10 Tips for Holiday Shopping 2013

November 7, 2013

candy cookiesI hope that you have clicked “Like” for Suddenly Frugal on Facebook or that you follow me on Twitter–I’m @suddenlyfrugal. Because if you have, then you saw my announcement earlier this week that I’ve partnered this holiday season with Family Dollar to provide great advice for holiday shopping on a budget.

Earlier this week I hosted a media event in New York City, where I got to talk to writers, editors, and TV producers from a number of national outlets about how at Family Dollar you can find the perfect present on your list for as little as $5. And in fact I put together a demonstration of how you could create delicious teacher gifts for $4 each! All the pictures shown here are from that event, with items that you can pick up at Family Dollar.

In advance of that event, I created 10 tips for holiday shopping, which I am including here.

  1. Shop with a list. Gift shopping is just like grocery shopping in that you need to make a list and bring it with you to the store to help you stay organized.
  2. toysSpend based on your budget, not the recipient’s salary. Rather than worry about how much you’re spending, look for gifts that match the person’s hobbies and interests, and remember that it is the thought that counts.
  3. Keep all-occasion hostess-like gifts on hand throughout the season. These are great to have when you need something last minute when invited to a holiday party. Family Dollar carries some of my frugal favorites like candles, chocolate, and children’s toys along with mixed nuts, oven mitts, and trivets.
  4. The gift of food makes a great, affordable teacher gift. Even a box of cookies or an assortment of candy transferred to a festive tin will be much appreciated.
  5. Gather similar gifts for a big wow factor without a big price tag. Give the coffee lover bags of coffee tucked in a travel mug and packaged with a gift card to a local coffee shop. For children, fill a backpack with arts and craft supplies – construction paper, colored pencils, and a box of crayons. For teens, you can stop by your nearest Family Dollar to purchase an iTunes™ gift card and a set of headphones.
  6. centerpiecesCreate gorgeous centerpieces without much effort. Festive candles set on holiday-themed plates, hurricane jars filled with bright Christmas balls, or colorful candy can be all you need to make your holiday table look amazing.
  7. Set up a gift-wrapping station at home. I like to keep wrapping paper, ribbons, scissors, and tape in a plastic bin in our guest room. That way, whenever I need to wrap a gift, I have everything I need to turn a purchase into a present.
  8. When in doubt, grab a reusable bag. For about a dollar, you can pick up a colorful reusable bag that can double as a gift bag. Then the bag itself becomes a practical part of the present, because the recipient can use it for shopping throughout the year.
  9. Include pets in gift giving. Make sure you have a stocking for your dog or cat so that every member of the family can be a part of your holiday celebration.
  10. Don’t forget to treat yourself, especially if you’re shopping in a store where you can get the biggest bang for your buck. A new ornament for the tree or a picture frame for the mantel are easy ways you can treat yourself without busting your budget.

I hope these tips help you get your holiday shopping done without busting your budget or pulling out your hair in frustration.

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