We all end up spending more than we intended during the holidays. Everyone wants to give people something that will make them happy, and truly surprise them. For that matter, there is a certain degree to which we all like to impress people with the gifts we give. This is why it can be all too easy to break your budget when you’re holiday shopping. Nonetheless — say this is the year when you really need to prioritize your budget, and focus on how to save money while the same time giving great gifts. Don’t feel embarrassed about having to spend less, and don’t feel as if you’re alone on that level. There are plenty of reasons why Americans are tightening their belts this year. For one thing, we have many more bills to worry about than we once did — people are simply more in debt than they used to be. This is in part thanks to the rising costs associated with a university education — 2013 saw Americans owing $997.7 billion in student loans, and that number has likely risen since then. Never mind all of the other debts that people tend to owe; credit card debt, mortgages, and medical bills are all things that have us all looking up how to save money.
Luckily, you don’t have to compromise on quality in order to stay on budget during your holiday shopping spree. There are more affordable gifts available now than ever before. The market is catering to shoppers’ needs to save. For that matter, if you’re a savvy shopper you can take advantage of a number of different holiday sales. These will kick off with Black Friday, but they’ll extend long after that initial day. A lot of people find that the closer they get to Christmas, the lower the prices will drop. But that doesn’t mean you should put all of your holiday shopping off to the last minute. You should take on a strategy — know the budget you have to stick to, and divide and conquer. Below, we’re going to look into the best gifts for virtually every kind of person in your life. This way, you won’t find yourself in a frenzy right before Christmas. Let’s dive into how to save money while buying the perfect Christmas gifts!
Gifts For Him
Whether you’re buying your father or your significant other, you may find yourself a bit stumped when buying a Christmas gift for a man. This is in part because men tend to be less than vocal shoppers themselves. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course; but in general, it can be a bit difficult to shop for men. You’ll want to be careful when digging for ideas. You don’t want to spoil your Christmas gift ideas before it comes time to reveal them! A lot of men like the idea of gifts that are actually useful. Though we don’t want to stereotype anyone, men tend to enjoy getting down to business and putting detail and effort into maintaining their most treasured possessions. Therefore, if you’re looking into how to save money while buying a gift that a man will appreciate, you might want to stick to something more practical.
Like anyone else, every man has a different hobby or special interest. But a lot of men do fit one particular stereotype — which is that men love cars. While you probably won’t include buying an actual car in your “how to save money” techniques, you can certainly buy practical gifts that will help the men in your life maintain their cars. A lot of men enjoy detailing their cars and making them look their best. Try buying a car vacuum, which can get into all of the nooks and crannies of a vehicle and ensure that it’s as clean as possible. You should also look into seat covers, as well as mats that will help protect the car’s interior from wear and tear. If the man you’re shopping for is into handling his own repairs, you should also consider adding to his tool box. A lot of people believe that everything to do with cars is expensive, but you can definitely save money while buying a gift that a car enthusiast would love.
Of course, if the man you’re buying for doesn’t love cars — there is probably something in his life that he’s enthusiastic about! Computers, for example, are equally popular. If someone isn’t a gearhead, he may very well be a tech geek (though he — or she! — could certainly be both at once). Why not consider computer accessories as possible gifts? Like cars, tech tends to be associated with more expensive presents. But you could easily shop for computer accessories while considering how to save money at the same time. Consider buying speakers for the recipient’s computer, to amplify their experience while watching movies or playing games. They might also appreciate a new mouse, or perhaps a laptop case that’s both protective and stylish. A lot of the types of accessories that may work for computers can also apply to tablets and phones as well. Consider buying cases for these types of tech; the more portable the technology, the more easily it can be damaged. Screen protectors are also practical and important gifts. Tablets can benefit from attachable keyboards, and you may also want to look into adding a stylus to the gift in order to make it as easy to use as possible.
Of course, don’t forget that men care about their appearances and presentations just as much as women do. In this day and age, lots of men take particular care of their beards. This is why many stores sell beard care kits, that come with everything from clippers scissors to beard wax and conditioner. Beard oils have become particularly popular for men, as they can encourage the healthy growth of a man’s beard. Furthermore, they’re more specialized than every before — some even include CBD oil! The point is that if you’re prioritizing your methods of how to save money while finding a great present for a man — you certainly don’t have to compromise your creativity.
Gifts For Her
People tend to worry a bit more when shopping for women, versus men. Let’s be honest — women tend to shop more than men. This means that women are a bit more attuned not only on how to save money while shopping but how to find great gifts. It may seem like the women in your life have seen it all. But you can certainly find great Christmas presents for them, while at the same time avoiding overspending. Don’t be afraid to ask; because women are often a bit harder to shop for, you’re probably better off asking around ahead of time. The last thing you want is to buy a gift that ends up being returned down the road!
Of course, a classic gift for a woman is a piece of jewelry. But buying jewelry doesn’t seem to coincide with prioritizing how to save money while shopping. However, there is affordable, high quality jewelry available. You may not want to go to a traditional jewelry store in that case. Perhaps consider shopping at an antique store, where you’ll probably be able to find beautiful, vintage jewelry that is high quality. Now, this type of gift won’t work for anyone. But buying vintage jewelry means that you’ll be able to ensure that the person you’re buying for has something that no one else can lay claim to. For that matter, jewelry is a gift that someone can love forever — it’s much more permanent than flowers, which is why so many women love jewelry in the first place.
Of course, if you’re buying a gift for a mother in particular, you may want to consider buying a gift that is experiential. A lot of women don’t get to have the time to themselves that they need and value. Rather than buying a typical gift, you may want to give her a gift certificate to a salon or spa. That way, she can enjoy herself and have a relaxing day away from the rest of it all. Furthermore, by giving a woman a gift card or certificate in general, you can ensure that she’s able to get exactly what she wants with no room for error.
Every woman is different. Don’t assume that every woman is going to want an inherently feminine gift. A lot of women like specific sports teams, or television shows — the internet has made it easier than ever for us to latch on to certain obsessions! Do your research before giving her a gift. You’ll be glad that you did.
Gifts For Children
Buying gifts for kids may seem to be an easier task than buying gifts for adults. But if you’re looking into how to save money, you should remember that kids have expensive tastes in this day and age! A lot of kids spend so much time on their phones and tablets that you may be tempted to buy them tech-related gifts. However, many parents are now looking for alternate things to do with children. Things that will stimulate their minds and get them out of the house. You should try to follow suit when choosing gifts for them!
Consider old school games for elementary school age kids. Rather than having them sit in front of the computer, think about buying them board games that they can play with their friends and family, actually interacting with others. Not only are these fun to play — they can also help kids build their social skills. For that matter, those kids can also take their eyes off a screen for a while, and build on their creativity.
On that same level, you should also keep a child’s artistic creativity in mind. Think about buying art supplies for kids. Not only is this something that many children enjoy — you don’t have to be the next Picasso to have fun with paint and markers — but it could allow them to eventually create gifts for their loved ones in the future. You yourself can get involved, by helping them create projects of their own. Over time, you could be the person who helps a child build an art wall that they will treasure forever. Those kinds of memories are gifts that children will treasure well into adulthood.
Gifts For Coworkers
Ah, yes. The dreaded Secret Santa gift. Or perhaps you’re just trying to make sure that your coworkers feel valued, and you’re looking to give them gifts that they’ll enjoy. Of course, you’ll want to consider how to save money while giving these gifts. Let’s be honest — most of us don’t want to overspend when buying for our coworkers, but we also want to make it clear that we care. Never mind that most Secret Santa trades involve a certain price limit.
There are always the classic gift baskets that you can give people, as well as gift cards or certificates. These may seem a bit impersonal. Of course, only you can really know exactly what a coworker will want. But consider buying something that will decorate their office space. Perhaps a cool picture frame for photos for their family, or a quirky paperweight. You may also want to offer a book if you work with someone who likes reading for pleasure; giving them a book that you enjoyed might help create a certain bond with them. Don’t be afraid to show off your personality when giving a gift to a coworker!
Most people take a lot of pride in being great gift givers. Looking into how to save money around the holiday season might be discouraging in this regard. However, don’t forget that you can still give great gifts while saving money. You’ll just need to put a bit more thought into the gifts you choose and get creative when looking for where to shop.
Caroline is a freelance content creator and creative writer. VCUArts alum with a focus on the arts, travel, and culture.