Holiday season is now practically in full swing and many of us are still totally unprepared for the hit to our bank accounts. There are people who plan all year for Christmas shopping. And then there are people who, well, just don’t. If you’re in the latter category, you’re probably thinking to yourself right about now, how the heck am I going to pay for all these presents? Well, fear not—we’ve got you covered! Here’s how you can do your Christmas shopping on basically a zero dollar budget:
1. Write down everybody who needs a gift. Never, ever go shopping without a plan—especially when it comes to Christmas. Before you so much as leave the house, make a list of absolutely everybody you need to shop for, and stick to a budget.
2. Search your house. You never know what you may find lying around in your own home. I suggest you do a walk-through and see if you stumble upon anything that may be giftable. Keep an eye out for unworn clothes, unopened toys, crisp books, new appliances, spare electronics, etc.
3. Check your gift closet. You probably have a gift closet without even knowing it. This, of course, is where you hide your presents throughout the year to ensure the kiddos don’t find them. For maximum savings, this is where you should store all those items from clearance sales throughout the year. By the time Christmas finally rolls around, you’ll already be set!
4. Take stock of your gift cards. Raise your hand if you’ve ever received a gift card you’ll never use! Make sure to check your stash for any unused gift cards to re-gift. While you may not be a huge fan of Starbucks, somebody in your inner circle certainly is.
5. Scour a few yard sales. You know what they say: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You could easily find something amazing at a yard sale that one of your friends will absolutely love. Seriously, a lot of people are selling incredible items just because they’re moving.
6. Reap your rewards. Join as many reward programs as you can to ensure you snag as many discounts and deals as possible. Not only will you get email and exclusive offers, you can also score some freebies if you keep an eye out.
7. Look for coupons. Don’t just skim through all those ads and coupons in the local paper—a deal could be right under your nose! And as we get closer to Black Friday, make sure to stock up on those coupons for the biggest shopping day of the year.
8. Sign up for free samples. There are tons of different sites dedicated solely to free samples, so make sure to sign up for as many as you can before you start your Christmas shopping.
9. Start a gift swap. Invite some of your friends over and asked everybody to bring a gift they don’t want. This way, you can all exchange your unwanted gifts for something you’d rather have.
10. Make your own gift. Okay, so here’s the thing about handmade gifts: they can easily go wrong! There’s no point in making something at home if you’re going to have to go out and buy tons of supplies. What’s the point? However, if you already have most of the supplies you need at home, then handmade gifts are absolutely the way to go!
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