Christmas the Frugal Way!

Ever heard the phrase “Christmas in July?”  I’m referring to “Christmas in July the FRUGAL WAY.”  That means starting your Christmas shopping in July, in order to save money by giving yourself more time to purchase & budget for gifts and not be under pressure to overspend. Having time to plan also gives you more time to compare prices of the item’s on your list and find the best prices.

Even if your aren’t able  to start shopping in July, you can still save lots of money on Christmas gifts by using the tips in this post.  Here’s a list of frugal things that I do starting in July (or whenever) to save money on Christmas gifts along with a Christmas Budget Shopping List.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.               

This article written by Dusty Baxter-Wright for Cosmopolitan lists 11 ways to save money for Christmas. They are so great that I have added a lot of these options into my yearly planning as well.

  1. Consider a cashback credit card.
  2. Look to buy online.
  3. Don’t be a snob.
  4. Book train tickets 8 weeks in advance.
  5. Use your loyalty cards.
  6. Don’t overbuy food.
  7. Be organized.
  8. Use voucher codes.
  9. Brave Black Friday (if you dare.)
  10. Consider Cyber Monday.
  11. Start Shopping NOW!

This is an amazing list, right?  I agree (and use) several of the options listed above, I’ll elaborate on each and how I use them…

Use Cashback Credit/Debit Cards.

1. When you purchase gifts for Christmas getting cashback by purchasing them with your credit or debit card is a great way to go.  It’s like getting paid to shop. Now that I’ve downloaded the Dosh app (the app that turns credit cards and debit cards into cashback cards) I will be able to get even more cash back this year.

I’m not an advocate of using credit cards to purchase Christmas gifts. However; paying any balance owed that you have (including the purchases of gifts) in full before the end of the billing cycle ensures that you don’t pay unwanted interest on your gifts and you still reap the benefits of receiving cashback as suggested in the article. (*Please review your credit card disclosure when using this option.)

Buy Online.

2.  Buying Christmas gifts online is at the top of my personal list, this is the reason I start in July. This gives me time to find the gift online and compare prices. I have plenty of time to receive it, examine it and return it if I need to. On very rare occasions have I not been able to find the item online for cheaper than in the store. I never miss an opportunity for cash back by using the online Swagbutton from Swagbucks or the Swagbucks app on my phone to get double the discount.

Related:  To find out how the Swagbutton from Swagbucks works click HERE. Get bonus points for signing up through this link.

Swagbucks

You may be wondering, where I shop online?  Amazon and eBay to start, if I can’t find it there then I Google the item and purchase it from the site with the cheapest price.  One of my biggest gift secrets of shopping during Christmas is I buy the women in my family designer perfume online (I have 3 younger sisters) that all get perfume.  It’s authentic, smells the same but with a lower price. My teenage daughter’s favorite perfume is Versace Bright Crystal, I love to buy it for her at half price so she always smell good!

Related: Ultimate Christmas Gift List for Girls

It really is the thought that counts.

3.  I agree with not being a snob but as people who really need to get back to taking care of each other as a society, I am not really bothered with being judged for my Christmas gifts. I buy gifts from my heart for people I care about, that says enough.

Make traveling purchases well in advance.

4.  We normally don’t travel (at least not far enough to take another mode of transportation other than a car) for Christmas, but if you do there is good advice listed in the article.

Make those reward points add up!

5.  Purchase gifts with loyalty cards from places you may not have considered before. Walgreens may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of purchasing Christmas gifts, but they have a loyalty card (that I own) and I have have 6 nieces and nephews all under the age of 15 that I have to buy gifts for including my two children. If you don’t already have a card go in store or online and sign up for one today and receive an Extra 10% off your order as a new customer with code 10WELCOME.

Walgreens has a toy aisle that has great inexpensive toys for school-age kids during Christmas time.  You get cash off on purchases that accumulate with reward points, add that with the discounted prices and you have major savings.

Walgreens Balance Rewards Program

Prepare a menu.

6.  Not over buying food should apply everyday,  Christmas should be NO exception .  Preparing early, gives you time to meal prep. You can purchase some of your items ahead of time before the “holiday season” when they are cheaper and in less demand. Most stores sale turkeys year round, if you plan to serve turkey you can buy it ahead of time and keep it frozen for up to two years according to Butterball.

Make a list and check it twice.

7.  Whenever it comes to being frugal and saving money, being organized it very important. I have put together a Christmas Budget Shopping List that I use to organize my gift purchases. Use it to organize your purchases so that you stay within your budget and remain organized also.

Using coupons is always GOOD!

8.  I’m all for using voucher codes and coupons both online and in-store when shopping, this leads to HUGE SAVINGS! Purchasing discounted vouchers or coupons is also a great option. Buying gifts from voucher sites such as Groupon.com  and Restaurant.com can keep cost low when gift giving.

  • My husband purchased me a Groupon on Mother’s Day for a massage/spa package (I was happy he followed my frugal advice.)
  • Secondly, I was overjoyed and excited about my massage/spa package!
  • Third, I don’t care that it came from Groupon…thanks hun!

Who wouldn’t like a voucher to eat out at a nice restaurant for Christmas…I would (hint, hint.)

Shop Black Friday

9.  I wouldn’t dare. Black Friday is…NOT MY THING. Losing sleep to camp outside stores…NOT MY THING. Fighting other shoppers for gifts I can find for cheaper online (most of the time)…NOT MY THING.  Being taken advantage of by retailers (supply in demand)…NOT MY THING.  If this is your thing awesome enjoy it…just…NOT MY THING.

Cyber Monday is…MY THING.

10.  Cyber Monday on the other hand is…MY THING.  If you haven’t figured it out yet,  I love to shop online! Once you consider the time, gas and price of shopping in brick and mortar stores verses shopping online you will love it too (I should write an entire post about shopping online.) Couple the online convenience with the deep discounts of Cyber Monday AND the savings can’t be beat.

Start shopping NOW!

11.  I couldn’t have stated it better myself, START SHOPPING NOW!!  What are you waiting for? That’s the concept of Christmas the Frugal Way.  Start in July (or earlier) to gives yourself a tremendous amount of time to put together a budget and purchase gifts.

Don’t forget to use ALL the links in this post to save a tremendous amount of cash (and get some back.)

Now that you have a plan, work the plan, use all your tools. How are you going to save on Christmas gifts this year?

Share your Christmas saving ideas in the comments below.  Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

 

 

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