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13 Holiday Shopping Tips For People With a Tight Budget

These holiday shopping tips are perfect if you’re working with a tight budget this year. Try these shopping tips and resources for a smarter and stress-free holiday.

A lot of people find holiday shopping a difficult and stressful time. You want to pull out all the stops for a fabulous holiday but you’re also on a tight budget and this can make things difficult.

However, with these tips, you can make the best of a tight budget and still have a great stress-free holiday planning experience.

13 Holiday Shopping Tips For People With a Tight Budget

13 Top Holiday Shopping Tips

1. Start Early

The sooner you start planning and shopping for the holidays, the likelihood of spending more money reduces.

Throughout the year you can find clearance deals and sales you can utilize to shop for the holidays in advance.

Even if you leave shopping till the fall, you can still get better deals than the last-minute shoppers.

This comprehensive Christmas Planner printable is sure to make holiday planning a pleasant experience this year. It’s free!

Free Christmas Planner Printable

2. Take Advantage of Coupons and Discounts

You can already find some great deals ahead of the holidays and other popular shopping events. And online shopping makes everything so much easier.

Some of the places where you can find great holiday sales and deals plus cash backs in some cases include:-

  • Rakuten – cash backs on every dollar spent plus $30 when you sign up through this link.
  • Swagbucks – earn Swagbucks for most of your online purchases plus double and trip rewards during major shopping events. Learn more about Swagbucks and sign up HERE.
  • Brookstone Gifts – there’s always a sale across different gift categories. Check out their 2021 gift guide HERE for all the current deals. 
  • Cratejoy Boxes – subscription boxes for health, fitness, beauty, self-care, foodies, lifestyle, and more plus discounts throughout the year for first-time customers. Learn more HERE.
  • Amazon Deals of the Day – A compilation of epic daily deals from Amazon across all categories. See all the deals HERE.

If you do a lot of your shopping on Amazon, you may want to sign up for Prime Membership.

Prime guarantees free 2-day shipping plus access to thousands of early deals for all the major shopping events throughout the year. Try it free for 1 month HERE.

Amazon offers amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.  

3. Don’t Skip Black Friday and Cyber Monday

If you are not done with your holiday shopping by Thanksgiving you should take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

Focus on getting your items via online shopping and skip going in-store.

You’ll be able to hit more stores effectively for deals than you can in person when you shop online.

Most online stores offer free shipping along with discounts for shopping events.

Shopping online also saves on gas and your time, and you don’t have to fight through overcrowding.

To assist you with optimal holiday planning, download this free Christmas Planner Printable Pack.

The Christmas Planner also includes a comprehensive Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping planner.


4. Avoid Going into Debt

It’s easy to let yourself fall into debt for the holidays because of a tight budget but you will repent at leisure after the holidays.

Do not use your credit card or take out a loan to pay for the holidays. Do not fall for department stores offering you a credit card either.

Holiday debt is spread into payments and interest that last you the rest of the year following the holidays and it isn’t worth it.

To avoid this, set up a monthly savings goal with the bank and start putting money away for the holidays long before the holidays. Make this a habit.

You can also keep track of your holiday spending with a great Christmas planner like this one.

5. Keep Your Holidays Minimalistic

There is no reason you have to go all out for the holidays. You can have a minimalistic holiday with just a few things your loved ones really want rather than a large holiday.

A minimalistic holiday can be a great way to save money and help make the most of the holidays if you’re on a tight budget.

While it may seem magical to have a ton of gifts under the tree, a lot more great things come from small loving memories that don’t cost a lot of money.

When setting up a minimalistic holiday for your family, set a limit on the number of gifts or amount that can be spent per person and ask what everyone wants the most to see how you can make that work into your budget.

6. Limit Gift Recipients

Not everyone you know needs a gift for the holidays.

When times are tough, talk with your family and arrange an agreement where only the kids get gifts for instance.

The adults will be fine and able to move on without an issue while many traditions like Santa revolve around gifts for children and can drain parents’ budgets.

By putting the focus on the kids in the family, the budget can go further for keeping the family traditions alive allowing everyone to make the most of the holidays.

Discuss other meaningful ways everyone else can make the most of the holidays like getting together for a Christmas movie marathon.

Spending quality time together then takes a priority over exchanging gifts.

7. Use Homemade Gifts to Fill in Gaps

If you really love getting into the holiday spirit and can’t bring yourself to not give friends and family gifts for the holidays, why not try a homemade gift?

Homemade gifts can help brighten someone’s day but cost more time than money to make happen.

Homemade gifts could be someone’s favorite fresh-baked pastries, sweets, mugs, t-shirts, or some other type of crafts.

And if you have a Cricut, you can get really creative with DIY gifts. Learn more about what you can do with a Cricut HERE.

DIY gifts with Cricut Joy

Make a list of people you want to give a homemade gift to then brainstorm each person with a list of things you know they need or their favorite things.

Then choose something for each person that fits your time and budget to make a wonderful and meaningful gift that your loved ones will cherish.

For more on homemade holiday gifts, check out:-

For holiday DIY gift ideas, check out:-

8. Avoid Weekend Shopping

Weekend shopping is a nightmare. There are too many people and you might buy the wrong items in a bid to get out of the store ASAP.

The very best days and times to shop are weekday evenings starting from around 4 pm.

Anyway, if you’re going with the online shopping option, you don’t have to worry about this at all.

9. Go Shopping Alone

Shopping in a group with friends or family might sound like fun but you are more likely to spend much more than you planned if you shop in a group.

Decide on the time and jump in there alone so you can get it done faster, more efficiently, and without undue influence from companions.

10. Don’t Forget Shipping & Delivery Times

Don’t forget there are additional delays because of the pandemic so factor this into your planning.

If something would usually take 7 days to ship, it’s a good idea to double that time or triple in some cases even if it won’t take that long. Better safe than sorry.

If you wait too long to order, you might end up having to pay extra for faster shipping.

12. Utilize Free Gift Wrapping

Some stores offer free gift wrapping. If that’s available, definitely take advantage of it.

Free gift wrapping saves you a ton of money in wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, etc.

13.  Do Not Wait Until the Last Moment

One of the best ways to spend much more than you have on the holidays is to wait until the last moment.

Be proactive with your holiday planning and start getting everything in order at least 6 – 8 weeks in advance of the holiday season.

Happy holidays in advance!

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