This Gift Shopping Deals Money Saving Tips Page contains a growing number of money saving ideas for Buying and Giving Gifts.
We’ve gathered gift shopping tips from frugal friends who are pros at finding the best deal around. They shop all year long at shopping garage sales & thrift stores, and at retail stores after Christmas – learn from them and save a boodle!
Black Friday Shopping is Not for Me!
I have not participated in Black Friday Gift Shopping in the past nor will I ever. Here’s a better tip in my opinion. I shop at thrifts and consignment stores. Our spoiled society gives away the most amazing good quality items. I pick up all kinds of super gifts for pennies and my friends and family are always pleased. Most are out shopping like lunatics at the chain stores, so the thrifts are not at all crowded. This is my way of saving money, hassle and not contributing to the big retail corporations. Patricia Levitan – California
Thrift Store Haul – Gift for Kids
In this video, Steve & Annette share a thrift store shopping haul. They purchased 31 presents for their grandkids for $27. All of the things they bought were either brand new or almost new. You’ve got to see it to believe it.
Get Free Stickers
If your kids are into putting stickers on their skateboards, snowboards, computers, tablets, water bottles or bedroom doors, you can get tons of free stickers, just by asking.
We have a growing list of companies that will send you Free Stickers. Some sites have sticker request forms, others have contact forms where you can submit your request. Some companies ask you to send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to receive your free sticker.
No matter how you choose to contact the companies, in just a few weeks you could have hundreds of sticker to use as gifts.
After Christmas Gift Bargains
I shop the after Christmas sales to stock up on gifts to give throughout the year. Many toys, sweaters, slippers, and jewelry go on sale at reduced prices of 75% to 90% off. Four years ago I bought five $15 cosmetics cases for $3 each and I just gave away my last three this Christmas! What a great deal!!!! Cindy Saldana – Santa Clarita
Gift Shopping Deals “Near The Mall”
Growing up, my mother would buy my brother and my clothes and accessories. When we asked her what store they came from or where she bought them, she would say, “Near the mall.” As we got older, we realized this was her code for a garage sale or a thrift store. But by then, we didn’t care what store things came from, we played along with her secret. She was smart to hide it from us when we were younger. I think we would have been too embarrassed to wear the things if we had known.
Fast-forward 15 years. Last year at Christmas, my mom gave my brother two Brooks Brothers shirts from the outlet store. He asked if these were from “Near the mall”. My mom didn’t get the joke, but I laughed for more than one reason. It turns out several presents I was giving that year were from “Near the mall”. I guess it goes to show that we are our parents’ children. Jennifer Stancil – Kennesaw, GA
Black Friday Web Sites
The Friday after Thanksgiving will be the busiest gift shopping day of the year. Deals abound, so it helps to have a strategy for your shopping. Start making your list now! Several websites post sneak peeks of advertising circulars starting in October.
Check them out here:
These sites get their information from secret sources, so each will have different information. Happy saving! Lorraine Perkins – Mesa, AZ
Gift Shopping Deals . . . from Brads deals
Here’s how I save money and time during the holidays. Why wait til Thanksgiving to see the ads—checkout the Black Friday lists online. I really like BradsDeals.com. When you sign up they send the stores list as soon as available and you can also save your own customized list sorted by store and items which you can print at any time. They make it so much less confusing! I also go to JC Penneys for their free Mickey Mouse snow globes (it’s an annual tradition I’ve done for years with my son and now with my grandkids). I love free but get confused easily in my mature age, so BradsDeals really helps me stay on track. Dreama Chereza – Fort Myers, FL
RELATED ARTICLE: Best Retirement Gifts Ideas
Ebay for Gift Shopping and The Holidays
There is no place like eBay for the holidays (shopping that is). Especially if you’re buying smaller items – books, cd’s and DVD’s all of which can be shipped pretty inexpensively. We’ve been doing some late night gift shopping — after the kids are in bed — and have been picking up some bargains. eBay, for most items, is a buyers market — overstocked with items, many of which go unsold. Three tips to protect yourself.
- Rating: Always check out the sellers rating – too many negatives in a 6 month period and we pass on them no matter how low the price.
- Shipping: Confirm the shipping cost. Don’t buy unless you know exactly what the charge will be.
- Bidding: If you can time it right, bid in the last minute. If not, bid when you can and take your chances. Know your maximum bid price (include shipping in your calculation) before you start, so you don’t get sucked into a bidding war. Watch for auctions that close late at night in the middle of the week. Fewer people will stay awake to bid on these. Especially watch for items closing on holidays, when most people are celebrating – less competition means greater savings.
If you’re a website subscriber, check out this article for more in-depth strategies: eBay in your PJ’s.Steve & Annette – Scottsdale, AZ
Dillard’s Department Store Clearance Sales
We shop at Dillard’s Department store frequently. They have some awesome end of the season sales— such as clothes for 99 cents, domestics 75 to 90 percent off and expensive decorator items for 99 cents. We regularly find expensive items for next-to-nothing. These deals make Christmas gift shopping a lot cheaper. Many of the high-end stores have great sales like these. Get to know the salespeople and they will let you know when you can expect the really big discounts and sales. Olivia – USA
The December 26 List for Gifts
To help save money, I shop year-round for Christmas gifts but there are certain stores that I do not miss the day after Christmas for their sales. On Christmas, I make a list of who I need to shop for the following year for all gifts . . . birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, special occasions, etc. When I get up early on the 26th, I go to Hallmark and Kohl’s (department store) with my list in hand. I have been known to buy Yankee Candle Items at 50-75% off which come to between $5-8.00 and make lovely teacher or Sunday school teacher gifts the following Christmas. I also stock up on cards, wrapping paper, and my sister-in-law’s holiday china pattern for the next year as well. These are all items that will keep in the basement.
Connie F. – Marlton, NJ
Discontinued Gifts – Great Shopping Deals
Many times throughout the year I get invited to home parties of all kinds (like Tupperware, Lu Lar Roe, Origami Owl, Pampered Chef). I take advantage of the “Discontinued” merchandise that they have on sale. Sometimes the demonstrator has over-purchased or is over-stocked on products from the distribution department. I can get up to 50-80% off gift items that I store away for Christmas or that occasional gift that I was unprepared for. These gifts usually come in handy for a “hard-to-buy-for” person on my list. Elaine Cota – Mesa, AZ
Yard Sale Deals Can Be Purchased to Re-Gift
Yard sales can be a virtual treasure trove of good usable stuff. Over the years we’ve managed to save a bundle at them not only for our use but for Christmas and birthday gifts as well.
You’d be surprised at how many things you find still new in packages.
I always bring a list of things I need with me, and I always look for items that look nice and would make good basic gifts for birthdays and other occasions. I’ve been able to spend an
average of $30 per year on Christmas gifts for all of my three young children, and each year they have an amazing spread.
Also, if there’s something on your list that isn’t displayed, go ahead and ask. My husband and I were hunting for guitars once and got a great deal on one that the sellers simply hadn’t thought of putting out. Someone else at the sale overheard us and we got a second guitar from them at an even better price. I’ve gotten a lot of things that I’ve needed and saved a lot of time simply by bringing a list and asking. Verena Poole – Englewood, CO
Christmas Shopping All Year Long
I keep a gift list all year long and buy gifts throughout the year, so when Christmas comes around I don’t have much holiday gift shopping to do. Also, I can buy things when they are on sale. I don’t buy clothes though since those might need to be returned and by the time the holiday comes they may not be in stock anymore. Another thing that our family does is we draw names by family (there are five of us siblings and now our kids). We buy a gift for the family instead of a gift for each person, which can be a major expense with such a large extended family. Lisa L. – Mesa, AZ
Shopping Deals on Memorial Day Weekend
We felt a little bit behind gift shopping for Christmas even though it was only the end of May. So we were delighted to see so many stores having sales on Memorial Day weekend. We got so much Christmas shopping done it felt like Black Friday Shopping. Here’s some of our favorite store deals. Kohl’s $10 off $25 purchase with $5 in kohl’s cash back and a $10 coupon plus a 20% off coupon to use this next week. We purchased some toys, some Christmas items on steep clearance, and 1 St. Patrick’s kitchen item for our son and his wife.
JoAnn’s had 60% off one full priced item. A couple of our favorite consignment stores: A Second Look – 90% off all items over 100 days old; Turnstyles – 25% off one full priced item. We had credit at both of these consignment stores that we could use. Shopping Deals this weekend were a wonderful way to catch up and put away presents for Christmas.
Of course I did remember with sadness and gratefulness, my 2 uncles who served and gave their lives during WWII as that is the true meaning of Memorial Day. Annette Economides – Scottsdale, AZ
Christmas On CraigsList
I am a stay-at-home mother of four (my oldest is 8). So I stay pretty busy and don’t often have time to go store to store to shop for anything! I am very frugal — always trying to find the best deals. Recently, I discovered CraigsList.org and have been thrilled with what I have found! Most of my Christmas purchases were made from items I found listed there. Here are two examples. I wanted to get my daughter some Duplo Legos. We have some, but the kids were always running out, so I wanted to add to the collection. In the stores, they run about $15 for 33 pieces! That is outrageous!
I searched on CraigsList and ended up getting two HUGE garbage bags FULL of Duplos for just $25! The nice lady also threw in a pillowcase full of Lincoln Logs as well. What a steal! My son wanted Heelys for Christmas— which cost anywhere from $40 to $80. I wasn’t willing to spend this much. I found them on CraigsList brand new for $15! We have also purchased a barely used, large table and chairs for a fraction of the store price, an electric pasta machine, a robot, etc.
So many people make frivolous purchases and end up not using (or barely using) the items they’ve bought. They end up selling them for much less! Now, when I need something, I search CraigsList to see if anything similar is available. Because I wait and search, it eliminates impulsive purchases. We have also introduced our 8-year-old son to Craigslist! He loves looking at it to see how much money he can save by buying things used! It has been a great teaching tool as well! Terri Pratt – Peoria, AZ
Shopping for Everyday Purchases
“Be your own advocate” is a familiar mantra at our house. Ask, what’s the worst that could happen? I’ve found this to be very helpful in many circumstances when I am dissatisfied or frustrated with inconsistent policies, at retail stores as well as with major corporations. Here are three examples from last month!
- While hunting for a bed for our girls’ room to increase space, we found a bed that met our specifications at The Room Store. Unfortunately, it was going to be $300 more than a comparable, but not optimal design that we found at two other stores. We were willing to pay more for the better design and quality of their bed, but not $300. We asked if he’d be willing to split the difference. He hesitated but said he’d rather keep our business, so he agreed! Win-win savings of $150!
- I recently made some gift purchases at Bed, Bath and Beyond using the familiar coupon, $5 off any sale over $15. The next day, I received a 20% off any one item, coupon from the same store. I was frustrated because one of my purchases was a $50 trunk. I decided to boldly go back to the store and ask if they would make an adjustment. The customer service rep said, “No Problem!” Yea!, an additional savings of $10!
Drug Store Price Corrections
- While shopping at Walgreen’s for an advertised special on a deodorant brand we like, I noticed a sign next to the ad sign that said, “Value Corner- $1.16, Buy one, Get one.” The name of the deodorant was on this sign as well and under the product I wanted. It was 50% less than the advertised price. I inquired about the confusion. The manager said the lower price sign was a mistake and removed it. I asked if they would honor the lower price. They agreed, and also honored my $1 coupon on the first deodorant. I got 2 deodorants for 25 cents!! A savings of $7.50! Most stores actually love when patrons bring an error to their attention because it saves them $ in the long run.
The moral of the story is: “Be your own advocate. Go ahead and ASK!” The worst that could happen is that they say NO! The best is that you save a lot of money just for asking! Nancy Good – Scottsdale, AZ
If you have a tip for saving money on holiday shopping please leave it in the comments below and we’ll review it for posting on this page.