Holiday Shopping on a Budget

As the holidays draw closer, everyone’s attention turns to buying special gifts for special people. However, as gifts become more expensive, it can be hard to buy everything and stay within the holiday shopping budget. But by following some simple tips and using plenty of common sense, it’s possible to have a great holiday shopping season without busting the budget.

It’s Never Too Soon to Start
While economists estimate the average holiday shopper will spend in excess of $800 on holiday gifts for the upcoming season, many people save tremendous amounts of money by starting their shopping as early as possible. By doing so, they not only beat the crowds and have first choice of many gifts, but also have far less stress along the way. While it’s traditional to start holiday shopping on Black Friday, more and more people are choosing to get their shopping done earlier to take advantages of sales stores use to lure customers in before the traditional start of the holiday season.

Online Shopping
As more and more retailers turn to online sales to increase their profits, many shoppers also find tremendous deals on these websites. Many stores have items online that are priced lower than they are in stores, making the online shopping experience even more appealing. For Christmas shoppers, many stores start offering big savings well before Halloween in an attempt to get an early start on the season. Since shipping charges are always a big concern for shoppers, many sites now offer free shipping on any amount of items purchased or have greatly reduced shipping charges to convince people to buy online.

Dollar Store Bargains
While many people may initially balk at the idea of doing holiday shopping at dollar stores, the fact is many great gifts can be found at much lower prices than other stores. And as some shoppers discover, they not only can find great gifts there, but can also purchase other holiday items such as wrapping paper, boxes, bows, and plenty of other items. Dollar stores are also great places to find gifts for office Christmas parties, with many people purchasing gag gifts at low prices.

Price Matching
One of the best ways to save money on the holiday budget, price matching is fast becoming a way of life for retailers everywhere in order to keep current customers as well as gain new ones. With this concept, it definitely pays to shop around and compare prices. When a lower price is found on an item at a competitor’s store, the ad can simply be taken to the other store and they will automatically match the lower price.

Craft Shows
For people who are always searching for a unique holiday gift, attending craft shows can be a great way to get the perfect gift. Along with that advantage, it’s usually possible to find a one-of-a-kind gift for a relatively low price. These shows sell a variety of items including candles, furniture, foods, books, and many other items that will make finding that perfect gift easier and more affordable.

Make it Yourself
Rather than try to find a gift in a store, some people choose to save money by making gifts themselves. A great idea for someone who is good at arts and crafts, it can not only be rewarding but unique as well. By spending only a few dollars on supplies and investing some free time, the holiday shopping budget can be greatly reduced while giving gifts that will certainly stand out from many others.

While holiday shopping on a budget can certainly be a challenge, those shoppers who choose to embrace the idea and keep their spending under control can find they experience far less stress and much more enjoyment. Try these tips and see how enjoyable the holiday shopping experience can be for everyone!

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