Author Topic: Saving money on holiday gifts now!  (Read 8258 times)

moneysaver

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Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« on: August 08, 2015, 01:53:04 PM »
I already know that most of my family members that I purchase gifts for appreciate gift cards rather than items that will end up in the landfill.  So this year I got a jump start on purchasing them while the selection and savings are still great at raise.com.  In addition to getting great deals I was awarded $5 just for signing up and was offered an additional $5 for everyone that uses the referral code ldorman.  This will make the months of November and December less stressful as well since I will not get caught up in the need to hit the shopping centers! 

forummm

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 02:16:51 PM »
My solution is to not buy people stuff. We have it worked out that we don't really exchange gifts so that saves a lot of money and hassle.

benjenn

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 02:19:43 PM »
We've had great luck with the "one less gift certificate"... used it for most everyone last Christmas and I think everyone appreciates being loved but also being off the hook.

iris lily

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 02:34:12 PM »
My solution is to not buy people stuff. We have it worked out that we don't really exchange gifts so that saves a lot of money and hassle.

yup. While there are some adults in the world who seem to value things/stuff/physical objects as their "love language" I do my best not to play into that. I solve it with giving consumables, such as wine. Dog treats. etc.

There is only one person in our life like this, but she is on steroids when it comes to gifting. She loves giving presents, and it must be a physical object. She wants everyone to have piles of objects to unwrap. Each year I dread the three hour long Opening of Presents  event that we attend.  Last year I made a feeble effort to get out of it and that did not work. This year, I hope to opt out. There are no children at the Opening of Presents event, that would actually be kind of fun. It is a bunch of senior citizens sitting around and each present must be unwrapped and exclaimed over.  Three mother-fkin hours. ugh. and then, the amount of crap that DH and I have to haul home and dispose of, double ugh.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 02:42:18 PM by iris lily »

forummm

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 02:45:42 PM »
We've had great luck with the "one less gift certificate"... used it for most everyone last Christmas and I think everyone appreciates being loved but also being off the hook.

This is GENIUS! I love it!

MoolahLula

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2015, 04:03:45 PM »
I have taken on machine sewing as my newest hobby and I have been sewing up bright and cheerful fat quarter infinity scarves for the ladies on my Christmas list.  They're colorful and useful gifts made from fabric I purchased on the cheap from Ebay.

FLA

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 05:07:50 PM »
 
[/quote]
  Each year I dread the three hour long Opening of Presents  event that we attend.   
[/quote]

If there's just one her and many of you, no one can talk her out of this? I cannot imagine 3 hrs and there aren't even any children, shoot me first. 

Last year, had to be lean, on disability, etc. I told my two teens that they could have $100 in presents they wanted or the cash and we could go shopping after Christmas to get the sales. They both chose the cash, I had one small, meaningful gift, as well and done. My dad got an Amazon GC, to add to the pile of GCs he never uses. My mom got a goat, I think, this year, from this catalog that gives items to people in need in 3rd World countries.  I feel like I have to buy my younger brother something but I couldn't get out so Amazon GC that he will likely also never use.  Fancy schmancy Philosophy lotion, a huge bottle that I re-gifted to his GF, very nice, she looked like she could care less. My friends and I no longer gift, we get together instead.  So this year I am suggesting just the kids, no adults, if you feel the need to give to a certain adult, fine, but in general, let's just not do this anymore?  I think I'll get agreement.

FIRE Artist

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 09:05:04 PM »
My solution is to not buy people stuff. We have it worked out that we don't really exchange gifts so that saves a lot of money and hassle.

This.  About 7 years back I proposed to my siblings and parents that since we all have too much stuff, that we should start giving to charity instead of exchanging gifts (which required mailing, often at a greater cost than the gift purchase). Everyone jumped on the idea, and it makes the holidays so much more relaxed. 

Lanthiriel

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 12:34:47 AM »
My solution is to not buy people stuff. We have it worked out that we don't really exchange gifts so that saves a lot of money and hassle.

This.  About 7 years back I proposed to my siblings and parents that since we all have too much stuff, that we should start giving to charity instead of exchanging gifts (which required mailing, often at a greater cost than the gift purchase). Everyone jumped on the idea, and it makes the holidays so much more relaxed.

We finally did this with my family. My younger sibs are scattering to the wind, so instead of presents we are committing to trying to see each other as often as is practical.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 01:41:21 AM »
I never looked at raise.com before. I don't usually give gift cards as presents, but I might get myself some deals on places I shop at anyway (e.g. the nearby drugstore where I tend to pick up TP, shampoo, toothpaste, medication, etc. has cards for 15% off on that site). Nice low-effort way to save a few bucks.

cdttmm

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 07:14:58 AM »
I never looked at raise.com before. I don't usually give gift cards as presents, but I might get myself some deals on places I shop at anyway (e.g. the nearby drugstore where I tend to pick up TP, shampoo, toothpaste, medication, etc. has cards for 15% off on that site). Nice low-effort way to save a few bucks.

+1

moneysaver

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2015, 09:38:56 AM »
Vee I bought some for myself as well. For example I got a $50 gift card to a restaurant that we go to every so often for $36.00.  In addition to that we never go without a buy one get one coupon so that gift card will last a fair amount of time:)
I never looked at raise.com before. I don't usually give gift cards as presents, but I might get myself some deals on places I shop at anyway (e.g. the nearby drugstore where I tend to pick up TP, shampoo, toothpaste, medication, etc. has cards for 15% off on that site). Nice low-effort way to save a few bucks.

iris lily

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 10:40:06 PM »

  Each year I dread the three hour long Opening of Presents  event that we attend.   
[/quote]

...If there's just one her and many of you, no one can talk her out of this? I cannot imagine 3 hrs and there aren't even any children, shoot me first. 

[/quote]

She's the hostess and if I accept the invitation, I know how it's going down. I have asked her not to buy us so many presents, but she does what she wants to do and so be it. I usually walk about half of them to the trash the day of receiving them.

She is our friend and is very generous in other ways, and she enjoys this gifting madness, so it's something I put up with. If I manage to skip the Xmas eve event, there will still be a time when we must conduct the gifting event..

marcela

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2015, 09:04:49 AM »
My MIL is like this too. No kids in the family yet, only 6 adults and opening presents last christmas literally took from 8:00am until 12:30pm. We didn't spend the holiday with them and so this was all on skype. We get giant stockings filled with the kind of crap you put into little kid goody bags at birthday parties, novelty bandaids, tacky socks, Duck Dynasty towels. On top of that you get presents, those monthly subscription services, clothes that don't fit, calendars, homemade soap that stains...etc
It was hard reining in my husband when we first got married, he always felt he had to keep up with the rest of the family on gifts and would spend way too much. Now the rule is a $20 max per person and we start shopping early to try to maximize our budget. I'll check out Raise to see if we can get gift cards to purchase some of those gifts!

Kitsune

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2015, 09:57:31 AM »
If you have no luck with the 'no gifts' idea (with most of my family, forget it - it'd never go), try to limit the gifts (my SIL and we have agreed to only exchange gifts for our kids, not each other - cuts 4 gifts out of the equation!).

If that doesn't work, and you're all semi-handy or have skills, sometimes handmade gifts are a great option. For example: last year, my SIL made wall shelves out of mushrooms - she took huge mushrooms from the woods (like, a foot and a half wide, 8 inches or so deep), cured them, painted the top a matte gold, and solidified the back so that they could be hung. They look really great integrated into our wall of frames, didn't cost her much (other than her time/skills) and we think of her when we see them. They wouldn't work for everyone, but they definitely suit us!

This Christmas, I'm making doll beds for my daughter and my niece (they'll both be almost 2, and they have dolls they like a lot, so...). I've got most of the wood as scrap wood (I might have to pay 10$ to finish the job), and the mattress/pillows/quilts/sheets are being made out of scrap fabric. Making the doll beds themselves should take me a few hours, and then sewing should take maybe 2-3 hours max... And these are hobbies I enjoy, so it's not really a sacrifice!

The thing with handmade gifts is to give things that are well-made and that people actually want/enjoy. When all else fails, cookies or chocolates. :)

ClassyCat

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2015, 08:16:54 PM »
My solution is to not buy people stuff. We have it worked out that we don't really exchange gifts so that saves a lot of money and hassle.

This.  About 7 years back I proposed to my siblings and parents that since we all have too much stuff, that we should start giving to charity instead of exchanging gifts (which required mailing, often at a greater cost than the gift purchase). Everyone jumped on the idea, and it makes the holidays so much more relaxed.

We finally did this with my family. My younger sibs are scattering to the wind, so instead of presents we are committing to trying to see each other as often as is practical.

I really, really want to do this with my family. I suggested it to my sister recently and she was upset by the idea. :(  She said she likes the surprise of it all. Personally I find no surprise in it because everyone asks what to get you. Plus it's so needlessly stressful trying to buy a bunch of crap for everyone just to avoid the guilt of not getting someone a gift. Anyone have tips on convincing family to go down this route?

Worst case scenario I'm going to try to make our Christmas into Secret Santa so I only end up doing one gift. I'd cross stitch something at that point.

FIRE Artist

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2015, 04:32:51 PM »
My solution is to not buy people stuff. We have it worked out that we don't really exchange gifts so that saves a lot of money and hassle.

This.  About 7 years back I proposed to my siblings and parents that since we all have too much stuff, that we should start giving to charity instead of exchanging gifts (which required mailing, often at a greater cost than the gift purchase). Everyone jumped on the idea, and it makes the holidays so much more relaxed.

We finally did this with my family. My younger sibs are scattering to the wind, so instead of presents we are committing to trying to see each other as often as is practical.

I really, really want to do this with my family. I suggested it to my sister recently and she was upset by the idea. :(  She said she likes the surprise of it all. Personally I find no surprise in it because everyone asks what to get you. Plus it's so needlessly stressful trying to buy a bunch of crap for everyone just to avoid the guilt of not getting someone a gift. Anyone have tips on convincing family to go down this route?

Worst case scenario I'm going to try to make our Christmas into Secret Santa so I only end up doing one gift. I'd cross stitch something at that point.

Why don't you just break the mold?  Give a charitable donation and give everyone cards saying that In lieu of gifts, this is what you did?  And maybe just let people know when they ask what you want, that you would like a charity donation.  They will get used to this from and about you.  If your sister wants to continue with Christmas gift exchanging with other family members that is on her and doesn't need to involve you.  You really don't need to get caught up in other people's craziness.. 

ClassyCat

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2015, 09:24:14 PM »
I really, really want to do this with my family. I suggested it to my sister recently and she was upset by the idea. :(  She said she likes the surprise of it all. Personally I find no surprise in it because everyone asks what to get you. Plus it's so needlessly stressful trying to buy a bunch of crap for everyone just to avoid the guilt of not getting someone a gift. Anyone have tips on convincing family to go down this route?

Worst case scenario I'm going to try to make our Christmas into Secret Santa so I only end up doing one gift. I'd cross stitch something at that point.

Why don't you just break the mold?  Give a charitable donation and give everyone cards saying that In lieu of gifts, this is what you did?  And maybe just let people know when they ask what you want, that you would like a charity donation.  They will get used to this from and about you.  If your sister wants to continue with Christmas gift exchanging with other family members that is on her and doesn't need to involve you.  You really don't need to get caught up in other people's craziness.. 

I suppose I could just go ahead with it. I mainly don't want to be a Scrooge. I'm also not sure how to tell friends without sounding like a jackhole and having a "Thanks for the gift, I didn't get you anything!" situation. I know it sounds dumb, but it's one of those things that's hard to break without feeling like a jerk in the process.

Dollar Slice

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2015, 10:20:36 AM »
I never looked at raise.com before. I don't usually give gift cards as presents, but I might get myself some deals on places I shop at anyway (e.g. the nearby drugstore where I tend to pick up TP, shampoo, toothpaste, medication, etc. has cards for 15% off on that site). Nice low-effort way to save a few bucks.
Well, I might change my mind on the "low effort" part... the first gift card I bought on the site has stopped working inexplicably, with $40 left on it. I used it a few times before, so I know it should work, and the website still shows the $40 balance.  The store manager told me to contact their tech support people via their web site, and after three days of back-and-forth with tech support they're now refusing to help me because I got it from Raise.com ...

We'll see if this ends up being worth the $16 I saved.

MM_MG

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2015, 10:44:29 AM »
We received four promotional codes for Shutterfly from a flight we recently took.  Those paid for four 8x8 hard cover books ($30 value) that we will give to grandparents/relatives for Christmas.  The trip wasn't free, but we would have gone anyways, so I'll consider it a $120 windfall.  :)

elaine amj

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2015, 04:01:10 PM »
It's tough. And it's even harder during the transition phase. We have been somewhat trying to stop exchanging gifts with my BIL and SIL - one year they didn't get us something, the next year, we didn't get them something. But it's super awkward when they show up with something and we didn't get them something. I don't know - we will likely resume getting them something this year.

We formally stopped gift exchanges with our circle of friends. It had always been something very small ($10 or so each) but we talked last year and agreed to stop. We just get stuff for the kids now.

I do get a little overwhelmed at Christmas since I shop for our presents - from my FIL and MIL and from both my parents plus from us (they give me the money and at Christmas, I show them what they got us). Suits my optimizing side - but requires a spreadsheet so I can track who got who what.

trix76

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2017, 03:01:15 PM »
For several years, I have proposed downsizing Christmas gifts among the adults in my family. I’ve tried to get my parents, siblings and SOs to do a gift exchange (draw a name and buy a gift for just that one person), without success. I asked for a “Minimalist Christmas” for myself, where I only wanted inexpensive consumable (or useful) items, and they didn’t exactly comply with that request either.

This year, I tried yet another path, proposing that we each spend no more than $30-40 on each adult’s gift. (Which is down from everyone spending ~$100 on each person.) To my surprise, everyone agreed immediately! It’s still not frugal, but it’s progress, in terms of both my budget and the amount (or more precisely, the dollar value) of stuff I’ll receive. Persistence paid off...


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nancy33

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2017, 11:12:53 PM »
I dehydrated a bunch of persimmons and apples from my mom's trees and Im going to give as gifts. Dried fruit seems like a pretty traditional gift. Don't think it will fly with the kids though.

ForeverFrugal47

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2017, 11:01:06 AM »
For several years, I have proposed downsizing Christmas gifts among the adults in my family. Iíve tried to get my parents, siblings and SOs to do a gift exchange (draw a name and buy a gift for just that one person), without success. I asked for a ďMinimalist ChristmasĒ for myself, where I only wanted inexpensive consumable (or useful) items, and they didnít exactly comply with that request either.

This year, I tried yet another path, proposing that we each spend no more than $30-40 on each adultís gift. (Which is down from everyone spending ~$100 on each person.) To my surprise, everyone agreed immediately! Itís still not frugal, but itís progress, in terms of both my budget and the amount (or more precisely, the dollar value) of stuff Iíll receive. Persistence paid off...


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Last year only part of my immediate family could celebrate together, so I proposed the adults forgo gifts altogether to keep things simple.  My main motive however was because of my minimalist lifestyle, so it all worked out.  This year I talked it over with my parents and requested we do the same even though we'll all be together for Christmas. 

Hopefully this will become our new tradition as it also saves everyone time shopping for the perfect gift and the trouble it takes to lug it all the way to someone's house then having to haul your gift back home.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2017, 10:43:55 AM »
Our families across the board have just made it about the kids, each kid draws a name so you buy one gift for like 17-18 kids/cousins etc. and God Parents buy 1 gift for their Godchild. In our own personal family we do buy presents of a pre-determined price which is based on my $ back on credit card use over the years and through our Healthcare I earn 25$ giftcards through Amazon. Whatever that number is we divide by 6 for our family and 1 extra gift for the God Child. Our 4 kids swap names and buy 1 gift for each.  Works for us and doesn't take all day. Oh one last thing. We make the kids give us a list of as many items they can think of by Nov. 15th and between ebates.com and other sources we make there share of the money go as far as we can.

Chesleygirl

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Re: Saving money on holiday gifts now!
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2017, 01:06:35 PM »
I'm giving cash to my nephew who is in college. It's just easier all the way around.

This year will be hard. My spouse has a job making only half of what he used to earn. So we've really had to adjust our living expenses. We already used up our (Dave Ramsey) emergency savings money when he was unemployed. We're only going to buy a couple gifts for our oldest and the two years olds, nothing, as they won't understand Christmas anyway. We might wrap up some stuff we already have, so they can have fun opening it up. I'm also not going to decorate the house very much, because that always winds up costing money and not get involved in any "crafting" because that's a drain on the wallet, too.