Christmas Shopping Ideas, Tips for Saving

Christmas is the time of giving and it is getting more challenging each year to buy gifts for everyone and sticking to a budget especially with the petrol and food prices soaring. Below is a list of ideas how to save money and not over spend on Christmas gifts.

  • Set a budget for each Christmas present. For example R50 a present. You can come far with R50 if you keep your eyes open for value packs and plan ahead. At Christmas time shops have many different value packs available such as 3 body butters stacked together at a much lower price should you have to buy them individually. Simply separate the items, then you have 3 gifts or part of a gift. The key is to start shopping early that way you have more than enough time to shop around.
  • Make as many presents as possible. Everyone loves home baked cookies or something personally made for them. There is time and effort in homemade gifts that makes them so much more special. Depending on your talents you can make fun braai aprons, tea towels or anything your imagination can come up with, the sky is the limit. Remember to calculate the costs of buying the needed ingredients or material so that you don't overspend in the end.
  • Make family boxes filled with goodies. Instead of buying individual presents, make a box filled with treats for your brother or sister's family which everyone can enjoy.
  • Have fun with secret Santa. Get the whole family together and pick names out of a hat, that way, you only buy one person a present, something they really want; This is great for large families. It works even better when you set a budget for everyone to stick to.
  • Why wait to start your Christmas shopping? Keep your eyes open early on for gift ideas and sales. With the changing of the season and shops getting in new products there is always something going on sale.
  • Don't leave everything for the last few days before Christmas. When you rush you don't consider prices and end up spending far more than planed simply to get the task done and escape the crowded shops.
  • Donate to a charity as a family. Instead of buying each other gifts do something nice and donate money or needed items to a charity. You practically have everything you need and you are simply racking your brain putting silly items on your Christmas wish list. Why not buy something that a less fortunate person desperately need. We receive what we give back in ten folds so why not give a little, plus you will feel really good afterwards.
  • Use last year's Christmas decorations. Instead of buying new Christmas decorations each year to go with your new colour scheme make use of last year's decorations, make your own or give the old decorations new life with a bit of paint and creativity.
  • Get your family members to make Christmas wish lists, that way you know what they want for Christmas and can shop around for it. You can also pick and choose items from the list that best suits your budget, that way you both win.
  • Don't go overboard with Christmas gifts. Let your children understand that birthdays are for big presents and Christmas is just a small gift to celebrate the festive season.
  • Buy practical things that you need. There is always something you really want to buy yourself that you need but just can't justify buying yourself. Toiletries are expensive especially the top brand and salon recommended products. Put these items on your Christmas wish lists, the item you would love to buy each month but got a bit too expensive.
  • If it's not in the budget, let it go. If you didn't budget for that holiday, away stay at home and do family activities that you never get the change to do close to home, like that nature walk or picnic.
  • You can't buy presents for the whole world. It is impossible to buy a present for your work colleges, your husband's colleges, all the cousins,nephews and nieces (shall I go on). A simple homemade Christmas card with Christmas wishes will do, plus children get so much presents on Christmas they will not even notice that there is not a gift from you.
  • That expensive special Christmas wrapping do you really need it? You take your time to select the perfect Christmas wrapping, carefully wrap each present and in the end it is only going to get ripped to pieces by an over excited family member. Why not get brown paper get the children to draw Christmas pictures on it or get a stamp to decorate the brow paper.
  • Plan the Christmas menu. Can you really eat so much food that is prepared each year for Christmas? Think back, remember all those leftovers? Plan your menu and get each family to contribute a menu item. Start new traditions with a family braai or making a family favourite instead of all those cold meats, the big turkey and endless selection of salads and breads. If you make food that is loved by all you can be sure that nothing will go to waste.

Christmas is a joyous time, don't just dread the Christmas shopping but make it something to look forward to; a great build-up to the big family day. If you plan you can have fun with Christmas shopping and remember: "a fool judge's people by the presents they give him".... a good Chinese proverb to keep in mind this festive season.