Could you use a Money-Saving Tip for Holiday Gift shopping? I’m sure we all could, especially when you consider the average family will create enough credit card debt at Christmas that it will take until the following May to pay it off!

by Ellie Kay, in Simplify Your Holiday Season Planner by Marcia Ramsland

1. Strategize.

Decide which gifts you want and match them with sale ads. Check off the items on your Master Gift List and note any special limitations (i.e. price only effective for three hours, limit two per person). Prioritize the stores where you’ll shop according to limitations and values.

2. Shop for Comparisons.

Once you locate the make and model of a gift you want to purchase, do a search on,, or When you find the best price, print it out and take it to your local store to see if the manager will match the price.

3. Save when Shopping Online. 

For online coupons, codes for discounts and free shipping, go to, or

4. Split it.

Follow the divide-and-conquer rule by shopping with a friend or your spouse. If there are multiple purchase discounts, such as “buy two and get the second one at half-price” or a two-for-one special, you can go together and split the savings, thus taking advantage of the offer.

5. Save By Baking.

My kids help me early in the season make various sweetbreads to freeze. When it comes time to give gifts to teachers or friends, we tie the bread with raffia, cranberries and voila! These gifts taste great and save money.

6. Specify. 

During the year, set aside a specific “cash” budget each month to use for Christmas. Don’t use credit cards unless you know you can pay them at the month’s end.

7. Stick To Your Guns.

Be aware that you may be tempted to keep buying even when you’ve already conquered your list. You can go broke saving money, so stick to your budget.

8. Simplify.

When my hubby and I had five babies in the first seven years of marriage, we came up with the “three-gift rule.” We modeled our gift-giving after the three gifts brought to the Christ child. We chose three simple, yet nice presents per child. It still works!

9. Supervise.

Take younger children to the local Dollar Store for their Christmas shopping for friends and family. Give them an appropriate budget and money, and then let them choose.

10. Steal it.

Set aside money for after-Christmas sales. You can oftentimes get non-perishable gifts from 50 to 70% off retail and save them for next year. That’s practically a steal!

By Ellie Kay, America’s Family Financial Expert™

(These “10 Money Saving Tips for  Holiday Gifts” are by Financial Expert, Ellie Kay, from Simplify Your Holiday Season by Marcia Ramsland. Read more of the other 14 Experts “10 Holiday Tips” on decorating, festive food ideas, holiday tablescape decorating, hosting a successful party, and suggestions for Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations in Simplify Your Holiday Season.

Today’s Tip:

“Gift giving can either simplify or complicate your life. Keep it simple as you shop and make your plans. Take notes and you will get better each year. The sooner you get started the less stress you will encounter and the more likely you are to get a gift that is sure to make the receiver smile.” Simplify Your Holiday Season by Marcia Ramsland

You CAN simplify your holiday season! Organize your gift list on our Master Gift List today!

Holidays Book Set

P.S. Do you have your copy of Simplify Your Holiday Season and Simply December Devotions?  Get your set of books today for a super smooth holiday season!