HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON GIFTS updated 7/24/2019



One of the wonderful experiences of relationships is giving and receiving gifts. Almost everyone love receiving gifts, especially the gifts that they always wanted. Seeing the glow upon the faces of our loved ones as they open that special gift

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makes it all worthwhile…almost! Gifts can get very expensive, and, if you are in a financial bind, it may be impossible to buy that expensive gift. Also, all year round you need to buy presents for numerous occasions such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new babies, and lots more. Do not despair however, here are some great ideas to help you save money on gifts without breaking the bank.


A monthly gift budget is just what you need to keep your spending in check. It should always be the first thing you do when trying to save money. Determine how much you can afford to dedicate to gifts and then how much of that you are actually

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willing to spend. Just because you can afford to spend a certain amount doesn’t mean you need to use all of it. Create your budget before you set out to purchase anything. Of course, you don’t have to split up your budget equally. You can give bigger gifts to your closest family members and distribute small token gifts to people who are less close, such as neighbors and distant friends. Or you can set a higher limit for a friend who has luxurious tastes and spend less on one with simpler tastes. The point is just to have a

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number in mind for each gift before you start shopping. Be realistic about your family’s wants and needs. Don’t forget to include little extras like postage for cards and unforeseen events.


Sit down and write a list of everyone you would like to get a present for. At Christmas time this list could be very long so plan for a larger budget during the holidays. Remember to include people you will give extra tips to like the babysitter or your

doorman. If your list is long, you might need to prioritize who you buy gifts for. Certainly, children come first so always make sure you get them something before you think about adults. Write down, next to their names the things they may like. Knowing what each person likes will help with your gift giving. No one wants to spend money on a gift that will sit at the bottom of a draw until it can be re-gifted. You may want to break down your budget even further and decide how much you want to spend on the individuals on your list. Doing this might help you to purchase something for everyone on your list instead of just some people.

Cutting back on some people on your list can be a tempting solution to your budget problem, but it does have its pros and cons. Giving gifts to fewer people saves you time as well as money – the fewer people you have to shop for, the less time you have to spend fighting holiday crowds at the mall and wrapping presents. You can also determine if you could give one gift

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for a group of people. For example, you can give one gift to a family at Christmas time. The problem with shrinking your gift list is that it may lead to hurt feelings. If people who are accustomed to receiving a present from you every year don’t get one

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this year, their first thought might be that you’re angry with them for some reason. Even if you tell them you’re just cutting back on gifts to save money, they could still be offended that they were the ones cut from the list.


Everyone loves a good meal or some sweet goodies.  Homemade breads, cookies, cakes, and pies. Homemade is always better than store bought. And, the ingredients can often be less expensive than at a fancy bakery. Package them nicely in a cloth lined basket, paper box or in a decorative cookie jar. Everyone from busy moms to starving students to hungry bachelors will appreciate a home cooked meal. Take a few extra minutes to package it in a decorative manner. For new

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parents or other busy folk, consider stashing several meals in their freezer so that they can enjoy your gift for several days into the future. Make sure that you know about any diet restrictions and food allergies before making your dream meal. And, always make something that you know (their favorite meal) they would like. Deliver with a smile.


Be on the lookout for that special gift that Timmy always wanted. Wait until it goes on sale and then snatch it up and store it until Timmy’s birthday. Very often stores will put overstocked items and products that are not moving at their current price on clearance sales. This is a great time to stock up on gifts that you know you will need later in the year. The attic is an awesome place to hide gifts from tiny fingers and eyes. If you’re looking for token or hostess gifts, then keep your eyes open at back to

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school time, the holidays, Valentine’s Day and Easter. Candy, chocolates, candles, dishes, other small gift items, and school supplies often go on great sales at these times. Stock up on these items and save them to repackage as gifts. There are so many wonderful free samples available out there. If you plan ahead and save up enough free stuff the kids’ stockings can be overflowing at Christmas. And, some samples can be so generous, they make it easy for you to put together a fun gift basket.


Shopping online can be a real stress buster, especially in during times when all the kids have to be latched into car seats. Not only will it save money to shop from home, but it also will save endless errands and dragging more poor kids into a myriad of stores when you couldn’t find what you were looking for. Another perk for online shopping is that they deliver to your home. No more dragging huge bags of purchases while carrying a baby in your arms. Many online stores offer free shipping and most products are still tax free.

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Cash-back services gives you cash back on purchases initiated through their portal. Ebates is a website you can use to do this. Simply, sign up for a free account and find the store you want to shop with through the Ebates website. Then, shop as usual. You can also download the browser extension for pop-up reminders anytime you visit a website that offers cash back. It’s a really simple process that lets you spend less. If you’re not a fan of online shopping, you can also use the service to get cash back in-store as well. You can sign up for Ebates here. There are also many discount websites like that offer discount prices and coupons from many different merchants in the same website. This way you can compare prices without having to seek out each individual merchant’s website.

Amazon offers a number of great services including Prime free shipping, a lending library, and free streaming movies. But, many folks don’t understand their pre-order policy. If you pre-order a new release (ie. before it hits the stores), you will be


guaranteed the lowest price on that item between the time you pre-order and the release date. Since Amazon prices fluctuate so frequently, this can save you a lot of money, as well as time spent checking the price. Before you add a pricey new item to your cart on Amazon, check to see if there’s a link below the main listing that says something like, “Used and new from $16.” If there is, it means there are other sellers offering the same item on the site. You can nearly always find used copies of books, games, and other small items for less than the retail price this way.

However, online shopping has its drawbacks too. In online shopping you do not get to handle the item until it arrives.

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Sometimes, the material may turn out to be flimsy or the color may not be what you expected. And, while most reputable online merchants offer free returns, who wants to deal with returns?  Be aware that some online deals only pop up at certain hours of the day, and you have to watch the clock carefully to catch them. Furthermore, heavy holiday traffic can sometimes overwhelm a website and cause it to crash. And just like in stores, online sale items sometimes run out before you hit the “buy” button.


Many merchants who offer loyalty points allow you to redeem them for gift cards or merchandise. Many people completely forget about these cards and never claim the points. Cash in your loyalty card points and use them to help save on gifts.

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Some people think that gift cards are a cop-out thinking: “I don’t know this person well enough to know what they really want so I’ll just get the gift card”. But honestly, most people love getting gift cards, because they can then purchase a gift that they can actually use. Check out craigslist for discounted gift cards. Several times during the year some chain restaurants and stores offer bonus gift cards when you buy a certain dollar amount of their gift cards. 

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Just because your income is less than you would like, don’t worry, you can still be the hero to your family and friends. Try out these money saving ideas and see them beam with excitement. You can bring the smile to their faces and do it within your budget. 


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