Super saver and blogger Nora Kapche offers five simple tips for holiday budgeting that can really help stretch your dollar.
1. Put it in writing
Take the time to sit down and write out a plan, including how much to spend and what gifts to give. If you do not have a budget you can't stick to it.
2. Get Creative
Bundle gifts. Buy for couples or families instead of individuals. This will save you money and reduce the number of gifts to buy. You can also make homemade gifts. Baked goods are always a hit and can get the whole family involved -- even the kids. Another option is to give your time. Offer free babysitting to new parents to have a night out. It really is the thought that counts.
3. Be a Smart Shopper
Buy items on sale and combine with a coupon and/or free shipping for additional savings. Don't miss out on discounts, just research deals online to find coupons. Buy only items that are on your list. Don't be an impulsive buyer. Stores and websites are designed to get you to spend more than you planned.
4. Pay cash for gifts:
Fact: We all spend more money when we use a credit card to pay for our items than when we pay in cash. Once all your cash is gone, you are finished shopping.
5. Save on wrapping paper
Wrapping can get expensive in the stores. When you think about it, you can spend as much on the wrapping as on the gift. Take out the wrapping expenses and you can spend more money on each gift. Just recycle by using things you already have. Recycle gift bags -- no matter what the occasion -- or wrap gifts with newspaper or magazine pages.