12 Ways to Shop For The Holidays on a Tight Budget

Excited shopping womanWe know it’s a busy time of year for parents, which can lead to unwanted stress. Here are some great suggestions when shopping for the holidays on a tight budget.

‘Tis the season and shopping can take a bite out of any wallet. It’s the time of year to make the most of your money. Here are 12 simple ways to save money when shopping this holiday season.

1. Online shopping

When shopping online, browse a search engine and look for current promotions or coupon codes to plug into your shopping cart. They come with exclusions, minimum purchases, and expiration dates, but 2 out of 3 times a discount or free delivery will be applied.

2. Cash in reward points

Check your points from credit cards, airlines, retailers, and services. Purchase gifts or gift cards from their partners. Some businesses offer seasonal specials that double your reward purchasing power, which is the best time to cash in.

3. Be patient and wait for the biggest sales

They are worth it. For example: On Black Friday, one major retailer offered 40% off on all of the clothing in their store and 50% off on Cyber Monday. Why shop there any other time?

4. Scour thrift and value stores

Many sell both new and used items; items that can be dressed up or used to compliment other gifts for family and friends. Affordable collectables can be found in these types of stores and are often the most unique and cherished of gifts.

5. Take advantage of gift card specials

Local grocery and drug store chains sometimes offer deals such as $25 in groceries when you purchase $100 in gift cards. Use the cards to either purchase gifts or give as gifts.

6. Reuse gift cards

If you have old gift cards lying around that you will not likely use for yourself, why hold onto them? Use them to purchase gifts for someone else.

7. Pay attention to discounts

Big box stores offer up to a 20% discount on pre-purchased movies, restaurants, and entertainment. A $100 dinner at a local restaurant would cost $80, a purchase that can be turned into (2) $50 gifted dinners or (4) $25 gift cards, either way, it’s a $20 savings.

8. Register your email

Register on a store’s website, place what you want in the shopping cart, and ignore it for a while. The store might send you an offer by email to entice you to complete your purchase.

9. Personalize gifts

Use a meaningful quote or special photo to design your own personalized items in locations such as or They offer specials just like any other stores on T-shirts, bags, and other goodies, and are much less expensive than catalogs.

10. Use coupons

Some stores will even honor their competitor’s coupons.

11. Always ask for a discount

Be sure to ask someone who has the authority to give a markdown the first time.

12. Shop early

Earlier than December, if you can. This gives you plenty of time to look for the best deals and have product shipped to you via free economy or budget rates.

Of course, the best tips mean nothing if you don’t have some idea of what you wish to purchase, make a practical shopping list, and stick to it. Impulse purchases and last minute shopping can be devastating to one’s budget.

Written by: Angela Russ-Ayon, Producer of Children’s Media


About the Author

Angela Russ-Ayon is a mom-preneur, children’s author, public speaker, and award-winning producer of music for young children. She presents music & movement to educators nationwide, is a voting member of the Recording Academy, and is the sole owner of Russ InVision Company. For more information on Angela and her workshops and accomplishments visit

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