Guest post by Jessica Miller at The Shoestring Budget
I do not like shopping when the stores are packed. I also don’t like paying twice as much as normal because of the current season. So I started shopping for my Christmas gifts earlier in the year. Like really early in the year.
Thanks to deal-posting sites like MoneySavingMom.com and others, I’m able to have good deals delivered directly to my inbox. I can quickly scan the list and if something pops out at me, I take a minute to decide if it would make a good Christmas gift or not, and if so, I buy it!
My husband and I have a tradition of giving a gift to each of our immediate family members on Christmas. Since we don’t have any children yet, we can still afford to do this. But that’s still eight gifts to buy in addition to the ones we give each other.
In order to save as much as possible, and still be able to bless our family members, we set a budget for our Christmas gifts. We have an allotted amount to spend on each person and after we’ve spent that amount, we’re done!
Throughout the year, I keep my eyes open for good deals on things that would make great gifts. Many times stores will run sales on items throughout the year that will also be available at Christmas for more money. By buying these early, I can save money and actually give a bigger gift.
I make a list with each person’s name on it and once I’ve bought something for their gift, I write down the item and the price and how much I have left to spend. This keeps me organized and enables me to stick to the budget we set.
So far I’ve already bought something for both my sister and my sister-in-law that took about half of their allotted amounts, so as soon as I find something for the other half, I can mark two people off the list! The best part is that I can avoid crowded shopping malls and overpriced gifts, not to mention I can experience the joy of shopping for someone else all year long.
Jessica and her husband Curtis have been married for 10 months, and are currently renting a duplex and saving as much money as possible to be able to buy a house and raise a family before long. One of the things she loves to do most is search for the best deals and coupons. Saving money has become a fun thing for her and her husband to do together. Jessica writes about the deals she finds and tips she’s learned at The Shoestring Budget.