Christmas Shopping & Free/Frugal Gift Ideas

by jessicaturner on March 22, 2010

Yes, I know it is March – hardly time to be talking about Christmas, right?

Wrong. :)

As many of you know, I do my birthday gift and Christmas shopping year-round. In fact, I start Christmas shopping on December 26 every year.

It is a sickness.

Last year I kept a notebook to keep track of all my buying purchases.

The trouble with that notebook is that I would often misplace it or forget to write in it.

This year I decided to keep track of all my gifts in a Google Docs spreadsheet.

It is working great! I love that I can access the list anywhere I have a computer.

I also find myself looking at it more often, which has me even more cognizant of gifts that I have bought and need to buy. I think it will also be helpful next year to see what I gave last year.

I have one sheet dedicated to Christmas and a second dedicated to birthday gifts.

This year I am doing really well with my buying and have several family members already done.

I store all my gifts in a couple big rubbermaid totes. I have one tote for each side of the family. 

Shopping year round helps us to not overspend at Christmas or go into debt. I have done it since I was in high school and it has always worked very well.

Here are a few great – and reasonable- gift ideas.

  • A free photo canvas from Canvas People. This is one of my favorite free items I have gotten online and would make a great gift. The canvas is free+shipping ($14.99).
  • Anything from Dayspring. I love, love, love their products – and their clearance deals are amazing. I have bought many canvases from them, as well as lots of decor products. The best part is that now through April 1 you can get 15% of your order with the code SAVE15 – including sale items!
  • A simple photo album filled with pictures or framed photos. You can get so many free prints by signing up to try different photo printing companies:
    Snapfish – 50 free prints
    Clark Color: 40 free prints
    Kodak Gallery: 50 free prints 100 free prints with any order (expires 4/30/10)
  • A photo book – which you can get free from Picaboo through the end of the month ($39.99 value) 
  • has tons of great products to choose from – and everything is discounted. I was pleasantly surprised by this site’s selection – and bargains.

Something else I have done this year is use Groupons to buy Christmas gifts. For instance, a cute boutique outside of Nashville offered a Groupon for $50 worth of product for $20.  I bought it and used it to buy some gifts. Just be sure to pay attention to the fine print – some Groupons have quick turn-arounds.

    Have you started your Christmas shopping? Tell me I’m not alone in my shopping habits.

    Disclosure: compensated affiliate links used 

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