Enjoy the holidays without overspending and feeling like Ebenezer Scrooge.
Tip #4: Give Experiences Instead of Stuff
Shopping for eight kids each Christmas can be daunting. Though I love to shop, the older my kids got, the more tricky and expensive their wish lists became.
Several years ago we implemented giving them experiences rather than stuff, and it has been a huge success. Now we give experiences such as a weekend getaway to an indoor waterpark, tickets to events and concerts, passes to museums, day trips on the train to Boston, and gift cards to their favorite restaurants that they can choose to use with us or friends.
Tip #5: Save On Free Holiday Shipping
If you love the convenience of online shopping like I do, be sure to take advantage of “Free Shipping Day” which takes place on December 15. Free Shipping Day is a one-day event held annually in mid-December. On the promotional holiday, consumers can shop from both large and small online merchants that offer free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. With over 400 businesses that participate, you are sure to save big bucks on gifts for the entire family, and you can enjoy being at home baking gingerbread men with your kids rather than hassling with long lines and traffic.
The days following Christmas are also ideal for getting a jump-start on purchasing decor and wrapping goods for next year.
Tip #6: Purchase a Family Gift
Once our kids started getting older (we’ve had five teens at a time!) we moved away from lots of individual toy purchases and instead invested in one large gift for the family. One year we upgraded our entertainment center (new flat screen HD TV along with a Bose music system), another our computers, and one year upgraded everyone’s cell phones. This eliminated a lot of frivolous purchases of items that ultimately no one really wanted anyway, and resulted in improving our family’s overall lifestyle with a major product that they could really enjoy all year long. I poll the family in early fall to see what everyone would like to see as an upgrade in our home and that gives me plenty of time to look for a great deal. This year our family room is getting a makeover with a brand new leather sectional and phone docking stations. (The gift that keeps on giving!)
Tip #7: That’s a Wrap
After this year’s holiday season settles down, take a few moments to review your spending and make plans for next year. Did you manage to stick to your gift list? Did you have too many impulse purchases? Were you constantly tempted to buy a little something for yourself each time you hit the mall? I take notes in my “master list notebook” to refer to the following holiday season. For instance, two years ago I found a trendy, affordable gift shop hidden away in town that I purchased most of my stocking stuffers at. Their gift assortment was eclectic, fun and very affordable. I made note of it so that the following year I could return and have a one-stop shopping place for stockings, teacher’s gifts, etc.
Also, if you’ve got the time, energy and storage, the days following Christmas are also ideal for getting a jump-start on purchasing decor and wrapping goods for next year. I also use this time to purchase one very inexpensive but unexpected New Year’s gift for each of my kids. It’s been a tradition of ours for years now, and my family looks forward to receiving that “one last gift” at the end of the holiday season.
How do you keep you save money during the holidays? Share your thoughts in the comments section at quickanddirtytips.com/mighty-mommy, post your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page. or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit my family-friendly boards at Pinterest.com/MightyMommyQDT