The end of the year can be a stressful time. Between traditions, decorations, food preparations, and gifts, the holiday season can come with a lot of strings attached. Roughly 61% of Americans dread the winter holidays due to spending, but with some planning and creativity, you can have a low-stress gifting season while also saving some money.

1. Look for the deals

Events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are always packed with the hottest deals and bargains. If you can jump on those while you have the chance, that’s a great way to save on high-ticket items! But if you miss those days, don’t worry. Living in the world of technology gives you many different options when it comes to finding something at the right price. Don’t be afraid to look around both in-person and online and see who offers the lowest price on a certain item you’re wanting to purchase. You’d be surprised how much the price varies across store to store. 

2. Stick to a Budget

This one might be hard when it comes to purchasing gifts for loved ones, but sticking to a budget is the best possible way to ensure you don’t overspend this holiday season. Determining the amount you’re willing and able to spend on others ahead of time helps give you parameters for when and how you can spend. Remember that a meaningful and thoughtful gift is priceless. 

3. Avoid Last Minute Shopping

Where are our procrastinators at? This tip always sounds great in theory but can be hard to execute. Last-minute shopping can lead to increased prices, extra stress, and blowing the budget. If you have an idea of what gifts you want to purchase well before the holidays, go ahead and grab it then! Purchasing ahead of time can lead to more opportunities for deals as well as help you have some peace of mind knowing some things are already wrapped and ready to go. 

4. Big Groups? Opt for drawing names!

If you come from a large family or have a big group of friends you’re buying gifts for, a great way to cut back on cost is for everyone to just draw one name. Set guidelines within the group by establishing a price minimum and limit that is doable for everyone. By allowing each member of the group to be responsible for only one other person’s gift, you’re taking the financial and gift-picking pressure off of everyone! 

5. Gift Experiences and Homemade Items

Last but not least, give the gift of quality time and homemade gifts rather than purchased items. Yes, store-bought gifts can be a lot of fun and exciting, but giving the gift of an experience or something you made can be just as enjoyable! Here are a few free/low-costing gifts you could give:
  • A coupon book to your significant other full of things like a massage, cleaning the kitchen, taking the trash out for a week, cooking their favorite meal, etc.
  • A trip to a nearby spot the person loves and plan to spend the day with them 
  • Homemade sugar scrub
  • Some delicious holiday treats! 
  • Homemade decor