Christmas is one of the best times of the year. The food, the gifts, the time with family – what’s not to love? The Christmas spending, that’s what. But how can you save money this Christmas without looking like el cheapo?
In this post, I’ll share 26 easy tips to save money on Christmas. You’ll save money on your Christmas gifts, stick to your budget and maybe even make some extra cash this Christmas season!
Tips to Save Money On Christmas
The first thing you need to do is decide what your personal values and goals are for Christmas.
What kind of Christmas-gift giver are you? Do you give lots of small gifts to many people or really expensive gifts to a few people?
Once you know this, you can be more thoughtful and intentional with your gifts, budget better and give great Christmas gifts without feeling cheap.
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1. Set a Budget
After evaluating your financial situation, set a budget for Christmas gifts and stick to it! There is no reason to go into debt for Christmas presents, and those you are buying gifts for wouldn’t want you to go into debt.
Figure out your Christmas budget and save money this Christmas by sticking to your budget – no exceptions.
If you need help creating a budget, this post on how to start a budget should help 🙂
2. Write a list – and stick to it
After creating your budget, decide who you will buy gifts for and how much their gift can cost.
Being intentional with the people your Christmas gift-giving list is a great way to save a lot of money on Christmas – the fewer people on your list, the more money you will save!
3. Shop Early
Save money on Christmas gifts by shopping early! There are constantly sales throughout the year so if you know who you’re buying gifts for, you can easily buy your Christmas gifts throughout the year as they go on sale and save them for Christmas.
In order to successfully do this, you need to know who you’ll buy gifts for and what your budget to avoid overspending on Christmas gifts.
4. Track Your Spending
Make sure to track your spending! It’s easy to go over budget just by spending a few dollars more than you budgeted for on a few gifts.
Take the time to write it down and track all of the money your spending on your Christmas gifts. This is especially important if you start shopping for gifts early to save money as suggested in the tip above!
These next few Money Saving Tips for Christmas will show you how you can actually start making money while you spend money on Christmas gifts.
5. Get Cashback on all presents!
When buying gifts online, always use Ebates to get free cashback on your purchases! This is essentially free money and is one of the best ways to save money on Christmas gifts (because you get free money!)
Ebates is a free cashback site which pays you between 1%-10% cashback just for clicking through their site to purchase items from hundreds of stores available.
It’s extremely simple to use and I use it to buy almost anything that I can online from Amazon, Walmart, Bestbuy and more.
The best part about this Christmas saving tip, is that you are going to be making these purchases anyway so with Ebates you will save time, make money and don’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed!
You can get even more cashback when you use the Drop App (see next step).
6. Use the drop app to get even more money back
Get free money for doing your Christmas shopping by using the Drop App.
Once you sign up for the drop app and connect your credit/debit card to it, you’ll start earning points for using your credit/debit card to purchase items.
Then redeem your points to get FREE CASH (in gift cards) just for doing the purchases you would normally! It’s a win-win and even better when you use Ebates to get even more cashback for your online purchases. This is one of my favorite ways to save money on Christmas 🙂
7. Acorns app
Since you’ll be shopping a lot more than usual during Christmas, I highly recommend using the Acorns app to start making money through investments automatically without any research/overthinking.
The Acorns app is an investing app that is connected to your debit card. When you make purchases, it rounds up the purchase amount to the nearest dollar then moves the difference from your checking account into an acorn investment account that you choose.
For example, if your Christmas gift costs $15.64, it will round the purchase up to $16 and then take the difference of $0.36 and automatically invest it for you into a diversified portfolio recommended specifically for you!
There are unlimited deposits/withdrawals and it’s one of the best ways to start investing and making money without any stress!
8. Use your credit card to get points!
I DO NOT recommend using a credit card for purchases unless you can pay off the total balance when it’s due. If you can do this, using a credit card to make your purchases is a great way to save and make money on your Christmas gifts!
You’ll be spending the money on Christmas gifts, either way, so you may as well get some points/cashback by using a credit card instead.
9. Sell your stuff
Make some extra cash for Christmas gifts by selling your unused items online! There are international sites like eBay or Craiglist that you can use, Facebook marketplace or local selling sites too!
For example, in Canada, a local site you can sell your stuff on is Kijiji or Letgo. In Australia, Gumtree is a great option. In Dubai, Dubizzle is a local buy/sell website.
If you’re unsure about one in your area, just do a quick google search and you should be able to find a great site for your local area!
Poshmark is also a great way to sell your lightly used clothing too! When you sign up, there is a box near the bottom that asks for your invite code if you use my invite code “eatloveexplore” you’ll get $10 to spend for free!
Use my invite code: Eatloveexplore to get $10 to spend for free!
More easy ways to save money on Christmas gifts this year:
10. Buy gifts for less
Using those same local buy/sell sites mentioned in the above tip, you can also buy your Christmas gifts for less using these sites as well.
When buying popular gifts like toys or electronics, I always do a search on these sites first to see if there are any brand new, unopened items available to purchase.
I’ve found NBA jerseys, Nikes, Cameras and electronics in perfect unused condition for a fraction of regular retail price. Usually, the seller is selling the unused item because they got as a gift or won it as a prize but they prefer the cash instead.
As the saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” you’re bound to find something you want in brand new condition!
You can save a lot of money on Christmas gifts through these sites because they are tax-free and are usually selling for a cheaper price as well. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars on gifts using these sites!
11. Adjust your spending
Christmas gets expensive even if you’re actively trying to save money on Christmas. With these saving tips, you’ll be on your way, but sometimes even this won’t be enough.
Review your household budget and see where you can cut back in other areas in order to save more money for Christmas.
If there’s no wiggle room in your household budget, then consider trying one of these 25 easy side hustles to make an extra $500/month!
12. Give an experience
Instead of a physical gift (and extra clutter), try giving them an experience instead.
With sites like Groupon, you can score a seriously great deal on fun experiences in your area! There are always great deals on restaurants, spas, shows and more.
13. REgift unused items
I know that this gets a bad rap, but honestly, it’s a great money saving tip for Christmas. Many times we get things that we never use, but keep anyway (because we’re all hoarders).
This gift can find a new home with someone else who will actually use it and it won’t cost you a dime!
Just don’t give anything that you wouldn’t be happy to receive as a gift.
14. give Home-made gifts
You can find a bunch of great homemade gift ideas here like cookies, chocolate bark, hand-made ornaments and more!
If you just need a small gift, then homemade items like baked goods are a great option! If you want to give a bigger gift on a small budget then simply combine a few of these and wrap them in cellophane wrap tied with a ribbon.
It’s a great way to give a great looking gift without breaking the bank this Christmas.
15. Wait for boxing day deals
The best way to save money on Christmas is to skip buying your big-ticket gifts before Christmas and instead wait for the day after when all the boxing day deals start.
You can save hundreds on gifts if you can wait just one day!
Opening a gift on Christmas morning is an important part for many families, so you can still buy/make small gifts to be opened on Christmas day and then buy the bigger, more expensive gifts on Boxing day for a fraction of the cost.
Trust me, the savings are worth the wait! If you can’t get it because it’s sold out, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great options to save money too!
16. Save on Postage Fees
If you’re sending a gift to someone who lives far away then buy it online and have it sent directly to their home. It can save you a lot of money in postage charges (you can even get it for free sometimes)!
17. Stop spending money on traditional (wasteful) Christmas things
The number one culprit would be Christmas cards, gift tags, even wrapping paper. Why do we even give Christmas cards to everyone and how often do you even keep these cards?
Stop wasting your hard-earned money on these types of “traditional” Christmas things. Skip them, save your money and start your own less expensive traditions – like making DIY wrapping paper (see next point).
Not only will you save money with this tip, but you’ll also help save the environment by creating less waste and reusing items!
18. skip the wrapping paper
I love wrapping Christmas gifts but wrapping paper is a really unnecessary thing to spend money.
Here are some really beautiful and easy DIY Wrapping paper ideas but if you’re lazy like me, newspaper and ribbon will do the job too!
You can also save the gift bags receive throughout the year and reuse them at Christmas time!
19. do Secret Santa online
If you have a really big group of people to buy gifts for like your family, work crew or church family, then I suggest doing Secret Santa instead of spending money on many gifts, you can save money this Christmas by purchasing one gift for one person in the group.
Free online sites like Elfster, make it easy. After you sign up, you can enter everyone’s name anonymously, set a max budget and even set your wishlist to help get the perfect gift! It’s totally free and a great way to do secret Santa for big groups!
Drawnames is another site that works in the same way.
20. Don’t join gift-exchanges you don’t want to be in
Don’t feel pressured to join in gift exchanges that you really don’t want to be in. This is your money, save it and don’t waste it on gift exchanges you really don’t care about.
People know that Christmas is expensive and as long as you say “no” in a polite way, most people will understand.
21. Give Sentimental Gifts
Which Christmas gifts do you remember the most? Was it the ones that you really wanted and maybe cost a lot, or the ones that really showed someone really thought about you and took the time to give you something they knew would pull at your heartstrings and made you cry?
Sentimental gifts don’t have to cost a lot, but it does take time to think about what will really make them smile!
Some ideas are coupon booklets, a book by their favorite author, make them a Spotify playlist (aka mixtape lol), or maybe a photo album with all your favorite moments in it.
Be creative and give them something that will really touch their hearts and show them you really know them and care.
22. Use old gift cards to purchase gifts
If you have gift cards that you haven’t used yet, this is the perfect way to save money on your Christmas gifts this year!
Gift cards are basically cash – so use em!
23. Combine orders to save on shipping!
I never pay for shipping when I buy things online and neither should you! Save money by shopping early and combining your orders or waiting until you qualify for the minimum purchase in order to get free shipping.
If you can’t reach the minimum order alone, recruit a friend that can split the purchase with you. It’s a win-win because you both save on shipping!
24. Shop around for good deals and price match if you can!
Don’t buy the first thing you see. Save money by doing a bit of homework and shopping around for the best prices!
Many stores sell the same items and there are even stores that will price match items if you show the same item for a cheaper price in another store’s flyer.
Use the Flipp app to make price matching easy!
25. Avoid the mall
The mall is a black hole for spending. Whether it’s Christmas time or not, being in a mall always tempts me to spend on things I didn’t know I needed or wanted before I arrived.
Avoid the mall if you can, but if you must shop at the mall be intentional about where you’re going and what you’re going to get.
Do not get distracted or off-topic! This money saving tip will help you save on Christmas this year if you can do it!
26. Buy food on Sale
Be flexible and adjust your Christmas dinner menu to include items that are on sale! Christmas ham and turkeys are really expensive so opt for cheaper alternatives instead.
Save money on Christmas by creating a menu using food items that are cheaper, in season and on sale. You’d be surprised just how much money you can save with this money saving tip!
Christmas is one of the best times of the year – but we can all admit that it can be one of the most expensive and even stressful times of the year as well.
Don’t compromise your financial and saving goals just because it’s Christmas and societal pressures. If you implement even a few of these best money-saving tips to save money on Christmas you will save lots of money this Christmas!
I hope this has inspired you to reevaluate your Christmas spending and helps you save money this year!
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