Have less stress, by preparing for Christmas early
Christmas is wonderful time of the year. A time for celebrations and remembrance. A time to enjoy with family and friends.
For some, Christmas becomes a stressful time of year. Last minute shopping, over eating, and too much spending. The stress of Christmas can be avoided with a few simple plan ahead tips. By preparing for Christmas early (or year round), you will be able to find more joy in the Christmas season (and no last minute shopping or over spending).
The Tuesday Ten List – 10 Ways to Save on Christmas
- Start with a list of everyone you need to purchase or give gifts to. Don’t forget to include teachers, child care givers, ministers and other special people. The goal with this list is to have a complete idea of all the people you would like to give a gift or show appreciation at Christmas.
- Take your list and start adding gift ideas for each person. What do they like? What are their hobbies? What could you give them that would be unique from you?
- Set aside a budget for Christmas each week or each month (the earlier you start the better). Save your Christmas money into a special account just for “Christmas”. Of course, make withdrawals as needed during the year as you find great gifts.
- Set a budget for how much you can spend on each person or family. As you shop, stay within your budget. You may find it helpful to track your expenses on your gift list.
- Start shopping sales (don’t forget online sales) now. Look for the best prices for gifts on your list. Maybe you will find something unexpected that is perfect for someone on your list. You want to start searching for gifts as early as possible so you are not short of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Maximize your savings with coupons and discounts. Most retailers will allow you to use coupons even on sale items. If you shop online, use Free Shipping options and cash back website sites like Ebates (affiliate link).
- Are you great at making crafts or Do-it-yourself projects? Come up with unique gifts you can make. You can work on these projects anytime during the year and save them for Christmas. Don’t wait till the last minute to start.
- If you are a talented baker, then make food gift baskets. You could include cookies, small cakes, mini-pies or even casseroles. You could choose one day and do all your baking at one time. Baking your food will need to be done when you are ready to give this gift, but you can still prepare ahead by making your cookie doughs early and freezing them until you are ready to bake them.
- Give your time. Think of the mom who stays at home with her children all week or works all week and could use a break for a few hours on the weekend. Give a “child care gift certificate”. Moms will appreciate a few hours to themselves to relax, read a book, or get a manicure/pedicure.
- After Christmas, start a new list in January for next Christmas and be alert for the “perfect” gifts all year long. As you purchase these gifts, have a special cabinet or closet and save them all together so you don’t forget what you have purchased during the year (trust me, it’s easy to forget what you purchased in March for Christmas in December). Also, keep an inventory list of what you purchased.
How do you prepare and save on Christmas?
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