Ladies holding Christmas presents in front of a Christmas tree

How to Save Money on Last-Minute Christmas Shopping

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So it’s come down to this: Christmas is right around the corner, and you’ve got presents to get. It happens to all of us at some point. Don’t fret! There are still ways for you to save money on last-minute Christmas shopping!

Maybe you’ve had too much work on your plate or things have been kind of tight and you finally have some extra cash to put toward Christmas gifts. You might even be freaking out a little bit right now, thinking that there’s no way you could possibly save money on your shopping list this late. Here are some great ways for you to save some extra cash, even if you’re a Christmas procrastinator.

Start by Browsing Deal Websites

Go to your favorite deal-finding website of choice (mine is SlickDeals). Check out the latest deals, and then use the search bar to see if they have any price drops for items on your list.

I like to use this as the first step in last-minute Christmas shopping. Between using the “Frontpage Deals” portion of the website (the best and hottest current deals) and the search bar, I can usually plan out where to get my last-minute Christmas gifts. This makes sure that you get the best price on your gifts, and you don’t have to spend extra for something you just happen to see in the store.

Gift Cards are Your Best Friends

To everyone who says gift cards aren’t a real gift—you’re wrong. Gift cards are essentially the same as cash (which is also a great gift), and I’m sure many people will agree with me on that one. A VISA® gift card is a great way to say, “Shop ‘til you drop!” Plus, they can be used almost anywhere for anything.

The only thing better than a VISA gift card is the personal touch that comes with getting the right gift card for someone. There’s something special about opening a present and seeing that they got you a gift card to your favorite store. It shows that you know where they like to shop, and as a bonus, it can be cheaper than a traditional gift.

Don’t Shop Online

Plenty of people are going to tell you to save time by shopping online and doing express shipping. Please don’t do that. If you’re looking to save money, steer clear from online retailers. The express, two-day and next-day shipping can increase your purchase price by as much as $40! That’s money that can be spent on other gifts.

Instead, use online retailers to see which stores around you have the items you want in stock. What’s a short drive to another city compared to a $40 shipping charge? If you’re looking to save money, skip the click this close to Christmas.

Give the Gift of Food

Everyone loves food, especially down here in the South. It can be a really great gesture to receive some of your favorite food as a gift. Are you known for your amazing cookies? Maybe everyone says that you make the world’s best fudge or cake pops. Whatever your food forte is, use it to your advantage and give a gift that you personally worked on.

You can package up your food in some nice, low-cost packaging with ribbons and a small note to the gift recipient. Your gift will have nice “tree appeal,” and you’ll be giving the gift of goodies, which people always appreciate!

Tree Appeal – The best-looking gift underneath a tree. A Christmas version of curb appeal.

Use Your Hobbies

Are you crafty or artsy? Save money by creating a one-of-a-kind gift for people on your Christmas list.

Are you handy with a Cricut or a Silhouette? You can create all kinds of really great, low-cost gifts for people on your list. You can create funny T-shirts, personalized coffee mugs and so much more!

Maybe you’re more of the artsy type. Create some small, personalized paintings for people to hang in their office or at their house. People really appreciate the thoughtfulness and the effort that goes into creating something truly unique for them. Plus, it saves you some extra money too!

Skip the Kids’ Clothes

Don’t even waste your time going clothes shopping for the kids on your list. It’ll take a long time to find the perfect gift clothing, and it’ll end up costing a good bit so close to Christmas.

Instead, write a hand-written card and include a “gift certificate” for a personal shopping trip with you. The kids will love being spoiled on a shopping trip, and the best part is you get to choose the date! Plan it on a sale day, and you’ll end up saving money on an experience they won’t forget.

Budgeting Tip
Open a Christmas Club account at your local credit union to start saving earlier in the year. Those savings sure can help you big time once Christmas rolls around!

Shop After Christmas

Do you have people on your list that you won’t see until after Christmas? Don’t waste time shopping until after Christmas is over. You won’t feel rushed to find a great gift, and you can dedicate that shopping time to other hard-to-shop-for people.

To top it off, many stores will be having after-Christmas sales to get rid of their stock. You’ll be able to pick up a great gift at an even greater price, and nobody will know you got it after Christmas! Just make sure you know you won’t see them until after Christmas or things could get awkward.

Make a Donation Instead

This one’s for that one person on your list that’s impossible to shop for. There’s always someone that has pretty much everything, and you can’t even begin to think about creating them something. So you’ve run out of gift ideas.

Maybe it’s time to consider giving a donation as a gift. With a donation gift, you’re giving money to a cause they care about in their name. Find something that your gift recipient is passionate about, and either get them a donation gift card or a card that lets them know you’ve given a donation in their name. This is also a great way to show the impact of giving back to charity.

Do you have a last-minute Christmas shopping story to tell? Share it in the comments!

Lover of writing, learning and teaching others about new things. Proud foodie. Sometimes I mix all of these subjects together.