When you’re on a tight budget, you may think that your Christmas shopping will only yield cheap gifts. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Even on a tight budget, you can purchase gifts that look expensive. Your friends and family will never know that you were on a tight budget. In fact, you may end up buying the best gifts they receive this year. All it takes are a few simple tips and a bit of time.
Start Shopping Early
Shopping early gives you an advantage because you have more time to look for the best deals. Some of the best deals can be found on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find good deals throughout December. Check the sales papers in your local Sunday paper and see which stores have the best deals that week. Circle any items that would work for people on your list and hit the stores as soon as possible because sale items usually go quick.
Visit Outlet Malls
Outlet malls are one of the best places to buy Christmas gifts that look expensive. You’re still getting brand name products, but at a fraction of the original cost. Outlet malls are a great place to find everything from clothes to shoes to expensive kitchen appliances. The important thing to remember is that not every outlet mall has a return policy and some outlet malls sell seconds. Be sure to check items closely for flaws and to ask questions about returns before making your purchase.
Take Advantage of Member Offers
Many stores offer their customers special deals if they use their store credit card. For example, some stores may offer 25% off. Using your store credit card to save on Christmas gifts doesn’t mean you have to throw yourself into massive debt. Stick to your budget and purchase what you can afford to pay off when the bill comes. That way, you’ll save money and avoid interest charges. A few other offers you may see are special sales only for members of the store’s club, free gift cards with a certain purchase amount and sometimes free gifts with certain purchases.
Cash in Your Rewards
If you use credit cards, chances are you have a card that earns points. Call the company a few weeks before Christmas and cash in your points and use the money towards your gift budget. If you have an account like MyPoints or Swag Bucks, you can also trade those points in and receive gift cards to use towards your Christmas shopping. That way, you can purchase some Christmas gifts without spending a dime.