5 Money-Savings Ideas for Christmas Gifts & Presents

Save Money Holiday Gifts

Gift giving is expensive. It’s so expensive in fact, that a survey from OfferUp found that 24 percent of Americans consider holiday spending their most stressful one-time expense of the year!

In 2021, consumers plan to spend an average of $997.73 on gifts, holiday items, and other non-gift purchases for themselves and their families this year, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. Similar to last year, consumers are prioritizing gifts for family and friends and purchases related to holiday celebrations such as food or décor.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $997.73 this Holiday Season

Still, overall plans for holiday spending remain slightly below the pre-pandemic high of $1,047.83 in 2019, as fewer consumers plan to spend on non-gift purchases for themselves and their families. And as many continue to work from home, shoppers are reporting they are less inclined to purchase gifts for co-workers.

“Consumers are ready to celebrate, and gift-giving is high on the list,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

5 Money-Savings Ideas for Christmas Gifts & Presents

Below we share five ways to spread Holiday cheer, without starting the New Year off in debt.

1. Skip Gifts for Adults

While many of us enjoy gifting our friends and family with items we hope will bring cheer to their lives, the reality is many holiday gifts are returned, trashed, or completely forgotten about. Especially if you have a large family, getting gifts for every person can be extremely expensive.

For families with children, the idea of celebrating the holidays without any gifts can be rather hard to swallow. So, consider scaling back on the number of gifts you give this year by only buying gifts for the kids.

2. Set a Spending Limit – And Stick to it!

Minimize your stress before you even get to the mall by creating a shopping list ahead of time. This way you’ll be less likely to stray from your list and add items to your cart just because they’re on sale.

 If you’re not sure what you want to get anyone on your list, come up with a mental budget for how much you are willing to spend total as well as how much you’re willing to spend on each person. This will ensure you don’t spend $50 on a gift too good to pass up for your brother and then blow your budget because you feel compelled to spend $50 on your other siblings too.

Tip: When setting your budget, don’t forget to consider the cost of shipping packages to family and friends who live out of state.

3. Gift Exchange

Celebrating the holidays with close friends has increasingly become a tradition for many Americans. But buying 15 gifts for each of your friends is costly. Reduce the chaos by agreeing to a gift exchange or Secret Santa!

Draw names out of a hat so you only buy a gift for one of your friends. Come up with a gift limit amongst your friend group to ensure you’re not spending more than you can afford.

Tip: Save money on gift wrap by purchasing wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons at your local dollar store. 

4. The Gift of Time

If you feel strongly about giving gifts to each of your family and friends, but are strapped for cash, consider giving the gift of time! It’s the gift that keeps on giving and can be done on a one-on-one basis such as taking someone out for coffee or buying them a membership to their local zoo.


You can also try to save money by buying gifts for an entire family by gifting tickets to an Escape Room or the local theater.

For more experience gifts ideas, check out this blog from Wellness Mama.

5. DIY Gifts

If you’re creative or have access to Pinterest, you can find budget-friendly DIY versions of gifts you’d like to give your friends, family, and colleagues! Whether it be homemade cookies, soaps, candles, jewelry, household goods, blankets, or pillows, you can make gifts for everyone on your list if you have the patience and time.

What are your favorite ways to save money on gifts during the Holidays? Share your best budget tips with us in the comments below!

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