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10 Easy Tips to Save Money This Christmas

10 Easy Tips to Save Money This Christmas

Want to learn how to save money on gifts this Christmas and not feel like a Scrooge? According to this year’s National Retail Federation holiday survey, the average American will spend close to $700 this season on gifts, cards, decorations, and the like. This is one time when you want to be below average — way below. In fact, if you are in debt, just say no to gift buying this holiday. There is absolutely NO reason for you to go further into debt buying gifts for others. There are 13.6 million Americans who are still trying to pay off holiday debt from last year. Don’t join them by digging yourself into a deeper hole.

If you are going to buy gifts this year, the key to avoiding a holiday season that drains your bank account is to start planning early. Here are the top 10 money saving tips for steering clear of holiday debt and starting the new year in better financial shape:

1.  Plan it. Before you shop online or enter the chaos of the shopping mall, take 10 minutes at home to create a spending plan that lists who you need to buy for and how much you will spend.

2.  Use discounted gift cards. How would you like $100 worth of gifts for $80? You can purchase discounted gift cards for hundreds of online/offline retailers including the Apple Store, Radio Shack, Sears, Home Depot, and others. Discounts are usually 5-30 percent off the face value of the card. Check out and

3.  Use social media. Before you start shopping, start following your favorite retailers on Twitter and Facebook. Many companies offer discounts exclusively to their Twitter followers and Facebook friends. A quick search of their recent posts may reveal money-saving discount codes.

4.  Barter via online chat. When you’re shopping online, look for a “chat” or “live help” button. Tell the customer service rep you’d like to shop with them but you want a 15 percent discount. Ask them to check with their manager or you will abandon your shopping cart and click over to their competitor. This won’t work all of the time, but when it does it will save you money.

5.  Find discount codes. I never buy anything online without trying to find a discount code first. I’ve literally saved hundreds of dollars and it doesn’t take more than a minute. Simply go to, and to pull up all of the available discounts for your store. Use the discount code during the checkout process to get free shipping or to save 20 percent or more.

6.  Get cash back. If you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars this year on gifts, you might as well try to get a few bucks back. I’ve used (affiliate link — all proceeds will go to charity) for some time and have received several rebate checks.

7.  Bring on the envelopes, chuck the credit cards. Leave your credit cards and debit cards at home.  Allocate an amount of money for each gift, and put that money in separate envelopes marked with the recipients’ names.

8.  Give group gifts. When exchanging presents within large groups of people, even “token” gifts can really add up.  Try a “white elephant” exchange, a secret Santa strategy, or going in with co-workers on a gift for your boss.

9.  Make a promise that you won’t buy anything for yourself. When you’re shopping for gifts, it’s easy to be tempted to buy for yourself.  Make this season about others, not you — and remember that the items you want will likely be less expensive during the after-season sales.

10.  Avoid the “10 percent off, buy more” phenomenon. Stores often offer great deals when you sign up for their credit cards, but beware the high rate of interest these cards charge and ask yourself if you’ll really be saving money in the long run.  And don’t spend more than you intended just because you’re now getting a discount on your purchase.

If you follow these money saving tips, I guarantee you will put more green — and less red — into holiday shopping this year.

(christmas tree image by wolfsavardCC 2.0)

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Read more: Christmas, Holidays, Holidays & Gifts, Life, Money

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Robert Pagliarini

Robert Pagliarini is obsessed with improvement, making the most of his time and energy, and inspiring others to live life to the fullest by radically changing the way they invest their time and energy. He is the founder of, a community of passionate people who want to learn and achieve more in life and at work and the co-founder of The Band of Brothers Foundation, a non-profit helping kids around the world.


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3:23AM PST on Dec 8, 2014

Great! We will be connecting to this enormous post on our site. Continue the good writing. christmas outdoor decoration

1:02PM PST on Feb 17, 2012

I'm putting this by for next year. Thank you!

3:03PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

We use the Secret Santa idea for friends and group up for big presents for family. If the present is big enough, it carries on into their birthday present too. They still get a card and a little something to open on the day, but understand that they've had their big gift. It's worked for us for about 15 years now. :)

2:53PM PST on Dec 8, 2011

great tips. I like to use coupons when I buy online. I use coupons from

8:44AM PST on Dec 7, 2011

@Vero G: Great ideas, thanks!

9:30PM PST on Dec 3, 2011

Awesome! I had no idea about some of those discounts...thanks!

2:28PM PST on Dec 3, 2011

great post!

11:29PM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Good reminder...

5:11AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Thankyou for all the good tips. The best present is just being able to spend time with loved ones.

4:02AM PST on Dec 2, 2011

Look ahead to next year as soon as the festive season is over! Buy cards and wrapping papaer etc. in the sales. Shop at sales throughout the year! Enjoy shopping and saving at the same time!! No mad rush next December!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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