Holiday Gift Tips on a Budget

The Budget Fashionista’s Holiday Shopping Guide Series shares shopping tips and advice to help you save money this holiday season. For more posts in the series, visit our Holiday Shopping Guide.

It used to be that Thanksgiving ushered in the holiday season, but these days? It’s the minute Halloween is a memory—so that means it’s time to start making our strategic holiday plans. This year, saving money will be more key than ever, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help you enjoy the season without worrying about paying off some huge bills come Jan. 2 . . .

Holiday Gift Tips on a Budget

- Hold a White Elephant Party. A White Elephant Holiday party (aka “regifting”) is when you gift something you already own. The key to white elephants is to give the person something they want (family heirloom, your plasma TV) and not stuff that would otherwise be headed straight to the garbage.

- Use Giftcards. I use this tip especially during the holiday season. I put my entire Christmas budget on a Visa giftcard from my bank and once the money is gone, I’m finished shopping. Also works well for back to school.

- Get Coupons. Many of your favorite stores, like Off Fifth, Saks Fifth Avenue outlet, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdales and Filene’s Basement, offer in store coupons if you sign up for their online newletters.  You can also find coupons online by entering the name of the store and the word “coupon” in your search browser to find a long list of sites with coupons for the store.

- Check Online Before Buying in the Store. Use the SKU number (the numbers underneath the bar codes on the price tag) to find your favorite items online for less. Entering the SKU number into Google and a list of sites/stores that sell that item will pop up. Compare prices for the best deal Furthermore, many online discount/off price stores like Smartbargains.com and Overstock.com, are not allowed to use the name of certain designers but will have the SKU numbers listed on the page.