I thought I would compile a list of how I save money at Christmas.
1. I start shopping in January. Yes. You read that right. January. As soon as the sales start after the New Year, I head to the stores and buy ahead for next year. I specifically do this with clothing for my nieces and nephew. I just buy one size bigger than they are now and store it away for next year. That way they are still getting cute, quality clothing, but I am paying a VERY cheap price at my favorite stores.
2. I buy stuff when I see it. If I see something throughout the year that I think would make a good present, I buy it. I don't care if it's July or October or December. If it's a good price, and I think it would make a good gift, I snatch it up.
3. I never pay shipping. This year I did most of my shopping online. And I managed to get free shipping for everything I bought! I looked around for free shipping codes, and it was worth the search. If you can't find a free shipping code, pick up the phone and call customer service and ask them to waive the shipping. This usually works.
4. I use FatWallet or Ebates. Both of these sites basically give you cash-back for shopping online. Simply go to the sites and enter the stores that you shop at through FatWallet or Ebates. You will get a certain percentage back. For instance, I received 6% back at LL Bean. It gets deposited in your paypal account or they send you a check on a quarterly basis.
5. I utilize Craigslist. One of Maddie's #1 Christmas wishes for this year is a Barbie Dream House. When she first told us this a few months ago, I was thinking, "Seriously? The kid already has two doll houses. Does she need another?" I really didn't feel like forking over $200 for another doll house. Yet, she kept asking for it and told me that her Barbies had nowhere to live. Well, how could I leave the Barbies homeless? So I started searching around on Craigslist. And I found a 4 story Barbie Dream House for $30. Yup. And it is in perfect condition and came with the furniture. Done. I can handle $30.
6. I use coupons. There is pretty much no reason to pay full price anymore. Search around the internet for in-store coupons. Look for stuff that comes in the mail. Pretty much every store has coupons that you can use. Places like Kohls, Children's Place, and Macy's have sales and coupons ALL the time. No need to shop without a coupon. Ever.
7. I buy practical items for stocking stuffers. You figure that you need to buy stuff for the kids like underwear, toothbrushes, and socks anyway. So - why not put it in their stockings? It's a practical way to fill stockings.
8. I learn to say no. I realize that my kids don't need everything on their list. I finally draw the line and just say no.