How to save money on holiday shopping

Want to know the secrets of getting more for less?

The holidays can be a hard time of the year, spending all that money in one month can be a financial strain or darn right impossible if you have a large family. However, these helpful tips are a great way to find success during the holidays and start saving for next year.

Join survey sites – You can become a member of survey sites for free and take surveys as often as you wish. Most surveys last between 5 and 30 minutes depending on the length, topic, and type of applicants needed. Periodically, you may also get to test and keep new items. Payments for surveys are between .50 cents to a few dollars sometimes, even more, depending on the survey type. You can cash out via PayPal or gift cards to stores like Amazon. It does take a few weeks to reflect that you completed a survey but payment adds up fast with cash out starting as little as $20.

A few survey sites are Mommy Knows Surveys, Harris Poll Online, Inbox Dollars are just a few you can join and start earning.

Shop deal sites like Groupon and Living Social – Especially during the holidays Groupon and Living Social offer great deals on gift-ables for men, women, and children at deep discounts. You can also gift vouchers for local services like spa treatments, family fun and other activities which would be a fun gift idea for a partner, boss, co-workers or friend.

Enter giveaways – The holidays are when giveaways are really given a kick start many companies and blogs are putting together Holiday Gift Guides to help shoppers give gift ideas for the holidays. You can enter giveaways on company Facebook pages, websites, and blogs.

Shop sales – Knowing when to shop is important to saving money on toys, games and more. Visit different stores to get the best deal and price match stores whenever possible at stores like Walmart and Target. If an item is cheaper at Target in the ad but you don’t have a Target near price match their price at the register.

Use coupons – For me using coupons is second nature it’s something I always do when I shop. Use your coupons to match with sales to save even more money on products. Don’t forget to check the holiday toy books many stores like Kmart, Target and Toys R Us put coupons in these books to draw shoppers to their stores before the big Black Friday shopping day.

Layaway – Put hot holiday items like computers, tablets, and toys on sale to beat the holiday crunch. You can pay on your items over a period of weeks typically a month to 2 months depending on the store and pick them up when you finish paying on them. Walmart only offers layaway during the holiday season and you can only place electronics, toys, small appliances in layaway.

Shop for gifts year-round – Items like toys, games, and clothing are marked down during and after the holidays so stock up on gifts all year when you’re shopping. Watch for price cuts, coupons, and clearance deals to help with overspending for the holidays. Having extra gifts also helps with the cost of birthday gifts too.

Pinch pennies – Start a holiday fund. Put aside $20 or more each week/month from your paycheck it will add up if you just save $20 for 12 months that an extra $240 have to spend on gifts. Also, save change from breaking dollars; you can cash in your change at mass retailers and grocery stores in which you can receive the cash, store credit or gift cards.

Make homemade – Homemade gifts come from the heart and are the most original and my opinion the best. It takes time and love to make a gift. You can find lots of DIY gift ideas on Pinterest, blogs, and websites.

Buy several small inexpensive gifts – If money is really tight buying several small gifts instead of lots of expensive ones. Set a spending limit for each person/child and stick to it.

Buy 1 large gift that the whole family care share – Instead of buying several items for each person or child buy one large gift that everyone can use; like a tablet, laptop, or gaming console. Family fun doesn’t have to cost anything.

Re-Gift – While re-gifting is not always the best option if you have stacks of items you don’t want they may make a great gift for someone else and it costs you nothing to do.

Shop garage sales and online buy & sell groups/websites – There is an overabundance of buy and sell websites, and groups to sell and buy used or new items. Check websites like eBay, Craigslist and search Facebook for groups for garage sale pages to buy and sell items. Also, shop garage sales during the year to look for gift ideas.

Sell unwanted items – This goes with the above statement we all have unused and unwanted items that we no longer need. Sell them through websites, Facebook groups, and garage sales.

Contact charities – If you’ve really fallen on hard times there’s several local organizations and charities that can help make your Christmas a little brighter. Check with local churches and other places to see who can help. In many areas, you can dial 211 to find assistance in your area.

What are your favorite ways to save money on gifts for the holidays? Did it make the list? Let us know your favorite tips for saving during the holidays.

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