How to Give Great Gifts While Saving Money

We are at the halfway mark for my 12 Days of Christmas posts! Today I will be giving you all 3 tips on how to save money and still get thoughtful, nice gifts. I’m sure most of you know some or all of these tips already, but it’s great to have a reminder when we can get sucked into spending too much around the holidays 🙂

The Tip: Find Out What They Want

Why: We can all get caught up in purchasing something on a whim. Maybe it’s that nail polish you think your mom would like or that gift card your brother would like – but we don’t stop to make sure they’d like that particular gift. Slip in a little question. “Mom, I’m thinking of getting a/an (insert nail polish brand here) nail polish. What color do you think I should get?” Pick up the color you were thinking of buying her and ask her what she thinks. If she says, “Eh, maybe something else,” then you can figure out another gift. If she says “Ooh, that’s pretty. But it doesn’t really look like you!” then you can rest assured that she’ll love the present. As for your brother, certainly you can find something you have in common. Go on a Christmas present shopping day together. Let him pick the store (then you can find out what stores he likes) and then shop together. Once he’s in an aisle he likes, you can go back to that store by yourself later and pick up what he wants or purchase a gift card. You can also do these things earlier in the year, and then make notes of the things they love. If they keep saying that there’s this one thing they want but don’t have the money for it, give them a gift card or get a few people to split the bill with you. Also, remember any requests (even if they don’t involve presents), because you can give a really thoughtful gift that means more than just a present – your time. Remember that your sister really wanted you to show her how to perfect a cat-eye. Maybe you could buy a nice liquid eyeliner and spend a day helping her out. I bought my mom a set of eyeshadow brushes and a small but nice eyeshadow palette because she’s been wanting to get more eyeshadow. She’s been using those horrible little brushes that come with makeup palettes and I am going to give her these brushes and the eyeshadow and show her how to apply and wear it. Time means more than anything, and a present as well as your time is the best present you can give.

The Tip: Wait, Wait, Wait

Why: NO IMPULSE BUYS! Especially around Christmas, prices go up and our wallet width goes down. If you are getting too many impulse buys, chances are, you’ll end up with a lot of things that you can’t give to anyone anyway, because they just aren’t the right present for that certain person. Wait for discounts. Wait for requests (see above). Wait until you’ve exhausted all your options. Look for things early in the year. When prices aren’t up, you can look at all your options until you find that one thing you know someone would love, then you can pick it up. It’ll be cheaper than buying it later, around Christmastime, and you won’t feel rushed. Black Friday/Cyber Monday are great times to pick up some stocking stuffers or expensive presents – when everything is marked down! If you do get stuck buying things around Christmas, wait for the discounts. Order online and add as many codes and free things as you possibly can. Buy in-store on the sale days. Keep an eye out for marked-down prices. Look in the discount bin/aisle. Shop at thrift stores. You can find some fantastic, modern, trendy things in thrift stores and discount bins! If your best friend is obsessed with vintage, scour the thrift stores and find her a perfect vintage dress or shirt. If your sister wants some nice nail polish or makeup, look in the discount bin – you can find brands like Essie, O.P.I, and Neutrogena at reasonable prices. I love shopping online for things, because I can add plenty of codes and free samples for myself or to gift. Samples from Sephora might be small, but that mini lipstick from Dior might be just what your friend was wanting to try out. That free eyelash curler might be exactly what your mom needs. Add as many free things as you can to your online shopping cart, and then decide who gets what when you get your products. Sometimes sample sizes are exactly what people need – they can try out nice products without buying a full size. Finally, as I said above, wait until you’ve exhausted all your options. Look on every single website that sells each product, and decide which is the better deal – but don’t be blinded by the product prices! Maybe a Sephora product costs a little more than the same product from Ulta, but you get more samples from Sephora and a better shipping rate. Be sure to research before you buy.

The Tip: Buy Gift Sets

Why: To split up, that’s why! I recently bought this Cargo Mini Mascara Trio for $18 to split up among my mother and two of my friends. I’ve been trying to convice my mom to leave her trusty Maybelline Great Lash for a slightly higher end mascara, so I thought that this was the best way to do it – the mascara I chose for her has a brush similar to Maybelline Great Lash, so it won’t be a big change, but it’ll be something that she can try out and then decide if she wants the full size. Gift sets, especially from places like Sephora, Birchbox, and Ulta, are wonderful for your female friends and family. There’s something in each gift set for everyone – the face wash for your sister, the foundation for your friend, the eyeshadow for your mom… But why gift sets? To save money! Buying a large set for $60 that you can split up among 6 women will probably end up saving you at least $20 in the long run. If you ever run out of ideas on what to get everyone on your list, buy a gift set. You can pick the products for each person and give a thoughtful, customized gift that satisfies everyone!

Were these tips helpful? What are your tips for buying Christmas presents? Let me know in the comments!

image courtesy of Flickr

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