Many of us don’t think about situations or occasions until they are upon us. For this reason, I know the tips I’m going to share with you will require some adjusting and creating new habits. Yet, once put in practice, they can take the load of work and stress off your shoulders come next holiday season. I hope they are as useful to you as they are to me.

 

Stress free, frugal holidays

Shop for gifts throughout the year.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you must somehow have a mental (or paper) list of the people that you appreciate and that you might eventually want to get presents for. These people could be anyone from significant others, close friends and family, to your doctor, co-workers, your child’s teacher, the mail carrier, etc.

Sure, there are specific presents that you cannot plan for or get in advance. But, many times great offers happen during the year and taking advantage of them is a great way to save money. Moreover, shopping without the rush and stress of having to get all the gifts at once, might allow you to find more thoughtful presents.

So, next time you go to Target, Walmart, the mall, or whatever places you shop, try to have your radar on. When you see a sale, take a moment to go through that list of people and see if you can think of anyone would love to receive that item. Also, as good as it can be to get that sale, it’s important not to be compulsive. Buy only if you believe you will find a recipient for what you bought.

On the same subject of buying during the year, something you can do is Property to shop during online sales, especially when combined with free shipping. I do this often and I have my preferred sites. For instance, Forever21, Aeropostale, and ELF send me email notifications when they have special offers. If you follow me on Facebook I’ll alert you of them too.

The one important thing to consider when you buy in advance is that you might not be able to return or exchange these purchases. Please, keep that in mind!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

 

Take advantage of post-Christmas sales.

Apply the principles stated above but go out with the intention of shopping for next Christmas. I typically go on January 2nd or 3rd. I find both, items to gift and decorations for the house. Most of my post-christmas purchases are items marked 70% off. Some stores I love for this frugal spree are Target, Ross, Marshalls, and HomeGoods.

Here are a few things you can buy and save for the following holiday season:

  • Greeting cards
  • Wrapping paper, bags, boxes, ribbons, gift tags, etc.
  • House decor
  • Holiday disposable plates and cutlery
  • Holiday candles
  • Edible items as long as the expiration date is after the following holidays

Among the gifts you can buy in advance (these are mostly small gesture type of presents) are:

  • Holiday themed body care items: Places like Bath & Body Works usually have great deals in store and online
  • Holiday Costa candles: they make great presents!
  • Clothing and accessories: shirts and sweaters, scarfs, jewelry. If it’s Christmas themed, chances are they will go on sale after the holidays.
  • Edible items (check the expiration date): candy, coffee, hot chocolate
  • Coffee mugs

If you are able to follow these tips and start being a little more proactive this year, you will arrive to next holidays with half of the work already done, more time to enjoy, and more money in your wallet 😉