How We Are Saving Money This Christmas

Saving Money This Christmas

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A Frugal Christmas Guide

It’s Christmastime again! This is the time of year where we shower our loved ones with gifts and hope we have made their Christmas wishes come true! Or, if you’re like most families today, it’s the time of year to spend way more money than you budgeted, and later ask yourself how that happened.

I am telling myself this year will be different. I actually plan on saving money this Christmas!

Every year I ask my 5 kids for a Christmas list. I’m noticing as they get older, their lists become shorter. Most of the time, the one thing they really want costs way more than I want to spend.

I usually find a way to make the big gift happen though, even if that means spending more than my original Christmas budget. Because I’m weak.

Old Habits Are Hard to Break

I have fallen into the unfortunate mindset that quantity is more important than quality. I tend to waste money on random gifts just so the kids will have more to open on Christmas morning.

And as you can imagine, those random gifts end up tucked away in a closet, never to be seen again. My 16-year-old daughter actually has gifts still in the packages from last Christmas!

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I told my husband, Tim, that this year is going to be different.

I refuse to spend money on gifts for the sole purpose of giving them something to open on Christmas morning.

The Magic Of Giving

My kids are getting older, and I really want them to start focusing on the giving aspect of Christmas rather than the getting.

Very rarely have they picked out Christmas gifts for people in their lives. Usually, I will pick up a cute gift for their teachers and best friends, and they get all the credit!

I’m not sure they really grasp the concept of gift-giving. They are always on the receiving end, and I really think this has a huge impact on holidays as they get older.

I want them to realize how much thought should go into those gifts under the tree. I also want them to get an idea of what it means to have a budget to stick to.

So, we’re trying out a new tactic this year.

The Plan: Saving Money This Christmas

My plan for this year is to give each kid money and have them buy gifts for all of their siblings. I know, this sounds like the opposite of saving money, since there are so many of them.

But the trick is that they have a budget of only $5 per person. So each kid will get $20 to buy gifts for their four siblings.

I’m not letting them get away with just giving each other the cash either, which several of them have already tried. (I wish you could see me rolling my eyes.)

By doing Christmas this way, Tim and I can focus on a “big” gift for each of them, and they will still have several gifts to open under the tree Christmas morning.

I’m hoping that the tight budget will help them to put a lot of thought into what their siblings would appreciate that won’t cost a fortune.

How They Will Pull It Off

There are several options the kids will have for picking out the perfect gift for only five dollars. We are lucky enough to have a Five Below in town.

Everything in the store is, you guessed it, $5 or less. I love this store because the products sold there aren’t cheaply made, and they always have a lot of variety!

There is a huge selection to choose from, so they will have to actually take into consideration what gifts their siblings would appreciate the most.

Dollar Tree is another place the kids will be able to find low-cost gifts for each other. With their selection, it’s hard to leave the store without finding at least a few gifts!

The kids know that Tim and I do most of our shopping at thrift stores and antique malls. Buying Secondhand is not off the table for Christmas! There are tons of cute vintage T-Shirts and toys at thrift stores!

Saving Money This Christmas

I’ve hinted that their gifts don’t necessarily have to be long-lasting, they would all love to receive their favorite snacks as gifts!

My ten year old would be absolutely thrilled to open up a few boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes on Christmas morning.

(That’s one my tricks for keeping birthday costs down also. Shower them with their favorite snacks!)

Other Ways of Saving Money This Christmas

Another way we plan on saving money this Christmas is by combining gifts. Since two of my boys are just a couple of years apart, their interests are pretty much the same.

They will be getting a shared “big” gift again this year.

Last year they received an X Box One to share, and luckily I don’t think that will ever get old for them.

(I got super lucky and Tim used his connections from Izzy’s Comics and Collectibles to work a trade so I didn’t have to spend any money on the X-box! Having a husband who works in the comic book industry definitely has its perks!)

I will also be saving money by not going overboard on stocking stuffers. I’m going to take a page out of my mom’s book and fill their stockings with candy and fruit, no actual gifts.

I am always shocked at how much I end up spending on stocking stuffers! Not this year!

How Are you Saving Money This Christmas?

Now that you know how I plan on saving money this Christmas, I’d love to hear what ideas you have! Leave a comment below to share!

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13 thoughts on “How We Are Saving Money This Christmas”

  1. Great sentiment with shifting the focus towards giving. My two kids now want the pricey electronics which add up quickly, yet, love the pile of gifts to open up. I want them to appreciate how fortunate they are that we can afford to buy them gifts without the excess and waste. Thanks for a good read.

  2. I love these ideas. I’m very bad about quantity vs quality when it comes to Christmas gifts. Even living in a camper, I feel like I should be showering my 2 year old with gifts and I’m a bad mom if I don’t! I’m working on it!

  3. Tracy Blanton

    I have 4 kids too and we have each of them buy for their siblings as well. Great ideas on how to save money for Christmas!

  4. Holiday season can be very stressful and can leave a huge hole in our pockets. Thanks for sharing these great tips to save money during Christmas. I think when you watch your budget, children understand and want to participate in this as well.

  5. OMG. What a great idea – I’m going to follow what you did with your kids! Giving them money to buy gifts for each other. You are right… I want to get them about thinking of “giving” rather than getting at Christmas. Inspirational!! Thank you

  6. I love it that you are focusing on gift giving instead of gift getting! Such an important lesson, and one that I am struggling on with my ownlittle one. She’s only 4, but already asks Grandma “what did you bring me?” every time she comes over. ARG! The focus is on spending time together, not on the gifts! We have a tough road ahead but it sounds like you have a great plan! Kudos to you!

  7. I love that in this season of spending, you have a post about saving money. I love the idea of using a 5 and below store and using candy and fruit as stocking stuffers.

  8. Great blog that looks at saving money at christmas and the issues that can come up when you intend to change your spending habits at Christmas. As the eldest of 9 I sympathise with the challenges of gift buying for all your kids. My parents thankfully were very resourceful at buying second-hand gifts and upgrading them ( when they weren’t as financially secure). I few of my sisters now insist on more eco buying for their kids. And actually one of my sister’s kids love the fact they get to help save the planet by receiving such gifts.

  9. I actually don’t have an idea on how to save for Christmas until now. So, thank you for the tips! This is so timely because I am planning to buy Christmas gifts this week.

  10. As my gifts showed this year, I also like to gift “snacks”. Great idea on the having them buy for each other. I’m sure the gifts were a big hit. With so many artists in your family the gift of a frameable picture works to. hint hint I am waiting on mine fro Rylee & Bryce. Thanks for all the tips Mellissa. Wonderful blog.

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