How to not go broke this Christmas
Christmas is the most wonderful and the most expensive time of year (back to school time is up there too). It’s easy to go broke come December. With being a mom to 4 kids and having a million nieces and nephews, many would think it’s really expensive, and yes it can be! But if there is one thing my husband and I have mastered, it’s the art of bargain hunting and pinching pennies. So Christmas time – it’s our time to shine!!
While I was on Upparent, (this new and fantastic website that basically is your go-to for anything parenting and family-related that comes to mind. I’ll share more below) I came across a poll asking “When do you start your holiday shopping”. I was surprised to see that only 21% shop throughout the year and 4% start right after the holiday is over. Over 51% start after Halloween! That’s crazy to me! Because by Halloween, I’m about 75% done with all my holiday shopping. All that’s usually left is a few big gifts for the kids that we get last minute because we obviously can’t hide it (three-wheelers, basketball hoop, bike, etc). So you may wonder how my husband and I do it….
So here are some tips for saving money while Holiday Shopping:
- Start Early: by early, I mean shop the day after Christmas for family gifts. You can find awesome mugs, throw blankets, candles and Christmas themed gifts for cheap, like 80% off cheap! So think of aunts, uncles, family friends, and buy enough for everyone to tuck away until next Christmas!
- Shop clearance throughout the year: I love searching the end caps of stores’ aisles. You find the best mark downs. I’ve found some awesome gifts for the kids’ in the middle of June. If I see something that I know the boys’ will like and it’s marked down to a good price, I’ll buy it and hide it in my closet until Christmas. Also if one of their favorite shows’ has a toy on sale, I’ll buy it and save it! Shopping throughout the year, and while on sale saves me time and money come Christmas time!
- Don’t buy useless items: just because you see it and think they’ll play with it, ask yourself “is this something they’ll only play with for a day or two and then abandon” or “is this something that has too many pieces and they’ll end up losing them?” If so, don’t buy it!
- Shop Black Friday/cyber Monday: So I actually never leave my house come Black Friday, I just don’t like the excessive crowds and being out super late or up super early, so I do all my shopping online. A lot of stores offer Black Friday deals online, so I like to take advantage of those deals (if they’re really good). This is typically when I’ll buy the kids’ their larger gifts (basketball hoop, bikes, power wheels, etc).
- Set a budget: for me, I set a budget on December 26th. I say “okay, we’re only going to spend X amount of dollars for Christmas gifts next year”. I put that number in a notepad in my phone, and as I buy gifts throughout the year, I subtract from the total number. Doing this prevents me from over spending, and over gifting (I’m a gift giver).
- Consider experiences over gifts: If you’re not the gift giving type, consider a fun experience as a family instead. On Upparent, you can find so many fun things to do in our area!
- Give homemade gifts: Consider making mugs to give to family members, if you’re crafty. 94 maybe doing hot cocoa in a jar! I did this for Christmas 2 years ago, and gave out these sweet handmade gifts to teachers, friends and our doctors.
Christmas time is honestly my most favorite time of year, and the last thing I want is to be stressed about money, gifts, and scrambling around last minute. I love enjoying this season with my family, and really taking it in because once January 2nd hits, the reality sets in that it’s all over.
So these were my tips for saving money while Christmas shopping. Even as a mom to 4, we still make Christmas affordable and stress free!
I found this AMAZING website called Upparent. And it’s basically your family-friendly go-to site for any and everything! You can look up information on events in your area, gift ideas for any age and occasion, movies to watch, vacation ideas, classes, mom advice and more! When I first went on this site, I probably spent about 1 hour just doing poll after poll, reading about different events near me, and of course learning about when other people start their holiday shopping. It’s your one stop website for anything that pops up in your head and to share information with other parents. Click here to discover the awesomeness of Upparent
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This post was sponsored by Upparent| But as always, all opinions are 100% my own!