Christmas can be an expensive event, especially if you aren't keeping track of your finances. Last year was chaotic for us, so I vowed to be more prepared this year. We started our shopping in July, and have purchased two gifts per month since. I used some different shopping tactics this time around and was able to save $67 on gifts. This is how I did it, and where I was able to save.
I am a fan of shopping out of catalogs. It is easy, and I don't have to leave my house. I have two credit lines through places like this, and I have used them both. I was able to get an art desk for my husband's goddaughter for $20. This desk retails at big box stores for $40, and the catalog had it for $19.95. Shipping for the single item was only $6, which brought my total to $26. I was able to save $14 on this one item because I ordered it from the catalog instead of buying it from the store.
Buy one, get one free deals
I love deals and coupon codes. A lot of stores offer "BOGO" sales during the holidays, and I take full advantage. This year I found a cute blanket and stuffed animal set for $11. The store was running a "BOGO" sale and I got two sets for my boys for the price of one. This means I saved $11 without any hassle. On another outing I was visiting the local mall where they house multiple clothing stores. I was able to get two pairs of brand name jeans for my daughter for the price of one. The jeans retail for $30, but were on sale for $20. I got two for the $20 and saved $40 in an instant.
I always look through sales ads that come in the mail. When I find something I like, I always check online for the price and the shipping fee. I found a shirt I was looking to get for my husband for half the price I saw in a particular store, and free shipping. The store wanted $28, and I got the shirt online, paid for and shipped for only $15. That is a savings of $13.
I was easily able to save $67 on my Christmas items because I did a few extra things. I always watch for "BOGO" sales, especially at stores we frequently shop. We had a set budget for Christmas this year, and it looks like I will be under it for the first time in three years!
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.More from this contributor First Person: 3 Simple Things Help Us Save $128 on Groceries Each Month