Thursday, December 8, 2016

Christmas Gift Savings [The Hood Magazine]

Christmas Gift Savings

By: Shaina Herrmann
Originally published in the November 2016 issue of The Hood Magazine

This season brings about many beautiful decorations, delicious foods, and many special times with family.  Unfortunately, it is also is a time of year that is commonly known for draining your bank account.  

The American Research Group says that the average family will spend over $800 per year on Christmas gifts.  That number, while still being high from my perspective, begins to make sense when you take into account the number of gifts needed to include immediate and extended family members, close friends, co-workers, neighbors, and even pets! It becomes a real challenge each year to find gifts for all of the people in your life while still maintaining a reasonable budget for your family.  When you are out shopping this season, there are quite a few things you can do to to save money as you search for those perfect gifts.  Below I’ve listed a few of my favorite ways to save!

Make it Yourself -  If it can be made at home, and it will save you money, why not make it yourself?  You can learn how to make just about anything if you do one quick internet search.  Additionally, a DIY gift adds a little extra sentiment, having it be a one-of-a-kind gift made just for them!

Framed Photos - We live in the age of photography! We all love to see images that remind us of good times we’ve shared with others. Photo prints are affordable and likely to be cherished by anyone who receives them.  Did you go on a trip with a friend this year? Give them a framed print of the place you visited, or gather groups of images from the trip and place them into a photo book or album.

Hobby Gifts - Consider the hobbies of the person you are buying for.  Does your friend love to write? Pick up some pretty stationary and some stamps.  If your budget allows, add in a few nice pens and her favorite candy!  Does your cousin love concerts? Find them a good scrapbook or photo album to put all of their momentos into. provides numerous opportunities to save big amounts on gifts throughout the season.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and every day during those first three weeks of December there will be multiple deals by the hour, known as their Lightning Deals.  They offer free two day shipping for Prime members as well!

Snail Mail -  Can’t afford many gifts this year? You can still show your appreciation and love to your friends and family. When is the last time you mailed someone a letter? You could make it a card, postcard, a letter, or just a little note of appreciation on some nice stationery.   If you have a few dollars to spend, include a favorite snack or candy with your letter.

Free Shipping Day - For all of those late minute shoppers, hundreds of companies offer free shipping on December 16th of this year! Visit a list of the participating stores.

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