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6 ways to save money on Christmas gifts

Inexpensive Christmas Gifts

This is a guest post by Jasmine of Canadian Savers.

Halloween is over, and that means Christmas is near!

I get so excited around this time of year. Not only about all the awesome gifts, I get to give, but also because I get to see all the people I care about under the same roof.

Here’s the thing: Christmas requires a budget of its own, and it’s about time you start saving for your Christmas shopping (if you haven’t already!). Here are a few tips to help you save money on Christmas gifts:

1. Take advantage of post-Christmas sales

Alright, so I know this may sound a bit strange, but it’s a great way to save money on gift-giving. The trick is to “predict” what you might want to give your loved ones next Christmas by shopping for their gifts right after this Christmas.

The reason to do this is that you can save a lot of money. Sometimes you can save up to 90% off various gift products during this period (usually January, and sometimes into February).

2. Shop for sale items

If you want to save money, your goal should be to never pay full price for anything – ever.

The next time you make a purchase, ask yourself this question: “why should I pay full price for this item when a sale is likely going to take place soon?”.

Be patient and your savings can really start to add up.

3. Give homemade gifts

There’s nothing that shows how much you care for someone more than a homemade gift.

It shows that you love that your friends and family enough to set time aside to create something thoughtful – just for them.

If you don’t think that you have much free time to create these homemade gifts, consider just making them for your closest family and friends.

4. Stick to your budget

I cannot stress this enough – it’s really important to take control of your budget and limit the amount you plan to spend.

Many of us make the mistake of buying expensive gifts for our loved ones, and yes, they totally deserve the best, but if you can’t afford to give expensive gifts, you shouldn’t.

Don’t worry, they’ll understand because I bet they face the same dilemma every year – just like you!

5. Don’t forget your Canadian coupons

Make sure that you always keep your coupons organized. Those coupons can save you tons of money.

During this time of year especially, try not to leave your house without your coupon binder (or whatever else you have your coupons stashed in).

Lots of clothing stores, such as Old Navy, Banana Republic, La Vie en Rose, Suzy Shier, and more, release printable coupons and online coupon codes to help you save money.

Other stores, like Pier 1 Imports, for example, help you save money on decorations with their printable coupons.

6. Fill stockings with free product samples

If you have a bunch of samples on hand, you can use them to top up a few Christmas stockings.

They also work great in gift baskets, if you have many different types of samples that you can give.

My husband and I have a lot of relatives and friends coming to our home this Christmas, and frankly, I can’t wait!

We have our budget set and we’re ready to go deal hunting (and, actually, since we started shopping early, half of the gifts are already taken care of!).

Ever since we started living by the rules above, we actually found that we can easily save money on Christmas gifts!

How are you saving money on Christmas gifts?

Jasmine is the co-founder of Canadian Savers. It was founded by Jasmine & Julia, two childhood friends that are both married with kids, and who used to struggle with their bills. After ordering a few free freebies, they asked themselves “why should we pay more, when we can pay less”? That’s when they decided to start a website that is solely dedicated to helping other Canadians save money.


  1. Julie

    I always shop the January sales and at that time of year in particular I make sure I keep a note on me of how old all the children I buy for will be turning during the coming year, that way I know what sizes of clothing, what type of toys etc to keep an eye out.

    I rarely spend full price on anything, but particularly birthday and Christmas gifts.

  2. Michelle

    I’m actually done all of my shopping (and wrapping!) for the year with the exception of a joint gift for my bf’s niece and the ones that I am making. I shop throughout the year and pick up things when I see them. The most important part is to keep a list of what you have already purchased so you don’t get double (or triple!) what you had planned for someone. I have a list on my cell phone so I always have it with me.

    Experiences are also great, such as a play at a community theatre or a special favourite dinner “coupon” for a night where the recipient doesn’t have to cook, but gets one of their favourites made for them.

    Also, kids like to have “lots of” things, regardless of the cost. The one that goes over well every time for me is stickers. If you live near Toronto go to the Stickers and More Warehouse and stock up! Especially when they are really little they just want lots, and don’t particularly care what is on them. Same with homemade playdough for the slightly older kids. 4 or 5 GIANT balls in different colours cost me less than $10 (probably more like $5 actually) and they were thrilled at how much they had to play with and sculpt.

  3. Alison

    With Christmas comes such a large focus on stuff. If you do have a budget for Christmas gifts, a sure way to stick to it is to do donations as opposed to physical gifts. One year I chose a different charity for each person (ex/ SPCA for an animal lover) and donated a small amount. You save on gift wrapping because all you have to do is put the information in a card. This went over really well with all my family members.

    Another year, friends and I decided to not buy gifts for each other and worked together instead to put money we would have spent towards charity. We ended up buying gifts for kids in need/donating to food banks/etc.

    If you are looking to cut back spending this would be an easy way to do it. Say you would normally spend $50 on your parents, try cutting it in half because even a $25 donation is big and a thoughtful gift.

  4. Betty

    We decided a long time ago that Christmas was for kids. So our list was basically our 2 children plus our 1 niece & nephew. Everyone else got a Christmas card in the mail; otherwise we just wouldn’t be able to afford Christmas or anything else. I shop all year long when things are on sale.

    • Cindy

      Yes, christmas is for children thats how it was many years ago. It was for children and the very poor. Good call Betty.

  5. Virginia

    My 3 kids all have birthday very close to Christmas, so they end up with a ridiculous amount of stuff. This year we decided they will only get gifts from Santa and a stocking (which to be honest might be a bit more stuffed). We are asking family and friends to contribute whatever they would spend on gifts to my kids RESP’s. This has gone over pretty well. I explained the situation to my two older kids (the youngest is too young to care) and they are fine with the idea. They are thinking extra hard about what they want to ask Santa for since they know they aren’t getting everything they want.

  6. Angela

    Great advice. The only one I am not too keen on is homemade gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I am craft addict (especially needlework), but I know of some instances where a homemade gift was not truly appreciated. Being a crafter and knowing the time and imagination involved, I am very careful of who I give homemade gifts to. I’ve seen homemade gifts turn up at garage sales. Just my opinion.

  7. Laurel

    My siblings and I draw names and go together to get a gift for my parents. My friends and I don’t exchange gifts, we use that money to go for dinner together (without our kids!) Makes a big difference in the bills.

  8. Christa

    I save all year and pick up stuff all year (found some awesome deals at Zellers clearence sales) We don’t really do stockings so I make cloth bags to put everything in so don’t need wrapping paper. last year bought towels at a wholesale place and used those as wrapping paper.
    awesome homemade gift I every saw. jar with dry ingedients for cookies. lid covered with decrotive paper/cloth.recipe tied on.

  9. Nicole

    I shop all year & try to win prizes & experiences for my family that we will love.
    For example, I have won/earned GCs to Chapters & Superstore over the year, so I will be using those for books, puzzles, games &/or toys. For the last few years my husband & I haven’t been exchanging birthday or Christmas gifts, instead opting to buy a larger item for our home (freezer) or home improvements (I would love the livingroom painted before Xmas, but I just don’t think its going to happen until the new year!)

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