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Holiday shopping for your family on a budget

Holiday shopping for your extended family can add up rather quickly! Follow these tips and tricks to better budget your time and money this holiday season.

Christmas shopping online

Daily deal sites

Sign up for daily deal sites to receive daily emails about a wide range of family-friendly discounted items. This is a great way to buy practical and popular gifts for about half the price. Daily deal sites can also spark some creative gift giving ideas that you might not have thought of otherwise.

Family-friendly daily deal sites

Draw names

Instead of buying for your sister, brother-in-law, their kids, your other sister and her family, draw names to buy one larger gift for one person. Use the good old pick a name from a hat system or plug everyone’s names into a site like to determine who is buying for whom. Before drawing names, set a minimum and maximum amount so all the gifts fall within the same price range.

Buy only for the kids

If you have a larger family and everyone has children, suggest the idea of buying and exchanging gifts just amongst the kids. This is a good way to save some money and make the experience all about the children of the family.

Ask for wish lists

Ask your family for a wish list of items they need or really want. With a wish list, you have a wide range of items — and prices — and end up buying gifts that the recipients will actually use.

Shop online

By shopping online, you can easily compare prices without the stress of an overcrowded mall, and possibly get free shipping with no sales tax — if you find a site that offers those options.

Accessorize or collaborate on a larger gift

Ask your family members if you can collaborate on a larger gift. For example, if your mom is giving your sister a Kindle as a gift, purchase the protective case and AC adapter to complete the set — and save money.

More ways to stick to your holiday shopping budget

  • Make a list. If you make a list outlining your family members’ names and gift selections ahead of time, you are more likely to stick to your holiday shopping budget and not shop by instinct or stress.
  • Set a specific dollar amount for each family member. Set a spending limit for each family member and stick to it. If you plan and budget ahead of time, you will be more likely to stick to it.
  • Do your research. Compare online prices and in-store deals after checking family members’ wish lists or collaborating on gifts with other family members.
  • Have a back-up plan. Set your eyes on a specific gift, but have a back-up gift in mind. That way, in the event that your first choice is no longer available or sold out, you have something — something you have researched and selected based on need and price — to take its place.

More about shopping on a budget

Tips for holiday shopping on a budget
Holiday shopping: Tips for finding great beauty deals
Holiday savings: Save money shopping online

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