I can’t believe we’re halfway through the year already! I swear, time moves so quick when you’re too busy to notice it. Now that I’m taking the time to sit down and plan for the upcoming months ahead, I really need to start preparing for Christmas and I wanted to share my tips for Christmas shopping on a budget. I can’t believe I’m already preparing for Christmas in July.
Before I begin, I want to let you know about my disclaimer. This page contains affiliate links and what that means is, if you sign up using my link, I may get a small commission for it. I only share products and services that I personally use and like.
We’re all on a budget, we need to be. The last thing we want is to add more to our debt. It’s time to be smart about it.
Last year, I had started preparing for Christmas early around the same time in July. There was no way I could blow several hundred dollars in a month shopping for gifts while there was a mortgage to pay now. That would be setting us up for failure and a lot of unnecessary stress.
What I did last year, I will be doing it again this year with a few tweaks to make planning a lot better. My list of names grew and I now have more kids to shop for. To me, shopping for little kids is the easiest, it’s the older ones I now have to plan better for. Kids now-a-days prefer technology over books and board games.
The main point is, start preparing for Christmas early and don’t go broke before the New Year.
Here I share with you some tips for Christmas shopping on a budget
Couponing for Savings and Cash Back Rewards
As you may or may not know, Couponing has been a part of me for over 3 years now. It seriously helped me save money on buying diapers and the daily essentials. If you want to learn how you can get start saving money using coupons, please read Couponing to Be Debt Free in Hawaii and leave a comment to let me know what you think.
Another way to help me save money with grocery shopping in relation to couponing is using these apps below:
Shopkick – I use the Shopkick app every day. It’s so easy to just walk in a store, receive your kicks and then walk out. I’m lucky that I get to just walk into Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS daily while I’m on my way to work. When I have extra time, I’ll scan barcodes of selected items for even more points. Doing this during the work week helps build up kicks fast which I can then submit for free gift cards.
Checkout51 – I’m still fairly new to this app and have started using it last month. I’m getting the hang of it and it’s getting easier to use with time. I like to create my list before each grocery shopping trip and I plan for a day when the boyfriend is not with me. He cracks me up but he’s terrible at sticking to the list and he always picks up something that he says ‘we need this.’ Anything to help me get some cash back would be awesome!
Ibotta – Very similar to Checkout51, I also just started using Ibotta. You can get cash back on specific items when you do grocery shopping and like I said, getting cash back on groceries really do help. The extra money saved can go towards the Christmas fund.
Even though Checkout51 and Ibotta and very similar, the reason why I have these apps is because I can get cash back on items using the same receipt. Doing this will double my cash back rewards. Awesome hack right? If Ibotta and Checkout51 has a cash back offer on Oreo cookies, I can upload both receipts to each app. The deal would be even sweeter if there were a coupon that I could use to lower my out of pocket cost.
Yay for additional savings!
Create a Christmas Fund
Here’s a Christmas money savings tip for you: back in May, I started a fund called Christmas 2017 knowing that I can’t blow several hundred dollars in a month. It’ll either put me into more debt or I’ll go broke if I dip into my cash emergency fund. I don’t prefer either way. Saving early will help offset the spending. So far, I found this is the best way to save money for Christmas this year. I’ve been putting in $50 a month and I think I should be fine by December. I would have enough to shop for the kids. My parents, siblings, and other family members is another story.
Once 2017 is over, I can start my Christmas fund again in January and be better prepared for 2018.
The weirdo in me had created a table to track how much I’m saving towards my Christmas Fund. I decided to share it with you as a printable. Click on the link below and print!
Get free gift cards with Swagbucks
I love getting free gift cards! Who doesn’t? I relied on Swagbucks a lot last year and I will rely on it again this year. It does take time to build up your bucks but with the free gift cards that I’m able to get, it helps lower my out of pocket costs when I go shopping.
I have the app on my phone and I’m on it every day when time allows it. I don’t really fill out surveys, I don’t really have time for it, but I do watch videos and look out for Swag Codes.
Check out my post for more information and useful hacks, Get Free Gift Cards without Completing Offers at Swagbucks.
Be on the Lookout for Summer Clearances
I’m a hunter when it comes to summer clearances. It’s happening right now so be on the lookout! If you haven’t read my couponing post yet, start following the #couponcommunity on Instagram and see what stores are having their summer clearances. Being on the hunt for seasonal clearances really helps my wallet when I want to shop for kids. Summer clothing, toys, and school supplies are great for making Christmas baskets.
The only thing is that once you see a clearance going on, you RUN! There are other like-minded folks out there who thinks exactly like you do and when these folks happen to be couponers, they WILL clear the shelves.
Earn More Money with a Side Hustle
Have you seen my post on side hustles yet? If not, read on to 9 Side Hustles to Make Money this Weekend.
Having a side hustle can definitely help with the costs of Christmas shopping. You have the option to do it temporarily or longer if your time allows it. Companies are always looking to hire additional staff around the holidays, you may find something that you like.
With the money saved from using coupons and shopping apps, I can put those savings towards my Christmas fund. I hope these Tips for Christmas shopping on a budget helps you.
Comment below and let me know your Christmas money savings tip!
Resources to check out:
- Shopkick – Earn Kicks for free gift cards by simply walking into a store.
- Checkout51 – Earn cash back on selected offers when you do your weekly grocery shopping.
- Ibotta – Similar to Checkout51, double your cash back on selected offers when you do your grocery shopping.
- Swagbucks – The easiest way to earn free gift cards without having to fill out surveys or purchase anything.
Latest posts by Melanie (see all)
- Creative Fun Ways to Gift Money for Any Occassion - December 12, 2017
- Best Finance Books to Gift for Smarter Money Habits in 2018 - December 8, 2017
- Looking Back at November and Improving on a Failed Month - December 5, 2017