Tips and tricks to save money this Christmas, so you do not go broke

Christmas and the holiday season is the busiest shopping time of the year. It is the time when retailers look to make their best sales and recuperate the losses they have usually incurred for the rest of the year. Consumers buy like there was no tomorrow and by the time the New Year comes they often face a mountain of debt.

The frugal Christmas shopper knows how to get all the Christmas gifts on their list and still stay in the black. What is their secret? Let us take a quick look at a Christmas checklist for frugal Christmas shopping.

  1. Be prepared: get your gift list ready and know exactly what you need to buy. This will prevent spontaneous buying, which will increase spending.
  2. Cash only: This is hard to do but very necessary. Do not use credit cards. If you do you will be tempted to buy things without taking into account the price. This is a sure way to create a mountain of credit card debt to pay off in the coming year.
  3. Be creative: think of unique Christmas gift ideas. When you buy presents try to make them unique and fitting for the person. It is not necessarily how much it costs but whether it is a worthwhile gift that your loved one will enjoy. Many unique gifts are not expensive but will be much appreciated.
  4. Sales: There are plenty of sales around the holiday season with chances to get cheap Christmas gifts. Just remember to keep an eye on the paper and TV ads.
  5. Save big on after Christmas sales: this m ay sound insane but many people save a lot on after Christmas sales. Prices are cut as much as 50% after Christmas because the retailers have a surplus of stock and want to sell it off rather than keeping it for a whole year. You can take advantage of these sales and keep the gifts in a safe place. It will save you time as well as money as you will have to do less shopping in the crowded stores at Christmas time.
  6. Do it yourself: if you enjoy arts and crafts, knitting and sewing etc. you can make some lovely gifts for people on your list. Making your own gifts will save you a lot of money and enable you to give unique presents to your loved ones.
  7. Baking: home baked gifts are always popular for many people on your list. This is one of the cheap Christmas gifts you can give but is greatly appreciated. You can look for recipes online or use some traditional family ones.
  8. Gift cards: rather than giving gifts that the recipient may not like you can always give them a gift card for their favourite shop.  This will save you time and you can get gift cards to match your budget.
  9. Decorations and Christmas lights: when you buy these items always buy them directly after Christmas so that you will take advantage of the post Christmas sales. Decorations and other accessories are usually at least ½ off and can easily be stored until next Christmas. You will save a lot of money by doing this.
  10. Christmas cards: You can buy these at the January sales and usually save 50% off the regular price. When you make your own you will save even more and delight your loved ones with unique Christmas cards.