HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - With Christmas just a couple of weeks away, how are you doing on your holiday shopping?
If you find yourself trying to feel cheerful, while your wallet says 'Bah Humbug!', we have a few suggestions to help you save money while still remembering those you love and appreciate.
It's the joy of inexpensive gift giving! Remember, it's the thought that counts!
Here's the trick to keeping your spending in check: make a list, check it twice, cross out names and you'll still feel nice.
First--come up with a budget, an amount you can spend without going into debt.
Next--make a list of everyone you want to buy for: family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, maybe a teacher, a babysitter.
Now--go back and see who you can eliminate. That doesn't mean you need to leave those people out, but maybe agree with them not to exchange gifts. Or come up with an alternative---such as making something for them--like cookies or a photo album, or do a favor for them, like cooking dinner one night.
Ok, back to your list.
Decide what you want to spend on each person and write it down.
Save money by skipping the costly wrapping and ribbons--they will be ripped up in seconds.
Use coupons when you can, but look for inexpensive items---a simple necklace or scarf..coffee, a bottle of wine, candles, picture frames...maybe consider a grab bag of goodies from which your loved ones can pull out something special.
Go practical: bedside eyeglass holder, electronics case, a universal remote control, stationary, a small flashlight, keychain, gloves, winter hat, colorful kitchen towels, usb drive, change purse, bubble bath and salts, lotion, nail file and chapstick.
For kids, you can't go wrong with coloring books and crayons..stickers, bubbles, puzzles, play dough.. or something to take outside, like seeds for flowers, a kite, frisbee, ball, sweat bands, or a reusable water bottle--stuffed with candy. And you can think of those items for stocking stuffers too!
Don't forget local attractions--maybe tickets to a zoo or museum.
Always check the dollar bins at various stores. They're usually in the front of the store.
And stop by dollar stores for nice inexpensive items.
Finally, refer back to your original list and commitment of cost and stick with them.