Frugal Family Fun: 10 tips for smarter holiday shopping and gifting

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 tips for smarter holiday shopping and gifting

Do you find yourself responsible for all the holiday shopping for your entire family? Are you wishing it could all be easier and take less time? Have you ever dreamed of a one-stop shop to cover all your holiday shopping and gifting needs? Even if you haven’t thought about Office Depot before as a holiday shopping destination, you should! Did you know that you can get gifts for everyone from your toddlers to your grandpa in one easy stop? Not to mention, Office Depot carries all your gift wrapping essentials and can ship your gifts directly from the store to your entire list!

 I have been the  main shopper for my family since it started lol!! Christmas is coming faster and faster every year.  Maybe it's because my kids are growing too and life is just so hectic!! When will I find time to get all the shopping done this year? How can I make it affordable and get great gifts for everyone on my list?  Well, I am here to share with you 10 tips for smarter holiday shopping and gifting!!  This year, use my advice to make the holidays a little less stressful!!

1.  Start early.  I find things throughout the year I can stock up for the holidays.  These can be anything for anyone.  This is also great to do right after Christmas or any holiday when toys and goodies go on sale.  Stick it in a big rubbermaid box and start saving for the following year.  You will have less of a price shock in the later part of the year if you spread the buying throughout the year!

2. Get those emergency gifts!! Then if someone needs a gift for a last minute party, or you are surprised with an unexpected gift, you have something on hand and ready to go.  Have wrapping supplies or gift bags handy to save a trip to the store.

3.  Save you old gift bags!! This is the best way to recycle and saves a trip to the store last minute or not having a bag when you need it the most! Get a large flat tupperware box and fill it with bags, then slide it under the bed for storage!! Then its accessible when you need it!

4.  Don't try to buy everything on your kid's list.  I know how much we all want to fulfill the whole list, but be realistic!  Buy a few of the top items that are the ones you know they really want.  When you have as much family as I do, they get enough from everyone anyways, and chances are it will be okay as long as they did get a thing or two they REALLY wanted!

5.  Shop online to beat the holiday lines!! Now a days online shopping can be so much cheaper than the mall, so why get all rushed and stressed trying to shop in a store with kids who are tired and hungry and a million other moms trying to get the same thing as you?? You could sit at home in your pj's and shop while you sip some cocoa!!

6.  Arrange a family gift exchange to save money.  My mother in law and I organize one every year with my husband and I, his sisters and their spouses, and my husband's parents.  Every couple gets a couple to get a gift for, with a $20 limit. We also have the kids swap and they have a $10 limit.  Then we aren't having to buy for everyone in the family, just the ones we drew from the hat.

7.  YOU CAN SAY NO TO SOME PARTIES!  I know holiday parties are fun but having to buy a gift for each exchange or a hostess gift can get pricey, so choose the ones that are most important and decline a few as well!  Then you will be able to spend a little less!

8.  Treat yourself too! While you are out getting your kids the best toy ever, or getting your hubby that amazing whatever it is that guys like, get a pedicure or grab a coffee with a friend.  Taking ME time is the best way to have a relaxing and enjoyable time getting the holiday shopping done!

9.  Get help! If you have someone hard to shop for, like your father in law or grandpa, take their spouse along to shop and help get a gift they are sure to love!  Plus its always more fun to shop with someone else (note this only works if you are best buds like me and my mother in law lol)

10.  Remember that Christmas isn't about the gifts! It is about our time together and how much we care for each other.  A thoughtful thing like a framed photo or something practical may be the best gift for people who have everything! My grandpa tells me every year he doesn't need anything but a card to say I am thinking of him.  Just shows that it is the thought that counts!!

There you have it, 10  ways to be smart about shopping and gifting this year!! Feel free to share your tips in the comments below!!

"I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Office Depot blogging program, making me eligible to get a $40 Office Depot gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”


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