Frugal Christmas Shopping


Click HERE to read 30 Ways to Save Money This Holiday Season

Being broke and living more frugally teaches you a lot. I am refusing to use the heat in my apartment unless absolutely necessary and another benefit of cooking myself is that using the stove warms up my apartment. Not using the heat and obviously not using the air conditioning will save a lot on my electric bill this month. When I’m cold now instead of running for the thermostat I dress more warmly, I use throw blankets when I sit on the couch, and there is an extra blanket on my bed.

In my living room is a Christmas tree and decorations that my roommate borrowed from her grandparents. We can even do Christmas cheer on a budget. My brother and I decided, after hauling too many boxes of surplus Christmas stuff into our mother’s attic last year, that no one in the family is allowed to buy anything that has to be packed up again after Christmas. It will be a more practical Christmas than ever before but it will still be fun.

This year I went so far as to ask my loved ones a few months before Christmas what they really, really needed or wanted. I think I’ve done a good job with that list. Hidden behind the couch in my apartment sits the stack of Christmas gifts I’ve been collecting for the last six months when I found things that for the right price that I knew my loved ones would enjoy or could use.

I have become an expert at Christmas shopping on a budget. Many of the items I’ve collected have been free through couponing including personal items and stocking stuffers. I have new clothes for my family that I bought at Rue 21’s $3 clothing sale. I have best selling/collectible books that I bought for .10 cents to $1 at thrift shops and the library book sale. I got four free gifts when my Borders reward card gave me a free $10 gift certificate. I got two gifts for about $1 when I found a free $5 Hallmark printable gift certificate. I bought items such as headphones at CVS when they offered them free after CVS dollars. I hit up the $1 sale at Claire’s. I used coupons to get items free at Bath and Body Works with any purchase, usually buying the new sample fragrances for $1 in order to get two gifts for $1.

I followed sales and used my resources. My work is giving away a free $20 gift card each shift to the person who gets the most people to give them their e-mail. I did my best with this every shift when most people weren’t even trying. So far I’ve won 6 of them. I will use them as gifts or to buy gifts for free.

My couponing has provided me and my loved ones with so many household products that I will be making Christmas gift baskets for other families for free. Sure, there are things that I would love to buy my loved ones that I can’t afford right now but then I would love to give them the moon and stars too, but I know they will settle for the small mountain of gifts that I have amassed as cheaply as possible.

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