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The holidays are finally here!
I LOVE the holidays. There really is no better time of year. The air is crisp and the ground is covered in fluffy snow. Beautiful, twinkling lights adorn houses and trees. You get to eat home-cooked meals and spend time with your loved ones. Despite the many wonderful parts of the holidays, there is a downside. It’s DAMN expensive!
Here are some tips to help keep your spending in check:
It is so easy to spend way too much on Christmas gifts for your friends and family. You spot some pizza socks at a store and think to yourself “WOW! J would love these. Have I bought him any Christmas presents yet…? Screw it! One more present can’t hurt’. I have found myself falling into this cycle of thinking many times over the past few weeks. Finally, I decided that I better start writing down everything I have bought for each family member. Now when I see an amazing present idea I can go into the Notes app on my phone and see if I have already bought a present for that person.
2. Holiday Gift Exchange
Last year my friends and I hosted our first annual Friendship Christmas. It is an amazing Christmas party featuring a potluck, tacky Christmas sweaters, and A LOT of wine. Not only is it a great opportunity to get together with all of our friends, but it is also a way for us to all save money on Christmas presents for each other. Rather than buy each friend a Christmas Gift, we host a Holiday Gift Exchange (also called a White Elephant Gift Exchange according to Google). Each person brings one $20 gift to the party and we then take turns either opening a present or stealing a gift from someone else. This gift exchange is super fun and I highly recommend it!
3. Buy Online
The past few years I have purchased all of my Christmas presents online. There is nothing more convenient than having presents delivered right to your door! However, the best part of purchasing gifts online is that you can take advantage of online savings websites.
My most recent favourite is a Chrome extension called Honey.
Honey makes finding sales and coupon codes a breeze! Simply install the Honey extension to your web browser. Then, when you have added items to your cart on a website click the Honey button. Honey will scan the internet for the best codes to save you the most money and automatically apply it to your cart!
4. Use a Rewards Credit Card
I recently switched over to an American Express credit card. While I have used reward cards in the past, I had never used a cash back card. After reading through the ‘Best cash-back credit cards of 2016‘ by MoneySense, I decided on the SimplyCash Card from American Express. This no fee card has an amazing sign-up offer! For the first 6 months, you can earn up to 5% cash back on your purchases and there is no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn. I signed up for this card the beginning October and have already earned $198 in cash back.
5. Use Your Rewards Points
Shoppers Drug Mart has one of my favourite rewards programs! It is super easy to use. As you make purchases you have your point card scanned, then when you want to redeem your points you tell the cashier and they deduct the point off of your account. You earn approximately 100 points for every dollar you spend. You can redeem 8,000 points for $10 off or up to 95,000 points for $170 off.
Now, this does not mean you have to spend $9500 to receive the highest reward. Shoppers regularly hosts 20x the points events, which will help you to collect points quickly. They also offer unique coupons to you via their app or website. Often these coupons will include bonus points if you buy a particular product.
This is a great rewards program to sign up for, especially because it is FREE!
These are just some of the tips I have used this holiday season to save money on Christmas presents. Do you have any tips on how to save on Christmas presents? Leave a comment below!