I’ve always been a gift giver. I love shopping for someone and selecting just the right thing to bring a smile to someone’s face. To spread a little joy.
Last year I gave my secret Santa a comic book he’d been published in as a child. It was a Superman comic from the early 60s. The look on his face was priceless. But gifts often aren’t.
I am most always frugal though. Pinching whatever pennies I have and finagling ways to cut expenses. I found his comic book for a reasonable price on eBay due to it not being in perfect condition 🙂 Miraculously making it under budget at a paltry $15. Fantastic gift price.
This year my husband and I are on a mission to be frugal with our gifts. We have some big plans coming up (I’ll share them eventually lol) so we really need to save up. But also our families have each been impacted with a need to be frugal as well. So I thought, why not make it a bit of a game and find all the best tricks I could?
We all know it’s doable to Christmas shop on a budget. But is it possible to Christmas shop on a $0 budget? I think so. It’s not really what most may call “shopping.” It’s more like “genius-ing.”
And I’m not talking chintzy gifts either…
It’s completely possible to get everyone on your list a little something without spending a time. Are you ready to try?
Here are my frugal tricks to Christmas shop on a budget:
1.Store loyalty programs
You know, all those free key chain thingies you have to have in order to shop at your favorite grocery and drug stores. Keep tabs on what the deals or offers of the week are and stash away the goodies. Stores like Giant Eagle and Kroger offer a free item each week. Snag them and throw them in a gift basket!
2. Check The Circulars – especially the Black Friday deals. I just noticed a coupon from Kohls for $5 off a $5 or more purchase. If you are able to get your hands on a couple of those, you could wind up with a lot of free gifts!
3. Cashback Rewards (in store) – Kmart often does 100% back in points on a select item each week, plus sites like TopCashBack offer 100% rebates occasionally too. You’ll pay upfront but be reimbursed later.
4. Cashback Rewards (credit) – if your credit card company offers cashback incentives, rack them up all year and cash out near the holidays for free gift cards.
5. Lost And Found
Check pockets, wallets, purses, couches, cars etc for loose change or old gift cards. I found an old Melting Pot gift card once that still had a $20 balance. Made a nice gift 😉
6. Earn Free Gift Cards
7. Repurpose, Reuse & Recycle
There are lots of items that can be revamped and gifted. Just look on Pinterest!
9. Get Store Credit
Take some old books with you to a book store and trade them in, use the credit to shop for gift worthy books. The same principle can be applied to other stores like clothing stores (Plato’s Closet) etc.
10. Go Homemade
Do you have a signature cookie recipe that your mother in law loves? Make her a batch! Do you have beautiful handwriting? Maybe even calligraphy or painting? Create a piece of art! Pinterest is great for ideas! If you aren’t confident in your own abilities, there are also free printables!
11. Pass It On
Do you have a family heirloom? Maybe it’s time to pass it down the family line? Don’t do this one lightly. This is super special!
12. Check Craigslist, FreeCycle & Facebook Groups – Free things are often posted daily, in bigger cities you can find things every few minutes. Maybe there’s a record player for free that just needs a new needle or other gadgets that you could fix yourself for free? I’ve even seen brand new items for free!
13. Product Reviews– If you review products like I do, you might have a big stack of items just begging to be used. These are free, so give them a good home!
14. Go Homegrown
Do you have a garden? Maybe you could give some preserves, canned tomatoes or heirloom seeds? Maybe some flowers?
15. Grocery Shop
What are some of your frugal ideas?