Finding the absolutely right gift for mom can be difficult on a tight budget. What are some ways that you can save money yet get the absolutely perfect Christmas present? What does she really want? Here are some helpful shopping tips for this holiday season.
Create a Holiday Budget
We all wish we could buy our loved ones whatever their heart desires, but the reality is that being budget savvy saves you both money and a major headache. Create a practical budget next time you go holiday shopping for mom. Make a list of all the gifts you plan to give out this year. Include friends, family, acquaintances, or extra gifts for office parties or the postal worker. Figure out how much money you have overall to spend on the list.
Split the list into three sections: Big gifts, friend gifts, other gifts. The big gifts are gifts for mom, your spouse, and anyone that is a priority in your life. Allocate more money for these gifts. “Friend gifts” are gifts for people you care about but are not close family. Designate a smaller amount of money for each gift, maybe ten to twenty dollars per gift. The “other” category are all those last minute gifts or gifts for large groups, like your five toddler nieces or your child’s teachers. These gifts are the lowest in terms of cash spent, but not necessarily in value. This is where you can include baked items, handmade gifts, candles, and other generic gifts.
Set Up a Price Alert
Know exactly what you want to buy mom this Christmas? Maybe she wants a new smartphone, a lovely bracelet, or the latest gaming system. If it is a pricier item, set up a price alert using a smartphone app. When the item meets the price you can afford, jump in and buy the item online.
Promo Codes and Free Shipping
Almost every major online retailer has promo codes available. In fact, the home page of many online retailers has a promo code readily available or options to choose items on sale for the holidays. Take advantage of special free shipping. Many retailers will offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount or buy specific items.
Do you know what you want to buy? Then check the prices between different websites. Don’t forget to factor in free shipping. You might save more money overall by purchasing all of your Christmas gifts on the same site. Pay special attention to smaller items. Is your mom a bookworm? It is not unusual to see shipping costs exceed the cost of the item for books. Try to find that limited edition from her favorite author online, but be sure to watch for hidden shipping costs.
The Power of DIY
If you are more of a crafty type of individual with skills in arts and crafts or baking, you might find that you can save money by making special gifts for mom. This is a great activity to do with children. Be sure to give yourself enough time to make the gifts and to factor in the costs of creating the item. For example, it may be more frugal to purchase half a dozen Christmas candles or designer soaps than making them from scratch. On the other hand, making a plate of cookies and giving it on attractive Christmasware might be the perfect gift from you or the kids.
Save money this season. Follow our professional tips and enjoy a happy holiday this Christmas!