Admittedly, we can go a little overboard for Christmas for our kiddos, but that’s because I look for deals all year long to give the boys.
At our house, Santa does not bring the more expensive gifts because Santa cannot bring expensive gifts to every house. Instead, mom and dad find deals on one of those pricey items. But you certainly do not have to spend much to spread that holiday joy. If you haven’t quite gotten around to shopping yet, here are some ideas to do holidays on a budget.
Give four Christmas gifts
I have seen this idea circulating online and it’s a nice idea. You give four gifts: one thing they want, one thing they need, something to wear, and something to read. We always give something in each of these areas. Certainly, those four gifts do not need to be super costly if you look for ways to save. For something to wear, consider using the coupon at JCPenney for $10 off $25 clothes, shoes, accessories or home purchase, good through today. There are lots of kids clothes for under $10 so you could pick up a few things for only $15. You might be able to pick up something they need with this deal too, like socks. For something to read, starting tomorrow Target has $5 off $20 in kids books, with Little Golden books in the ad for $4.99. If you’re looking for toys for the thing they want, there is also a coupon in the Target ad for $10 off a $50 toy purchase.
You can fill stockings with things they need that you would buy anyway for kids and adults alike. Put socks in the toe for the shape, and fill it with things like body wash and lotion, lip balm, and fun toothbrushes. Add in a little something extra that they might want, like some nail polish or a toy car, some holiday candy or snacks, and you’ve got a nice stocking. If you want to do more, add a $5 gift card for a little treat at one of their favorite ice cream shops.
You can also make some things at a very reasonable price. Consider making photo gifts because during this time of year, there are lots of deals on photo sites. I usually find coupon codes for free calendars on Shutterfly (just pay shipping), plus there have been codes for other photo gifts there and other websites, all of which make nice gifts for grandparents. You can make some cute gifts on your own too; I have seen mason jar gifts that can be made very inexpensively, like filling it with ingredients for cookies or cocoa and toppings or even making a sugar scrub.
Give experiences and memories all year
I saw a fun idea to buy tickets for one fun family activity a month. If you make it more like a coupon book, you don’t have to spend all that money right now, but instead, you can plan to put some money aside each month for an activity. Some examples might be a visit to the Putnam in January, a trip to Niabi in June, and checking out a River Bandits game in August. Because this gift is really about the memories, not the money, some of the activities can even be free, like a visit to Scott County Park in May or a trip to the John Deere Pavillion in November.
If you get creative, the holidays certainly do not have to break the bank. In the end, your family won’t remember how much money you spent on them or how many gifts you bought, but they will remember the time you spent with them. However you celebrate this holiday season, make memories that will last a lifetime.