Christmas shopping on a budget does not have to mean low quality gifts. There are many options available to those with lighter wallets that will still put an appreciative smile on the faces of those receiving the gifts.
Here you will find several options and suggestions that can help take some of the financial stress out of this years budgeted Christmas shopping experience.
Take advantage of some of the online shopping comparison sites to snag the best deals on Christmas gifts. The following sites (which are just a few of those offered online) will typically give you an assortment of companies offering up the same or slightly different items and the price differences - taking away the frustration and time consuming task of going store to store to find a gift that fits into your holiday budget.
For added savings be sure to check for free and discounted shipping options - many sites will offer free standard shipping while others offer free or expedited shipping on orders that meet a minimum total.
PriceGrabber.com - On PriceGrabber you can simply click on a related category which will bring up an assortment of different products related to the category that you chose or if you already have a specific gift in mind the offer you the opportunity to enter that in the search bar at the top of the page.
Amazon.com - To save on your Christmas shopping and compare on Amazon simply select your ideal department from the dropdown menu at the top of the page and then type in the product and hit "Go"- if you don't have a specific product in mind then simply leave it blank and hit "Go" to bring up suggested products. If you see something that looks like an ideal Christmas present for someone on your list simply click on the product name/description. This will bring up the product and below the description you should see "In Stock" (or something regarding its availability) and just below this you should see text similar to the following "28 New from $0.00" the "28 New" should be a clickable link - clicking on that link will bring up all Amazon affiliated stores offering that product and will show you the prices offered through each venue.
Bizrate.com - Bizrate (much like the other sites) to find a great holiday deal simply choose your department from the side menu or type in your product name or description in the top search bar. What displays will be an assortment of products matching your search terms - you will also see, next to the product, a store name and if a coupon is currently being offered for the product through that specific store. To compare prices amongst the other stores and to best find a budget friendly Christmas gift - simply click on "Compare Prices" which is listed to the right of the product name/description and just below the store name. By selecting to compare you should be directed to page featuring your chosen gift and the stores and prices offered on that particular item.
Start your Christmas Shopping Early
If you have your heart set on some not so cost-effective gifts for your loved ones this year but just aren't sure you can afford it - all you need to do is get a jump on your holiday shopping early. Avoid waiting til the last minute if you are doing your Christmas shopping on a budget. Starting a few months before X-mas is a sure-fire way to minimize the financial burden that is felt in nearly every household.
This Budget friendly option goes hand in hand with starting early. Check around for stores near you that will allow you to put gifts on layaway. Layaway is where you can pay for your items over the course of a month or two - most companies offering layaway usually expect approximately a 10% upfront payment. However, being allowed to make several smaller payments on several items over the course of time will help reduce the stress and hardship of having to come up with the money all at once.
Homemade Christmas presents
If you are one of those crafty and creative individuals you can always consider creating your gifts right at home. There are tons of homemade gift ideas that you can choose between - you can find some suggestions below.
Gift Baskets - Some of the most popular gift baskets are: fruit and nut, baby items, theme items, work/business, beauty, gift card, chocolate lovers.
Picture frames - Creating a personalized picture frame that contains a sentimental picture is a budget friendly and much appreciated gift idea.
CD's - If you have a large collection of music CD's and one of the people on your Christmas list happens to be a music lover consider burning them a broad selection of CD's. This can be both Christmas shopping budget saver for both you and the recipient of the gift.
Handprint/Footprint molds - If you are a parent and there happens to be a grandparent on your Christmas shopping list consider having the kids create personalized handprint or footprint molds for Grandma and Grandpa - what grandparent wouldn't love something as personal as a keepsake from their grandbabies for Christmas?
Personalized Ornaments: A quick trip to the crafting store for some glitter, glue and paint pens and you can create personalized keepsake ornaments for those closest to you. While not a request you'll often find on anyone's Christmas list it is a gift that will be cherished and passed on for years to come.
Above you have found just a few suggestions of things you can do to try and ease the frustration of Christmas shopping on a budget. These suggestions however are some of the top options you can use to lessen the stress created by the financial aspect of a holiday intended to be filled with joy and memories. Above all else - remember what the holidays are about; friends and family coming together to honor and create memories for the future.
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