How to Christmas Shop and Not Break the Bank

How to Christmas Shop and Not Break the Bank

Christmas comes every year, at the same time, no surprises, no early arrivals. So why is it that every year we are all scrambling to find that perfect Christmas present for our loved ones? Why can’t we get our act together and start Christmas shopping in July? The mayhem and deadline crunch is all part of the Christmas spirit, so it is better to embrace it than to fear it!

It seems to be that every year Christmas shopping is left to the last minute, more money tends to be spent in efforts to have something under the tree in time. If you are in a time crunch, but don’t want to accidentally spend a fortune, plan your shopping day ahead of time; here’s where to start.

1- Make a list

Having direction in your shopping saves you from impulse buying and suffering the sticker shock that can come along with it. If you at least have a guided idea of what to shop for you can narrow your focus and avoid aimless walking. The list can host generic items like “sweater” or “spa stuff” as long as you have some direction to go.

2- Check online for sales

During the holiday season many stores will publicize when they are having sales. This should be your guiding force for when to head out and brave the stores. If you can save a few bucks by planning ahead then go for it!

3- Shop at places like Winners or Homesense

This is where having a generic list will come in handy. Discount stores such as Winners or Homesense offer awesome brand name clothing and household items but it comes at a cost; unpredictability. You could spend hours trying to find the right size in a sweater that is absolutely perfect aside from the size and still come up with nothing. You need to have some shopping patience, especially around the holidays when everyone and their dog is out browsing the racks for a deal. If you spend the time and comb through the store it’s possible you can cross off most of your Christmas list in one afternoon and still have some jingle in your pocket.

4- Dollar stores are your friends

Everything from Christmas wrapping to decorations can be found at the local dollar store. Why spend $18 on luxury wrapping paper that is going to be stuffed into a garbage bag 30 seconds after it’s torn to shreds? Save your coin for the important things in life and buy cheap wrapping paper.

5- Don’t go overboard

Discuss with your family what a reasonable spending limit is and stay within it. Christmas time is a time for celebration, good-will and happiness, the presents are only a small part of the Christmas season. You don’t have to buy the most expensive item to show your love for someone, and if you do then you’re probably in the wrong relationship. Be reasonable with your spending and try to enjoy all of the joy the Christmas season brings.

There is something magical about seeing a Christmas tree lit up, and twinkling lights lining rooftops. Christmas opens up a special part of everyone’s heart that may lay dormant for most of the year. Embrace the season for all its greatness, but don’t drive yourself so far into debt that you grow to resent the holiday. Christmas is about more than just how many dollar bills you’ve spent under the tree.


Faith Murray is a stay-at-home Mom and former law clerk from Ottawa, ON. Her passions include country music and beating her husband at Scrabble.

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