tip tuesday

8 Tips for Buying Gifts When Money is Tight

December 6, 2016

The holidays are a wonderful time. We all have our traditions and Christmas miracles/moments that will always be cherished memories. However, Christmas can often bring about the cold reality of finances. Most of us enjoy buying gifts but it feels like the list gets longer and longer every year. Gifts for relatives, gifts for teachers, gag gifts for parties, and the list goes on. None of us want to be seen as someone who is down and out because sometimes that can be embarrassing. Some of us just aren’t made of money but we would still like to give a gift to those who matter in our life. Here are a few tips on giving a gift when money is an issue.

  1. Go Handmade – Many people think you will spend a ton of money in supplies if you try to do handmade gifts. Truly, it CAN get expensive if you choose the wrong gifts. Things such as candles, cookie mix jars, soaps, etc. all can be bought in bulk for a small price and the supplies can stretch out for many gifts. $10 for candle wax at Michael’s can make many candles and everyone loves candles.
  2. Give of Your Time – Many of us often get stuck on giving something tangible as a gift. I know many people, including myself, who enjoy experiences rather than tangible gifts. I have a friend who would rather be taken out for a fun day on a hiking trail rather than get gifts.
  3. Make Fun Coupons – For close family and friends, they often ask us for favors. As a fun way to skip spending so much money, give a coupon for tasks or favors. For example, give a coupon for one good day of cleaning or errand running. Or you can use Reebox Promo codes or codes from other places to get a % off!
  4. Go Easy on the Teacher Gifts – I promise you, teachers are showered with gifts and will not cry or care if you don’t give them one. I have a friend who was a teacher and she always hated the pressure put on the kids and their families to give her gifts. If you still want to give a gift to a teacher, a handmade card from the kid(s) is just as touching if not more touching than a gift.
  5. Watch for Sales – There are always huge coupons for online sales or you can get coupon discounts for signing up for free email subscriptions with stores and companies. I have waited to buy things many times until I had a coupon for it. You don’t have to brave Black Friday to get good sale items. For example, JC Penny always has a 15% off your entire purchase coupon for online or in-stores. Hobby Lobby and Michael’s also always have standing coupons for 40-50% off one regularly priced item. Simply search for your store online and often times they pop right up.
  6. Wait Until After Christmas – For the gifts than can wait until after Christmas, there are always huge sales that occur as soon as the day after Christmas. Many of them are large discounts making it a lot easier to grab up a gift. I know I’ve waited to buy décor for my next Christmas until the sales happened because I got it 75% cheaper than it would have been.
  7. Talk to the Family About a Game – I have a friend who does a gift giving game with each side of her family instead of everyone giving everybody a gift. One side of the family has everyone bring one gag or normal gift and then they play a game of picking and stealing from each other. It’s a lot of fun. The other side of the family puts everybody’s names in a hat and then each person draws a name and buys only for that person.
  8. Check People off the List – I used to be really bad about buying for anybody and everybody. Sadly, most of them wouldn’t even blink at the gift but I felt I needed to buy them one every year anyways. One year, I decided to nix those people off the list and the funny thing is, they didn’t even notice or care. Don’t be afraid to shorten your list.

8 Tips for Buying Gifts When Money is Tight

  • Reply
    K. Elizabeth
    December 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    I agree with nixing people off the list. Christmas gifts are optional and nobody should feel obligated to buy gifts, especially for others who aren’t even appreciative of your gifts. Since I crochet, I’ve had several family members request that I make them blankets and throws in their favorite colors or with their favorite team mascot on it. I have to say that my handmade gifts are my favorite to give because I know how much love I put into them and how much love they will get. Happy Holidays!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I like how you start off with give homemade, give of your time, make coupons. Not about the money and how much you spend. Put some heart, thought and love into every gift.

  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    December 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    These are all wonderful ways to save money. I love homemade gifts and it’s sad when people get stressed out because they can’t afford extravagant gifts.

  • Reply
    Vera Sweeney
    December 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    These are great tips!!! With a large family we still try to shop smart and save money when ever possible.

  • Reply
    Dawn Gibson-Thigpen
    December 7, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    `great tips. shopping smart is so imporatnt and it makes a world of difference on your pockets.

  • Reply
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    December 7, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    It’s totally possible to find gifts for your loved ones even when there is a strict budget. I love the tips you share here. Sometimes a hand made gift is the best!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    This is fantastic! Each year our list grows and grows and I find myself rebudgeting over and over. Definitely using some of these tips for the remainder of my Christmas list peeps this year.

  • Reply
    Sarah Bailey
    December 7, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Hands up I LOVE handmade things, my cousin made me a little something for my birthday and it was just amazing most definitley one of my favourites presents this year.

  • Reply
    Dawn McAlexander
    December 8, 2016 at 1:54 am

    We really try to limit what we spend on everyone. Also, we never buy for family members that we hardly ever see. They usually don’t buy for us, so it’s a win-win situation.

  • Reply
    Franc Ramon
    December 8, 2016 at 3:00 am

    I think hand made gifts can be a lot more meaningful and affordable. It comes with a thought and yo can customize it.

  • Reply
    Stephanie Pass
    December 8, 2016 at 7:29 am

    These are great tips. When money is tight, I tend to make a lot of our gifts for others.

  • Reply
    Rebecca Swenor
    December 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    These are awesome tips for buying gifts when money is tight. I love the coupon gifts and maybe doing a couple of them this year. Homemade gifts is what I have been doing the past couple of years. I have been making scented candles which everyone I know loves. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  • Reply
    Angela Harris
    December 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Sometimes we buy to much and need to remove a few people off our lists. You should never feel like it’s a must for everyone you know. Thank you for the great tips!

  • Reply
    Bonnie @wemake7
    December 9, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Great tips. When money is tight we just don’t do much and do more handmade gifts or something else to show we care.

  • Reply
    December 9, 2016 at 1:18 am

    I have always determined to only buy gifts for my close family and for others I will prepare a meal and have a close get together.

  • Reply
    Ali Cummins
    December 9, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Great ideas for saving a little money over the holidays. I always try to start shopping super early and throughout the year so that the spending doesn’t come all in one month. Also sales. Those are the best 🙂

  • Reply
    December 9, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    love these ideas! I am DIY’ing a lot of gifts this year. I’m not very good at it, but at least they know it’s from the heart. <3

  • Reply
    December 10, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I love these ideas! I’m trying to save money this year, so there will be a lot of regifting and handmade gifts this year.

  • Reply
    Jasmine Eclipse
    December 10, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    This is an awesome post, because I can relate! I just moved to Canada and trying to find and buy and mail presents this year would have cost a fortune! Although I really wanted to put a nice personal touch on it and hand wrap everything and include photos, it would have just been toooooo pricey. I opted for just buying on Amazon and having them ship it, it made it easier! (I’m justifying

  • Reply
    Christina Aliperti
    December 12, 2016 at 2:13 am

    These are really great tips and now is definitely the time that I need them. It can be so hard shopping for the holidays when you are on a tight budget but it’s good to know that it’s doable.

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