Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Money Crashers: 5 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Gifts

For years now, I've been grumping about the phenomenon of "Christmas creep": the way the "holiday season" keeps being stretched earlier and earlier, to the point that it completely swamps out Thanksgiving and is in danger of drowning Halloween as well. However, I've come to accept that when you work as a writer, you kind of have to start your holiday stories—or any other type of story that's seasonal—well ahead of time if you want to get them published before the holiday actually arrives. (And sometimes even that doesn't work, as with this article on green gifts that I wrote for Money Crashers last year, which didn't show up on the site until four days before Christmas.)

So, when I proposed another holiday shopping article for Money Crashers, I made a point of submitting it by the middle of November to make sure it got published on schedule. And it turns out, I succeeded perhaps a little too well: the article actually popped up yesterday, a little ahead of Thanksgiving. However, in this case, I guess it's actually appropriate, since part of the article is about how to save money by shopping sales—and like it or not, the best sales do tend to occur during Thanksgiving weekend. So if you're going to be prepared for them, you kind of have to start your planning before Thanksgiving Day.

So I hope you all will look on this article, not as a distraction from tomorrow's holiday, but as a little preview to help you prepare for the next one. It covers everything you need to know about holiday shopping on a budget, including:

  • How to figure out a price limit for holiday gifts
  • How to trim your gift list without causing hurt feelings
  • Holiday gift exchanges (such as "secret Santa") as an alternative to shopping for the whole family
  • When secondhand gifts are and aren't appropriate, and where to find good ones
  • How to make homemade gifts that will actually be appreciated
  • The relative merits of shopping in stores and online for holiday sales
  • How to shop sales strategically
  • How to save money when shipping presents to out-of-town friends 

Learn all about it here: 5 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Gifts for Your Friends & Family

You can also find some useful info in that older article on eco-friendly gifts. It was too late for last year's holiday season, but it can still be of service this year, with green gift ideas for everyone on your list: How to Buy or Make Green, Eco-Friendly Gifts for the Holidays

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