I love shopping during the holidays but also dread spending too much money. Although the holidays are of course not just about gifts, I personally love getting the perfect gift for each person and sometimes that means the bank account suffers. Now that our kids are getting older, it is more important now than ever to get the most bang for my buck! I have always loved frugal shopping and you should see my smile when I realized I saved money. My husband is always the first to laugh because it honestly makes me feel so accomplished. I don’t know about you but I try to start my holiday shopping early, normally in early November. If I see a good sale beforehand, I will buy the item and store it away in our garage. I have learned a lot over the years and some of these tips can be used year around, not just the holidays!
Use money saving apps while shopping
Back when my husband and I were first dating, I found some money making apps that we legit bought all our groceries and gas with. Now obviously we are much better off and don’t use them nearly as much, but with the holidays they definitely save money. No matter if it is for cash back on a holiday gift or discounts for food I plan on needing for holiday get togethers, money saving apps are the hero! Among the many I have tried, Ibotta, Ebates, and Dosh are my favorite. All are simple and free to use. Plus, they even have a sign up bonus. When I use them for shopping, I cash out what I save and it gets sent straight to my bank account. Talk about a holiday win!
Download iBotta here for a $10 sign up bonus
Download Dosh here for a $5 sign up bonus
Download Ebates here for a $10 sign up bonus
Since I began using iBotta I have earned over $800 just by shopping for groceries, hotels, and other things I normally do anyways.
Watch out for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals
I used to not be a huge Black Friday person but they last two years it has definitely grown on me. Last year we easily saved a couple hundred dollars on items that were on sale that we had already planned on buying. The best way to find deals that you are looking for is google searching the item + Black Friday/Cyber Monday. For example, this year we plan on getting our kids a trampoline so I went on google and searched “Trampoline Black Friday Deal” and found 4 good sales. Make a list and shop online to avoid the crazy lines.
Shop at your local thrift store or small shops
You may be thinking that thrift stores only have old items but you would be surprised how many brand new(even with tags) items come through thrift store donations. It is a great way to check people off of your list relatively inexpensive. Many small shops in our town often have really good deals on fun gifts, clothes, and even experiences!
Gift ideas found in a small shop local to us, The Harte of the Kitchen.
Shop after season/holiday clearance
Now there isn’t a ton still but some stores still have after Halloween sales going on as well as summer clearance. A lot of times I will find items for 1/4 the price in clearance that were for summer or a previous holiday that can be used year around. Doesn’t make them any less great, and summer items are great no matter how early. For kids, most arts and craft items can be used year around as well!
Make homemade gifts
Now even for those who aren’t super crafty, homemade gifts are totally an option still. Have a lot of coworkers, neighbors or family members you still haven’t bought gifts for? Make DIY hot coco kits in mason jars or put together a cheap baking kit. Grab some cheap gems and string to make necklaces! I recommend looking on Pinterest for some good, cheap ideas. Don’t want to get crafty? Pick some wild flowers and make a bouquet with a dollar store vase and ribbon. Most grocery stores also sell cheap bouquets ready to buy.
The possibilities are endless but saving money during the holidays is most definitely achievable! I also recommend looking at your finances and upcoming bills to decide on a limit of what you are able to spend. Every time you purchase something, subtract from your limit so you are able to keep track of what you buy and how much you have left.
What are your tips for saving money during the holidays? Let me know in the comments below.