There was a post recently on MSN money that suggest you can save 8 dollars a day in order to come up with the 600 the average Canadian spends on gifts. Here are some of the things they suggested you can do:
- Raise your car insurance deductible
- Avoid driving to work and try biking, walking or taking transit
- Stop buying music and add it your own Christmas wish list
- Brew your own coffee
- Make a fancy dinner at home instead of going out
- Brown bag your own lunch
- Cut out your gym membership
- Rent a movie instead of going to one (even better – get it from the library!)
- Set up an automated savings account and transfers
- Sell stuff!
- Put your change in a jar every night. You can take it to a Bank of Montreal (BMO) coin counter – it’s free and available to everyone. I didn’t know about this- and I have a big jar of change that needs counting!
- Clip coupons. I do try to use coupons, but we just don’t get the savings here that you can in the U.S. I have one waiting on the fridge though for the next time the kitty needs food!
- Try to live without using the A/C or the heat. It won’t be long til the Canadian winter kicks in..
- Do your laundry in non-peak hours to save on energy use. This is a good idea – but it’s a pain some times. My Mom still hangs things out on the line, and as it gets dark earlier, she’s not huge on putting stuff out late – but she has to do the wash late due to time of use rules.
On the whole, I think this is a pretty good list! Mind you, these tips can be used any time to help you save money – not just for Christmas gifts. If you want to cut back on how much you spend on Christmas in general, you can:
- Make gifts yourself. Think it through though and price it out – the materials and your time may be more costly than buying it yourself. Or you can offer a service such a babysitting or cooking!
- Cut down on who you shop for. We buy gifts for my nieces and nephew and my parents (we have a small family, so if we didn’t buy them something, they really wouldn’t get any gifts at all!). We do a charitable donation in my brother and sister in law’s name, and that it’s. My in laws have a large family and plenty of people to shop for, so we just decided it’d be easier for everyone if we didn’t exchange gifts.
What do you do to save for Christmas or cut down on your Christmas costs?