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Savvy Ways to Spend Less at Christmas & Give Real Presents

Inside: Spend less this holiday season with these savvy ways to spend less at Christmas. Learn how to give real presents and stay under your holiday budget.

The word Christmas and gift giving go hand in hand.

The reoccurring question for many shoppers is, “Is there a way to spend less at Christmas?”

For some families, Christmas means the inundation of presents. For others, it is simply a time to get together and spend quality time together. For others, it is the longing to give presents, but a lack of money to spend.

Regardless of where you fall along the spectrum, buying presents tends to be a part of Christmas.  

The average American plans to spend $867 on Christmas gifts each year.1 Which can be mind-boggling for many people. And that is just the average number.

If that isn’t you for whatever reason, then you are wondering how to spend less at Christmas.

However, you can be savvy and spend WAY less.

Spend less this holiday season with these savvy ways to spend less at Christmas. Learn how to give real presents and stay under your holiday budget.

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Savvy Ways to Spend Less at Christmas (And Still Buy Real Presents):

These are simple ways you can stretch your Christmas dollars further.

This is what I have needed to do for many years! These tips are real – from a mom who manages the magical fun and my budget.

You can still have a fantastic holiday season!!

1. Buy Less

Yes, this one seems pretty obvious.

Be armed with knowledge on staying within budget this holiday season. While this is the hardest for me personally. But, when I do, I save thousands over the year.

However, with all the deals and marketing, it is hard to resist one more present. Just that one more present…

Justification moves in fast on spending the money.

Tips to Buy Less:

  1. Decide how many presents you want to give each person.
  2. Set a budget that is doable for your current money situation.
  3. Remember what you decided and commit to buying less this year.
  4. Download your copy of the Christmas Budget Tracker and Gift Planner to keep you on track.

2. Shop Local

You can pick up unique items for those special people on your list. There are many ways to save money when shopping locally.

Plus it is a great opportunity to help local small business owners.

Look for coupons in mailers, check their online website, or even find a small business that has bundled a gift together.

If you are looking for a personalized gift, shop Etsy. This is another small business owner – just with an online presence. Also, many items are less than the mass-produced version plus they are personalized.

3. Use Deal Sites

Picture of an ornament.

This is simply the easiest way to save money – not just on gifts, but entertainment and eating out.

All gifts are at least 50% of the retail price.

With Groupon, you can easily gift an experience through email. You save money. They get to try a new restaurant or activity. It is a win-win!

The first thought may be… Oh, I don’t want them to know I didn’t pay full price for their gift. Throw that thought out the window. They will view you as a savvy shopper. Plus you probably can spend more than you planned.

Here is an example: You were planning to spend $25 on Aunt Susie. You have two options.

  1. The first option, you buy a gift that is worth $25.
  2. The second option, you buy one or two deals spending $25 that are worth $50.

Pretty savvy, right?!?! My favorite deal site to find presents is Groupon.

Another great option is to check into an Entertainment Book. They are full of coupons for all sorts of restaurants, retailers, and activities. Plus the price can’t be beaten!

4. Give the Gift of Time

Personally, this is one of my favorite gifts!!

Spend quality time with my family and friends. (Hint: no phones allowed.)

You can make it completely free or you can spend money on an activity together using a deal found in #3 above. Also, you create long-lasting memories together.

Some ideas…You can spend the day at the new park and pack a lunch, the evening painting a project together, or spend the day volunteering at a shelter. Be creative!

Find gift experience ideas!

5. Amazon’s Deals & Own Brands

Shopping at Amazon can be tricky. However, if you are armed with savvy knowledge, then you can actually save money on Amazon.

There are many ways money saving tricks on Amazon.

Many people have heard of Lightning Deals with Amazon, but have you heard of Amazon Outlet? Did you even know that existed?!?!? What about all of Amazon’s own brands? This is online shopping and saving money combined into one.

***Lightning Deals 

With Lightning Deals, you have the chance to purchase an item at a discounted price for a limited amount of time. Thus the “lightning” concept, you have to move quickly.

Check the latest lightning deals here.

**Early Black Friday Deals

So much hype is put into Black Friday! But, retailers have gotten smart. Typically, the best deals are not found the day after Thanksgiving anymore. This isn’t 100% the case.

But, more deals are happening earlier as well as for the last minute shoppers. Check out Amazon’s Black Friday Deals here.

**Amazon Prime Day Deals

Move over Black Friday. Amazon Prime Day is all of the rage. To be honest, it is a great way to start your Christmas shopping in July.

Read more about how to capitalize on smart shopping on Amazon Prime Day deals.

Amazon Outlet

At the Amazon Outlet, you will find low prices on markdowns, clearance items, overstocks, and more!! The savings vary per department, but you can score some great deals. For the most current items in the Amazon Outlet, go here.

Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial 

picture of gifts to show how to spend less at Christmas


For Clothing

This is probably the biggest secret of Amazon – their own clothing line called Amazon Essentials! At first, I was hesitant because the prices are 50-75% less than other retailers. However, my hubby found this and we couldn’t pass up the savings. (Just FYI…The quality is great and has held up for a fraction of the price.)

Check out everything in the Amazon Essentials Clothing line.

For Electronics

I first learned about the Amazon Basic items when I purchased a Phone Charger (and it works so much better than any other knockoff brand). You can find batteries, cable cords, camera accessories, laminators, safes, office chairs, and so much more. While most of these items aren’t gift giving, knowledge is power here on saving money on the household basics.

Learn more about Amazon Basics.

As you can tell, I prefer online shopping to shopping in the stores. I can get exactly what I want and never leave my house. I love the convenience of shopping online and having it delivered to my doorstep.

Okay, honestly, I cannot stand the traffic around the mall. No one knows how to get in and out of the parking lot. #worstdesignever

5. Give Fewer Gifts

If you’re struggling to find a gift for everyone, don’t worry. Or even consider a no gift Christmas!

You can still save money by giving fewer gifts and focusing on quality over quantity.

Turn your Christmas list into a wishlist of things you love from different categories so that when it comes time to buy presents, there’s less pressure and more excitement about what you get!

Kids will also be just as excited about getting a few great presents as they would if they got many mediocre ones!

6. Shop Early

Picture of a lady holding a Christmas present.

Shopping early is a great way to ensure that you have enough time for sales. It will also allow more time for summer closeout deals to pop up, which can make really great gifts depending on what you’re looking for.

Procrastinating less and shopping earlier will save money in the long run!

Plus, the pandemic is going to affect the shipping process and the supply chain.

7. Get Thrifty with Stocking Stuffers

It’s that time of year again when you’re frantically trying to get the perfect gift for everyone on your list. But fret not, I’ve got a few tips to help you save money on those stocking stuffers!

Fill stocking stuffers with affordable and unique items. Sometimes it can be hard to fill up stockings without spending all your budget on things you’ll jam into an oversized sock.

So look for items like:

  • Gift cards
  • Small Toys
  • Miniature versions of your favorite drinks, beauty products, and foods

Buy those things you’re going to buy anyway on sale and don’t feel pressured to fill the stockings with expensive gifts. Buying items like candy or socks on sale will save money and make it easier for you to find gifts that are meaningful.

Here are a bunch of gifts for kids under $10.

8. Use Old Gift Cards

If you’re struggling to find presents for your loved ones, consider using old gift cards. This is a great way to find money that does not come out of your checking account.

Another option is to buy gift cards at retailers like Costco or Sam’s Club, where they’ll get a 10% discount or more on their card value. Same with buying discounted gift cards on CardCash.

9. Go in on a group gift.

One of the best ways to save on Christmas gifts is to go in on a group gift.

Sharing a big, expensive present with friends and family can be an excellent way of giving well without having to worry about how much money you have left over for other’s gifts.

This is something you should plan in advance.

10. Look for Discount Codes

A discount code is a special type of promotion, coupon, or voucher that provides an incentive for customers to make purchases. Discount codes are typically offered by retailers or manufacturers in order to increase sales and profits.

This is a great way to save money on Christmas gifts.

11. Save on Wrapping

There are so many ways to save money on Christmas this year.

Here are some possibilities to save on wrapping paper:

  • Use the dollar store for wrapping paper.
  • You can also ship gifts that you give away if they live out of town, saving yourself a trip to the post office and getting your gift delivered in time.
  • Buy after the season is over for next year. You can plan on saving 75-90%.
  • Reuse Christmas gift bags over and over until they rip.

12. Make More Money

Want to make more money?

Make extra cash and cover the extra costs of Christmas by doing things like selling your old clothes, making homemade gifts, or using alternative gift ideas.

Also, this is a great time to learn how to make money online for beginners. Then, you have extra money all year long.

13. Keep the Goal in Mind

There are plenty of money saving tips above. However, overspending can blow away any goal to spend less.

Take time before the holiday season gets crazy busy. Outline how you plan to spend your money and your time.

Figure out your Christmas Budget now. Don’t delay.

Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Many times the simpler, more relaxing Christmases are the reason for the season. Enjoy your family and have less stress.

Plus make this a debt free Christmas when you spend less on Christmas gifts.

Download the Christmas Budget Tracker and Gift Planner now.

14. Buy Gifts they Need

Think about what you are planning to buy for your family in the upcoming year. It could be sports gear, trip-related items, clothing, art supplies, the list could go on and on…

For instance, we needed to get camping gear for our kids specifically air mattresses and kid sized Camelbaks. Since I was already planning to spend the money, we decided to give it to them early as a Christmas present. And they loved it plus they still talk about that Christmas.

Simple way to spend less on Christmas gifts.

This simple money saving tip is helping to save money across multiple areas of your budget. What can you buy today as a gift that will need to buy in the future anyway?

Plenty of great tips and ideas to spend less on Christmas and give real presents. That is how to spend less at Christmas as a savvy shopper.

The joy of Christmas is in the giving of presents. Not spending more than you planned and regret it.

In conclusion, there are ways to give amazing presents without breaking the bank. Let the holiday spending stay during the holiday and not carry over into January.

Comment below on which savvy way you plan to implement at Christmas and what savvy presents you are giving this year.


  1. Statistica. “Roughly how much money do you think you personally will spend on Christmas gifts this year?” https://www.statista.com/statistics/246963/christmas-spending-in-the-us-during-november/. Accessed October 25, 2023.

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