts for other people. I think it is fantastic to buy gifts for other people, but I know it is easy to feel pressure to spend lots of money for the nicest gifts, that honestly we can’t afford. Nothing is wrong with wanting to get your loved ones the nicest possible gifts, but trust me, this can be done without breaking the bank account.

I am a bargain shopper, and I love finding and looking for good deals. I have had to get better at this since Ryan and I got married and we have been living off of one pay check. Yes, I just got a job, but I haven’t got paid yet, so that’s not helping with finances right now. We still have a lot of people that we want to get gifts for, so we have made it work. I wanted to share with you some tips that I have used this Christmas while shopping for friends and family.

How to Christmas Shop on a Budget and still give AWESOME Gifts!

1. Stores like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, and Burlington Coat Factory are your friends.

Don’t worry about having to shop at the fancy, expensive stores. Who cares where you buy something as long as they like it? I have found that these stores sell some very nice things for much better prices than other stores.

2. Everyone loves food! Why not make it look pretty and give it as a gift?

There are so many cute, delicious looking Christmas recipes out there (just look at Pinterest or all over the blog world right now) that make great presents! Buy a cute, affordable container from a store such as Walmart or Target (Walmart normally has better prices though) and fill it up with some type of Christmas treat!

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I bought these cookie jars from Burlington Coat Factory this week and filled them up with the white chocolate popcorn pretzel mix for gifts to give some of Ryan’s coworkers. They were a hit, and you wouldn’t believe it but each jar was only $6! (All of the Christmas stuff at Burlington Coat Factory is on sale for 50% off if you need any last minute things. This includes wrapping paper and gift sacks!)

Trust me, people love these gifts! I have made a lot of my white chocolate popcorn and pretzel mixΒ and put it in different Christmas containers as gifts, and it has been a huge success every time! If you choose to use this recipe as a gift idea, one batch of the white popcorn makes a ton!

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These glass jars were from WalMart, and I have also bought some cute Christmas decorated plastic containers from there too.

3. Coupons, coupons, coupons!Β 

Coupons are awesome! All it does is save you money; take advantage of it! One of my favorite apps is Coupon Sherpa. It has coupons to a ton of different stores, and you just click on the store to see what coupon there is for it. When you check out you hand the cashier your phone and they scan the barcode for you to get the deal. It’s so easy and convenient!

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4. Online shopping sometimes offers better deals than in the actual store.

internet shopping

However, with online shopping you sometimes have to pay for shipping, but I hardly ever buy something if it makes me pay for shipping. You can usually google for some type of coupon code for free shipping and find one. So make sure you try that before you automatically pay for shipping.

5. Always check Amazon before buying from an actual store.

If you are shopping online, before you buy something from a store, such as Target, see if Amazon offers the same product. Most likely, amazon will offer it for a cheaper price. And if you are an Amazon Prime member you always get free shipping. It’s awesome. (We aren’t prime members, but my Mom is, and because she is sweet and awesome, she lets us use it.)

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6. People really do appreciate homemade gifts!

Don’t worry that you are being cheap if you give someone a homemade gift. I honestly love receiving homemade gifts because it shows that the person put in a lot of thought and time into what they gave me. Besides, your family and true friends don’t care how much money you spend on them, or if you spend any money!

7. Be thinking throughout the whole year what you want to give as gifts to certain people.

If you start thinking before Christmas about what you want to get people, then you can go ahead and get it when it comes on sale. Because if you wait until December and it’s not on sale, you are out of luck and are stuck paying full price. Plus, spreading out your Christmas shopping throughout the year makes it much easier on your wallet since you aren’t spending so much money at one time. (This was my plan to do this all year, but I didn’t start Christmas shopping until after Thanksgiving. Oops! Maybe next year this will happen for me. πŸ™‚ )

8. Buy cheap wrapping paper. It’s just going to get ripped and thrown away anyways.Β 

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Wrapping paper can get expensive, and that’s why I buy all of my wrapping paper from WalMart or dollar stores. I also bought a couple of rolls from Burlington Coat Factory since it was on sale. But if you go to other places you can end up spending a lot of money on something that someone is just going to tear and then throw away. I understand you want your gifts to look cute, I do too, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy overpriced wrapping paper. If you need gifts sacks, there are some dollar stores where all bags, no matter what size, are only $1. That’s a really good deal for some of those really big gift sacks. Also, if you don’t want to spend more money on all of the bows and ribbons, don’t feel pressured to if you don’t want to. I don’t have any ribbons or bows on any of the presents I wrapped. This is for two reasons: 1. I didn’t have any ribbons or bows. 2. I am not good at tying bows or making presents look cute. So I just stick to what I can do, which is just wrapping presents and not doing anything fancy. πŸ™‚

I hope these tips have helped some of you! This time of year should be enjoyable, so don’t let yourself get stressed out about Christmas shopping or gifts!

I am very excited today is Friday. Tomorrow I am running in a race with my Dad. I am doing a 15k and he is doing a 5k. It is supposed to be raining, but it shouldn’t be too cold, so I’m not worried about it. Sunday I think my Mom and I, and possibly my Dad too, are going to a mall that is always beautiful at Christmas time! Neither of us really have shopping we need to do for Christmas, but we like to go to this mall every year at Christmas time because it is so festive! Everything is decorated so beautiful, and there are always very talented choirs that sing beautiful Christmas carols! It’s just fun to go out and enjoy all things Christmas! πŸ™‚ I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Questions:

1. What is your tip for Christmas shopping on a budget?

2. Are you done Christmas shopping or do you have more to do these next few days?Β 

3. Are you good at tying cute bows and ribbons on the presents you wrap? If so, please teach me. πŸ™‚

4. What are your plans this weekend?Β 

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17 comments

  1. The first tip is SO true. It’s amazing what you can find at a place like Marshall’s. I think that may be my favorite store! I thought I was done with my Christmas shopping, but it looks like I have a few more things to get. I ordered online, but something sold out and the order was cancelled – one pitfall to ordering online. Ugh!

  2. Go shopping after Christmas for deals, too πŸ™‚ I bought sooo much wrapping paper last year for cheap! There is a difference with wrapping paper and cost. Some you only get 100 sq feet and some like 360 sq ft, so those ones are always nice to get on sale after Christmas πŸ™‚ I agree with all of your budget options! I love them all!! I actually bought so much at Burlington this year. I was so excited when i walked in and loved all the things! 95% of Aaron’s shopping was from there! And now that you said their stuff is on sale, you better believe I’m gonna stop there today!

    1. I am planning on going shopping the day after Christmas this year to hit up some of the good deals. Good idea to stock up on wrapping paper for next year! I hope you were able to find something on sale at Burlington today!

  3. My suitcase look ridiculous because half of it is filled with food gifts! I have enough almond butter to feed a small country and of course granola and cookies. I’m a budget shopper too and love baking so it just makes the most sense to gift food!

  4. Just finished my Christmas shopping today! I wish I had the stamina to go out and look for good deals the day after, but I’m usually pooped from the holiday, and the last thing I want to do is go out to the stores after just I’ve spent a lot of money. Ideally, I’d like to buy gifts ahead of time for next year, too, but I have quite a few family member that buy things for themselves whenever they feel like it (up to a week before Christmas), making it difficult for me to get them something they don’t already have! That always poses a problem for me. :-/

  5. I usually wait 3-4 weeks after Christmas to go shopping and stock up on things such as gift boxes, wrapping paper, trinkets for my students, and kitchen stuff (napkins, goodie bags, etc.). They are usually 75-90% off, and if you don’t mind digging, you will find SUPER deals! Last year I was able to give each of my students (24) a goodie bag filled to the brim with awesome trinkets and I spent only $6 the year before! I even had stuff left over! Stores such as Michaels and Hobby Lobby are my favorite because craft items are less than a quarter! My mom is still using wrapping paper she bought 3 years ago (4 rolls for 69 cents…I remember!). They were the expensive kind and it just started yellowing this year! My mom is using the last bit of it this year!
    My second tip is to go to thrift stores! First, their prices are already cheap! And an extra 75% off makes them pretty much free! I bought 6 pretty tins for $1 yesterday! Just be sure to clean the insides thoroughly. I also line the tins/ jars with pretty cellophane just for extra measure!

    1. I love all of your ideas! I am definitely going out the day after Christmas so I can try to find some good deals! I am definitely going to try to get some things for my students next year. Brilliant idea Jessica. πŸ™‚ And I love the gift that you give your little cousins. That is so special!

  6. One more thing….for my little cousins I give them the gift of a “date with Jessics aunty”. I spend one-on-one time with each of them, whether it’s making a craft, a trip to the park, or a visit to the zoo. Usually, these gifts costs only a few dollars but my cousins look forward to it every year! I do one during the summer too, and they always are reminding me. To me, these “gifts” are much more meaningful and fun for BOTH of us!

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