12 Ways To Stretch Your Christmas Budget

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How to reduce Christmas expenses

If you are on a tight budget and you love to give generously like I do here are 12 steps that will keep your Christmas budget small but keep you giving large and the earlier you start them the less you will end up spending.


1. Shop After Christmas Sales

After Christmas sales are a great time to pick up Christmas cards, gift wrap, Christmas containers to place homemade treats to give and much more.

I have an envelope in my Christmas wallet marked “after Christmas sales” and a large plastic tote in the attic for storing such items.


2. Mailing Lists

Often if you give your information to stores through an online purchase or such you will find yourself getting coupons in the mail  all year long from them. Some of these coupons make for inexpensive gift giving.

My favorite ones for gift giving are those for a free full size product with any purchase from Bath and Body Works. I purchase a $1 nail file and stash both items in my gift box.


I got my daughter 3 Klutz Craft books for $11 combining an Eversave voucher, an online sale and referral credits.

3. Follow Daily Deal Sites

Enter “daily deal sites” into your search engine and several companies will pop up. I watch 3 of my favorites daily all year for gift worthy vouchers.

I make the voucher savings stretch farther by combining them with sales and using referral credits to purchase the vouchers. You don’t need a blog to earn referral credits, in fact most of my credits come from people I see face to face every day who I happened to share the deals with.


4. Clip Coupons out of Free Magazines

I love reading free magazines which often include coupons for stores at values of as much as 50% off merchandise.

samples-as-gifts5. Facebook Page Sample Offers

Some store Facebook pages are known for giving out great samples either by mail or coupons.

My favorite store page for sample is the Bath and Body Works Facebook page.

sample-mug-christmas6. Free Samples By Mail

Money Saving Mom lists free samples by mail almost daily. Many samples make great additions to gift baskets. The picture above is an example of a gift I gave full of free samples. The mug is one from Day Spring. I love their mugs and they often hold great sales on them throughout the year.

7. Yard Sales

Plenty of great new with tag items can be found at yard sales for a small fraction of the retail cost.

battleship8. On-line Printable Coupons

I often find great printable coupons  for gifts through following  Money Saving Mom.

homemade-nativity-backdrop9. Make It Yourself

Sometimes it is less expensive to make a gift than buy one. My husband this year surprised me with a beautiful back drop for my Willow Tree Nativity scene. I had admired one in a store that was close to $300. My husbands one of a kind version cost less than $50.

gift cards10. Free Or Discounted Gift Cards

If you know you are going to buy presents at a particular store put it on your favorite list at Cardpool  and pick up a gift card for up to 15% off.

You can also gather up a stash of Amazon e-gift cards for free using point reward programs, such as Swagbucks, Recyclebank or Bing Rewards that you can use to buy gifts.

MyPoints still sends out physical gift cards in the mail that make great gifts.


Marked down craft supplies for daughters craft box gift

11. Shop Clearance

Gift worthy items can be found in clearance bins, racks and end caps all year long for as much as 90% off.

free-candles12.  Online Sales

Thanks again to Money Saving Mom I bought several gifts this year at a huge discount  or free through online promotions and sales including the candles in the above picture that I got 100% free.

Once again all these strategies have the greatest effect when you start implementing them early, like say…. late December!
Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Thrifty Christmas Tips on Pinterest.

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  1. This is so great tips!
    I wish we had more coupons here where I live. But for now I do buy christmas stuff on after christmas sales. And I also plan on making a grate deal of our gift for 2013 homemade.

  2. thanks for linking up with Frugal Family! We would love to have you join us each week- pinned and shared!

  3. Thanks for linking up at Thrifty Thursday once again! You always have such great ideas. I love your idea for having a specific part of your budget for after-Christmas sales. I think I need one like that for “clearance clothing” when I shop for my kids at the end of the season. 🙂

    • Yes! when my children were smaller I made a note on our budget to allow for an extra $100 at the end of January and again at the end of August to buy everyone’s clothes and shoes and ahead (often had some money left over too) . I got great deals then on everything from coats and snow clothes to simple items like socks and underwear. Now that my kids are all older now I don’t find such great deals as I once did so I don’t shop ahead for them as much as I once did. I love your thrifty link up!

  4. Glad to see I am not the only one thinking of Xmas now. You shared some good ideas!

  5. Great tips! As I read this, I thought, it is like shopping for Christmas all year long 🙂 Visiting from Thriving Thurs. this morning. Have a great Thurs!

  6. Great list of suggestions. I agree with so many of them. You would be shocked the things you can find on clearance year round- just hold on to it as a Christmas gift.

    My readers loved this too! Check out your feature here: http://crystalandcomp.com/2013/11/best-mom-advice-111113/.

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