It is the beginning of August, and outside you may be faced with 90 degree temperatures. Why start thinking about Christmas now, 4.5 months ahead of time?
If you would like to have a frugal Christmas, now is the perfect time to start laying your plans. Here are some things you can begin doing to have a low cost Christmas:
Keep a close eye on deal sites. Some of my favorite deal sites are Mamasource (formerly Mamapedia), Groupon, and Juice in the City. Keep an eye out for deals that may make great holiday gifts such as a Groupon to a friend’s favorite restaurant or a spa visit for a relative.
Start the crafts now. If you are planning on making anything homemade, don’t wait until the last minute; get started now. One year I cross-stitched my mom a large Santa Claus carrying gifts. This year, I plan on making my son this fold and go organizer. For my daughters, I am making this cute alphabet mat. I am also going to make some real vanilla for baking, and that takes several months of resting time before it acquires a strong enough flavor.
Watch restaurant.com for a 90% off special. Very rarely, restaurant.com offers their certificates at 90% off. Now is the time to keep watch on the site. If you know of someone who loves to eat out, you could get certificates for as low as $1 with the 90% off discount, or you could choose to get them the certificate of the month club.
Buy extra back to school supplies. Paper, pens, notebooks, crayons, etc. can be dirt cheap during the back to school season. If you have kids who love writing or coloring or crafting, stock up on the cheap supplies now and save them for Christmas. This will probably delight smaller children and will only cost you a few pennies.
Buy back to school clothes on clearance. In another month or two, all of the unsold back to school clothing will be on clearance. You can buy your kids new clothes for a fraction of the price.
Peruse books on Paperback Swap. I got my son several books for his birthday from Paperback Swap, which he loved. I am now in the process of looking through my house for any books I don’t want so I can put them on Paperback Swap to earn credits to buy my son more books for Christmas. His birthday books came in excellent condition, so I am planning to do this again for Christmas.
Start redeeming Swagbucks for gift certificates. When you redeem Swagbucks for a gift card, it takes 10 to 14 days to appear in your account. In addition, if you want to use your Swagbucks on Amazon, the best way to maximize your points is to spend on $5 Amazon gift cards, yet there is a limit to how many you can order weekly. Plus, you will need time to place your order on Amazon and receive the gift. Now is the time to start converting Swagbucks.
There are plenty of ways to have a frugal, enjoyable gift giving holiday, but most of the strategies require that you plan ahead, often months in advance. Now is the perfect time to get started on holiday shopping and crafts, even though the cold winter months are far from your mind right now.
I shared this post at Frugal Friday.