Well, I realize this one is late, but better late than never as I say. I once had a colleague who worked every year at Christmas. She was young and had no children herself and she enjoyed making the extra couple of dollars that working that day afforded. So, when her extended family gathered together in Kitchener, it was after Boxing Day. She smartly did all of her shopping on Boxing Day and saved a lot of money that way. If that is not an option for you and you still struggle to meet your budget, there are some other tips I have gathered from my lovely fans and readers. Oh, and there are a few of my own thrown in here too.
1. Start as early as possible. Shop in smal bits all year long and stash a good present away when you find it.
One year I caught the Gap’s Boxing Day sale at Gap Baby and wow, did I get some gorgeous deals. This can only backfire if you shop trends (don’t put zhu zhus – or electronics away for next year as they may not be so popular then.)
2. Make some of your gifts. Now is the time to dust off your talents and put them to use. If you are a knitter or a sewer, then make some gifts for loved ones. They will adore a new scarf or sweater. Also baking can be a lovely present if you put together one of your finest recipes and dress it up in a pretty tin with ribbons, even a handprinted copy of the recipe. There are many ideas on line for this type of thing. Lee-Ann does a fair bit of this and always has, she says. These handy gifts are good for relatives and grandparents.
3. Take advantage of your points and rewards cards. If you have Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Points, now is the time to cash them in and get that Wii or Nintendo DS for nearly free.
4. Just Married With Coupons makes gift baskets with things she has won, or found for little to no cost. Pick up the baskets when you see them on sale and you can easily fill them for any occasion as needed.
5. Stay Away from Credit Cards. They will cost you double or more on your gifts.
6. If at all possible try to buy the things that will last. Less is more some times and a well crafted race car or wooden play set can often outlast this year’s cheap plastic product. Also avoid batteries where possible. This increases the cost of your toys.
Merry Christmas to everyone! Wishing you all a Happy Healthy New Year!