‘Tis the most spendy time of the year.
And if you’re not careful, Christmas can go from super fun and cozy to full-out financial nightmare in a hot second. However, if you’re willing to put in a little legwork (and occasionally tell yourself no) you can have an absolutely amazing Christmas without ever stressing about money.
Sounds good, right? If so, get to planning with these Christmas saving hacks…
Create an Amazon Shopping List to Stay Organized
Ready for a great hack that isn’t often talked about?
Use Amazon to organize and manage your shopping list.
Here’s how to do it:
- Make a list of who you have to shop for, budget amount, and a gift idea for each of the giftees
- Create a shopping list on Amazon and add all of those gift ideas to that list
You might be wondering how exactly is this helpful? (Stick with me, I promise this is worth the effort.)
Well…first, you have a basis for price comparison. By adding all gift ideas to an Amazon list, you see exactly how much each of those gifts cost. For instance, if you have a cupcake pan for $10 on your Amazon list and see it on sale for $5 at target you know that $5 is pretty dang good deal. Simply buy from Target, come back and delete from your Amazon list.
Secondly, creating this shopping list in Amazon shows you everything that you need to buy. You always have that list of gifts with prices to check into. This keeps everything super organized and allows you to purchase a little at a time without forgetting anything! (And no, you don’t need to purchase everything from Amazon. Come back and delete the item off of your list if you purchase somewhere else.)
And third, as you cash in Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and TopCashback you can purchase your Christmas gifts directly from that Amazon list fo’ free. (You do save all those for Christmas shopping, right?)
**Side note: There will be some stuff that you may need to buy that isn’t available on Amazon. (For instance, my daughter’s want clothes from Justice, which aren’t on Amazon.) This why you also need to have a written list. See Tip #4 for this!
Download a Browser Extension for Cashback
It might surprise you that the cashback program that gives the most money isn’t actually the most popular one….crazy, right?
A few years back I was tasked with comparing all of the most popular cash back sites to find out which offered the best deals. (I had zero preference before this.)
TopCashback was the clear winner. Because of this, it is the cashback website I use.
Before you start online Christmas shopping make sure you sign up for TopCashback and download the browser extension. Doing this will get you cash back on autopilot which you can use for next year’s Christmas spending.
Use Gift Card Granny to Automatically Save
If you know you’ll be doing a lot of shopping at a specific store (for instance I know that I’ll buy most of my daughters’ clothes at Justice) then why not buy a discounted gift card?
You can use GiftCard Granny to look for the best deals on gift cards.
I just bought a Justice gift card for 12% off. Now I’m going to wait until the items my daughters want go on sale plus use TopCashback to get another 2% back. #WootWoot #StackYourSavings
Download Our Free Christmas List to Create Your Budget
A mandatory to saving money on Christmas is creating a budget. You need to do this before doing anything else.
Use a pen and paper, spreadsheet, or print out our free Christmas list and list out every single person you’ll be buying for. Give each person a budget. And also, list out some gift ideas.
Stay Under Budget by Judging on Value vs. Cost
Let’s say that you set a $50 budget to buy a gift for your Mom. You know she’s been eyeing a fancy hair dryer that costs about $60. You add it to your gift idea list. But wait! You find a super sale and get that exact hair dryer for $35! You still have $15 left in your budget for Mom. Should you get her something else?
The answer is a big, fat NO.
While you definitely want to have a budget amount next to each person’s name, that’s just a guideline. You must stay under that number but you don’t have to hit it exactly.
Think of the item in terms of its value rather than what you actually spent.
Get Cool Stocking Stuffer Christmas Candy at the Dollar Tree
My kids’ stockings are mostly filled with candy. Sure, I may put 2-3 non candy stocking stuffers in them, but for the most part I like to keep actually wrapped gifts under the tree!
The Dollar Tree is an absolutely amazing place to stock up on stocking stuffer candy.
BTW, if you need stocking stuffer ideas, here are 120 of them.
Use CamelCamelCamel to See Past Prices on Amazon
Have your eye on something at Amazon but not sure if it’s a good deal? Try using CamelCamelCamel to look up that item’s highest and lowest price. (It also shows you the dates of the highest and lowest prices!)
Super helpful for knowing whether you’re getting a good deal.
When in Doubt, Hand a Gift Card Out (But Get it From Kroger)
While Gift Card Granny is great for getting some gift cards, they don’t have discounted cards to the big stores like Amazon, Walmart, etc.
I like to keep teacher’s gifts super simple and opt for Amazon gift cards. (Because who doesn’t use Amazon?)
During the holiday season Kroger almost always runs 4x fuel points on their gift cards. (Watch the flyer for specific dates.) That means you’ll save $0.40 per gallon of gas for a $100 gift card purchase!
Sign up for Amazon Prime Free Trial for 30 Days’ Worth of Prime Shipping!
If you’re doing a lot of shopping on Amazon but aren’t a Prime member, you can sign up for a 30 day free trial to enjoy Prime shipping for the holidays.
You can cancel anytime before the 30 days are up. That means fast shipping at zero cost.
Only Buy What’s on Your List (A.K.A. Deals are a Dime a Dozen and Will Make You Go BROKE)
Let’s be real, deals are a dime a dozen.
This time of year, it’s not hard at all to find a good deal. And if you’re constantly deal chasing there’s absolutely no way you’re going to stay on budget. Follow your list! If something on your list is a good deal, then it’s worth buying. Otherwise it’s a waste of your hard earned money.
What’s your favorite Christmas savings hack?