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Do you start feeling a bit anxious when you get invited to special events, knowing you’re going to have to make some changes to your budget to afford to bring a gift?
Gift-giving doesn’t have to be expensive, nor does it have to induce panic. There are plenty of ways you can easily save money on gifts you may need to buy, whether it’s for a wedding, a baby shower, a birthday, or the holidays.
It pays to be strategic when it come to shopping for gifts. You can still have fun and give people exactly what they want, it just takes a little forethought.
Here are 5 easy ways to save money on gift ideas for any occasion.
1 – Plan Ahead and Save Over the Year
For the most part, we all know when special events or holidays are approaching. Even though they might sneak up on us from time to time, there are ways we can prepare.
For example, we all know Christmas is in December. There’s no reason you can’t start putting away $X per month into a “Christmas Fund” now so you’re prepared when it actually rolls around.
If you’re someone who really loves to give gifts for all occasions throughout the year, then create a general “Gift Fund” you can pull from. Treat this like any normal savings account you have, and set up automatic transfers on a recurring basis.
By having funds in place, you’ll be less likely to go into debt when gift-giving season comes around, and you’ll have a realistic budget to work with at all other times. No more worrying about how you’ll be able to afford a gift!
2 – Go the DIY Route
Anne has so many amazing DIY gifts on this site, and there’s no reason not to take advantage of them. DIY gifts are from the heart, and people appreciate the thought and effort that goes into them.
Instead of spending a flat amount on a gift each time there’s a birthday, bridal shower, or baby shower, think about buying craft supplies in bulk to create one or two items. You can use them repeatedly and you’ll have 2 go-to gift ideas in a pinch.
It’s more cost-effective, and the more you create your gifts, the easier and less time-consuming the process will become. Plus, it takes the hassle out of having to decide what to get people, and you won’t have to worry as much about your budget.
3 – Shop Around: Price Comparing and Matching
Savvy shoppers know they need to check multiple places for the best price – they don’t settle for anything less.
It’s easy to assume Amazon has the best prices around, but that’s not always true. It pays to shop around just in case another store has the gift you want on sale.
Thankfully, there are a number of apps out there that make price comparing easy, such as PriceGrabber and ShopSavvy.
When all else fails, or if you need a gift in a hurry, many stores now have price match policies in place to compete with online retailers. Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Toys”R”Us, and Staples are just a few among many offering this service. Take advantage of it!
If you do shop at Amazon, also keep in mind you can get a refund on an item you buy if the price decreases within 7 days of your purchase. Keep tabs on prices after you buy, too!
4 – Create a List of Gifts In Advance
One of the most effective ways to save on gifts is to simply plan ahead. Why not try brainstorming a list of gifts you can buy for loved ones in advance?
Doing this will train your mind to search for awesome deals when you’re shopping, and you can save your list to your phone for easy reference.
By knowing what you want to buy ahead of time, you can take advantage of end-of-season clearance sales. There are also several resources you can use to see which months are the best to buy certain items in.
If you’ve planned ahead, then keeping an eye on the actual price of an item can pay off, too. Camelcamelcamel is one of the best tools you can use to track prices on Amazon (since they change so frequently!). It’s super simple to use, too.
You sign up for an account, link your Amazon account to it, and it imports your Amazon wish list. You can then set price alerts according to what you’d like to pay for an item. They also provide a price history so you can watch out for trends.
Having time on your side when it comes to giving gifts is a good thing!
5 – Take Advantage of Cash Back Offers
Responsible with your credit card? Consider opening a rewards card so you can redeem points for cash or gift cards to help you save money.
If that’s not your thing, you can focus on getting guaranteed cash back by using shopping portals. Wherewithal offers up to 30% cash back with select merchants, and there’s a wide variety to choose from. For once, you can feel good about shopping, as you’ll be saving at the same time!
Cash earned is automatically deposited into your account. You’ll be shopping for gifts and giving yourself the gift of saving at the same time.
Giving Gifts Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive
These 5 ways to save money on gifts will leave you with more money in your bank and less anxiety. Be a smart shopper. Plan in advance, get crafty, shop strategically, and look out for the best prices. You’ll be saving in no time.
What are some ways you enjoy saving on gifts? Do you use any of these methods?