How to give Christmas gifts on a budget

Christmas is one of the most joyful times of year, celebrating the spirit of giving. We all want to hand out gifts to all the ones we love but Christmas can be a very stressful time when times are tough and wallets grow thin. While we wait for the economy to bounce back, we all have to tighten our belts and work with our limited Christmas budgets. We will show you how you can stretch that dollar while still enjoying this joyful time of year.

Here are some helpful tips to survive this holiday season.

Tip 1) Create a Christmas budget and stick to it.
Creating a budget and allocating an amount to spend per person will help to prevent overspending. Start with finding gifts for those who not as close with the intent of spending less than the allocated budget. If you meet these goals, it will allow you to spend more on the ones you love.

Tip 2) Be thoughtful.
The value of a gift is not always measured in dollar signs. A thoughtful message or meaningful item can be worth more than something that will empty your wallet.

Tip 3) Use Gift exchanges.
Whenever possible, suggest organizing a Secret Santa within groups of people. It works great for the office, a group of friends or large families. This limits your spending to one person instead of individually buying for each person. That way everyone gets a gift and everyone saves money and time.

Tip 4) Make as many gifts as possible.
A little creativity can go a long way. Baked goods, crafts, and personalized creations can be great alternatives for buying small gifts for large groups.

Tip 5) Shop early and shop around.
If you do decide to purchase a gift for someone, make sure you shop early and shop around. Take advantage of sale events before the shopping rush. The internet is full of discount websites as well as comparison shopping so a little research can stretch that dollar even further. Dollar stores are also great for finding little treasures at very inexpensive prices.

Check out these websites for deals, but be decisive because deals tend to go fast.

Bargain Sites
Comparison Shopping Sites
Yahoo! shopping

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