How to save money this Christmas

Christmas is WAY too close.  I haven’t even started shopping yet and I have no urge to start anytime soon.  I’m just so bah humbug about Christmas, but I want to change that this year.

I’m on the hunt for budget Christmas ideas! Last year I had a “homemade” Christmas where I tried to make everyone’s gift.  I gotta be honest, it took FOREVER and probably cost me just as much as buying gifts.  I enjoyed it, but I just don’t have time to go there again this year.

So, how am I going to shop for the bazillion people on my list and not have to take out a second mortgage? I have no idea. None. But I’m going to start with some things that have worked for me in the past and then try to find inspiration and ideas from the wonderful world wide web. Here are a few of the ways I save a few bucks over the holidays:

Draw Names: Instead of buying for my husbands siblings and their significant others, we draw names.  Everyone still gets a great gift but it saves the time and money of having to buy for everyone.

Just the Kids: As I get older, I no longer care so much about receiving gifts at Christmas, and neither do other people my age. It is about spending time with those you love and spoiling the kids in your life.  With my siblings and my friends, we just buy for the kids and forgo getting each other a gift.

Homemade for the Old Folks: My grandparents usually get a framed picture of my kids and  some little homemade thing from my kids.  This year I am giving them DVD’s of the kids being their crazy, silly selves along with a picture and a homemade tree ornament.

Buy it Secondhand: My favourite way to save a few coins is to buy used for the kids. I know what you may be thinking…used? Seriously? Here’s the thing.  My kids are 5 and 3 and are still at the point where they have no idea.  Don’t get me wrong, we still buy many things for them new, but I can get so much more bang for my buck by buying gently used kids things and having them come from Santa.  In our home, Santa gifts are out of the box and setup anyways, so buying it used saves you money and my kids will never know the difference.

Here are some gifts we have purchased second hand and saved a BUNDLE on!  V-tech video game system with 6 games ($20), Talking Dora House with ALL the accessories including van, pool and nursery ($40), Thomas the Train Table with all the tracks and 15 metal trains ($100)…Well, you get the point.

What are some of your favourite ways to save money over the holidays? I’d love to hear them!

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