I’ve had the flu this week, so not much has gotten accomplished around here. There’s nothing worse for a mama than sitting home thinking about all that needs to be done and not being able to do anything about it. With Christmas less than a week away, my to-do list still includes baking, wrapping, some last-minute shopping (for food and gifts), organizing the old toys to make room for new, and now lysol-ing my house from head to toe.
Now it’s Saturday morning and I’m trying to compose a plan to make this to-do list a little less stressful. With this long to-do list that seems to keep growing, the last thing I want to stress about is money. So here’s my plan to save money on the last-minute gifts I need to pick up. I’m hosting Christmas with my in-laws on Tuesday evening, so it’s crunch time to get this all done!
How to Save mONEY AT cHRISTMAS
- Use gift cards. I’m gathering all of the gift cards I can find in both mine and my husband’s wallets. Every bit helps. For example, I need a few more stocking stuffers for my son and I found a Barnes and Noble gift card with $4 left on it. I should be able to pick up a book for about half off with that!
- Credit card points. Been awhile since you redeemed your credit card points? This is the perfect time to cash them in. I use American Express; they offer e-gift cards that can be redeemed almost immediately. Free shopping!
- Returns. If you’re anything like me, you’re terrible at returning things on time. I usually wait too long to make returns and end up having to sell my unwanted purchases on eBay. Today I’m gathering all of my returns and taking care of business. My bank account will thank me when that money is put back in place just in time to make some more purchases today. I also will free up some of the clutter around here which is always a plus in my tiny house!
- Shopular. Shopular is by far my favorite shopping app. You can search for almost any store and pull up their daily sales and available coupons right on your phone. My expert shopping tip: screenshot any coupons you may want to use prior to shopping. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been at checkout trying to connect to wi-fi to pull up a coupon. Everyone is a little less patient at this time of the year, save yourself and those around you a little time and follow this simple tip.
- Coupons and lists. This applies to shopping for gifts as well, but primarily will help me with grocery shopping. Stick to the list, mama! As hard as it is to resist those pretty pre-made platters of cookies or appetizers in the grocery store, don’t give in! You’re there for a reason. You have the list. And if you really can’t resist, use the pre-made goodies as inspiration to make you own. The pre-made versions may look like the easy way out, but they come with a hefty price tag. I know you can make a veggie tray for less than $14.99 (that is just crazy!). If you need help organizing your shopping trip, I have some helpful pointers here.