When the holidays begin to roll around, we’re immediately filled with the cheer and joy that it brings. No matter where you look, the holidays completely take over houses, stores and eateries, resulting in an abundance of excitement. But one of the most important key concepts about the holidays is gift-giving — which can arguably be one of the most dreadful things to do. Let’s be real here. Gift shopping can be expensive and time-consuming, and every once in a while we’re all tasked with the “I have no idea what to get them” scenario. This can result in stressful, last-minute and over-the-top purchases that can possibly put a significant dent in your bank account. If you no longer want to endure that holiday gift shopping stress, try out some of these tips to ensure your presents are not only easy to obtain but affordable too.
Shopping discount apps/browser extensions
You can never go wrong with couponing. If you end up finding that perfect gift that you’ve been looking for, it doesn’t hurt to look and see if it has any available discounts. It’s easy to download a couponing app like RetailMeNot or SnipSnap to find digital deals on your phone to use in-store or online. Apps like Groupon also partner with other businesses to create limited deals that can help you save big on everything from shoes to flower deliveries. If you prefer to online shop, then discount browser extensions can also be a handy tool to ensure you’re getting the cheapest price on most things you purchase. Browser extensions like Honey and Amazon Assistant will search the whole web for coupons and automatically apply them to your online checkout page, giving you the coupon that saves you the most money. This is great for those must-have Amazon purchases and exclusive online items.
The magic of Free Shipping Day
On one day around mid-December every year, thousands of online-retailers band together to make shipping completely free of cost for all purchases on its websites. Shipping costs can be very pricey and might be the determining factor in whether you buy something online or not. The free shipping along with the already discounted holiday prices is a great way to save money. Some of the participating retailers include Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Sephora and Macy’s. The best part is that all of these stores have something for everybody, meaning you can save big on multiple, if not all, your gifts from the comfort of your own home. Also, all online-retailers guarantee delivery by Christmas Eve, meaning you can both be frugal and not be concerned with time restrictions. Free Shipping Day is on December 14 this year.
Split the cost
If you end up discovering that amazing gift for that certain someone — but you realize it costs a pretty penny — then consider splitting the cost with someone you know: a friend, family member, coworker, etc. I’m sure they’d appreciate it too. This is a great solution for those office and family holiday parties where you’re required to bring gifts. Not only did you save on the cost, but it also looks meaningful when two people collaborate on a present too.
Choose to go the DIY route or make your own experiences
Another alternative to gift-giving is to go on the DIY route or an adventure instead of material items. Nothing beats a homemade gift that was made with love and care. These kinds of gifts are great for friends, parents and other family members. Some easy and affordable DIY gifts include a homemade cut-and-tie fleece blanket, a painted picture frame with a favorite photo of you both in it or even a coupon book offering things like “Breakfast in Bed” or “Kitchen Clean-Up.” These presents are super simple, but definitely do not lack the charm or thoughtfulness they possess. If you want to do something totally different, then look for ways to create experiences and memories, rather than going on the traditional gift-giving course. Some ideas for this could be a stroll through some Christmas lights, a holiday baking session with all your friends or even a holiday movie marathon (with popcorn included of course). All of these ideas are budget-friendly and super fun!