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Survive gift giving this holiday… on a budget

Chrissy Callahan is a freelance beauty/fashion writer and editor. She has written for a variety of different websites and covered everything from NY Fashion Week to interviews with top industry professionals. For the latest beauty and fa...

Be frugal this season

Now that Thanksgiving and the tornado of shopping (aka Black Friday) have passed us, we’re deep into the holiday season. Whether you like it or not, the holidays will be here before you know it and that means you’ve only got so much time to do your shopping. Whether you just got laid off from work, have been unemployed for months or are just looking to tighten your purse strings this season, the holidays can be a very stressful time financially. Fret not, frugalistas, we’ve got some budget tips for you that will help keep you sane!

Women exchanging gifts

Give homemade gifts

Store bought gifts can get pretty pricey this time of year. But you don't have to give your loved ones an expensive item bought at the store of their choice this holiday, you can give them something a bit more meaningful (and cheaper): homemade gifts. Whether you're a master chef or you're a crafty gal, there's something you're good at and you might as well put your skills to good use this holiday. Whip up a batch of gourmet holiday sweets for your best friends instead of swapping pricey gifts, or give your aunts and uncles some meaningful crafty decorations they'll cherish all year long (and not forget the minute 2012 arrives). Worried about looking cheap? Don't! Homemade gifts are 10 times as meaningful as anything you dished out big bucks for, trust us!

Set your limits and stick to them

When you're going into the holiday season, it can be tempting to pick up one last gift for your sister or your mom. After all, these darn malls have so many cute items that we just happen to stumble upon all the time, right? Going into holiday shopping with a range of how much money you'd like to spend on each person on your list can help keep you on budget and sane. Sure, you might go over or under by a few bucks here and there, and that's ok, but once you've set your budgets and limits, try your best not to stray. You'll be thankful you did so later!

Scope out the deals …there's no shame in a bargain

We're huge fans of a good bargain here at LovingYou and we always like to say that what your loved ones don't know won't necessarily hurt them (we're only talking about bargains here, ladies!). What do we mean? Well, there are bargains to be had online (Cyber Monday is today and it's time to put those typing skills to good use!) all season long and in-store. Just because you paid a fraction of the price for a designer item doesn't mean your loved ones have to know, and we say you should enjoy the season of giving to the fullest… in a smart way.

Do a Secret Santa

The older we get, the more people we have in our lives. Between our family, friends and co-workers, there are so many presents to buy that it could turn any relaxed shopper into a tailspin. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the thought of spending so much money (money you don't really have) on all these holiday gifts, make your list a bit smaller this year. Suggest a Secret Santa or a Gift Grab to your family, friends or co-workers, and you'll decrease your budget and increase the fun.

More holiday tips

4 Ways to mentally prepare yourself for holiday mayhem
10 Ways to beat holiday stress
Cyber Monday: Shop at work (and don't get caught)

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