Shopping Smart – How to Find Affordable Gifts That Cost the Least.

craft supplies on table

Shopping smart – how to find affordable gifts that cost the least

Gifts are a large part of celebrating the holiday season. During this time of the year, friends and family often exchange gifts to show that they care about each other. Of course, there is more to the holidays than just gift giving. However, gift giving tends to be the biggest section of the holiday budget. According to research, Americans usually spend over $1,000 during the holiday season! Over 60% of those expenses are expected to go towards gifts and cards. That is insane to think about! For most people, having an extra $600, or more, would be a blessing right now. 

A great way to get around this large gift-giving price tag is by getting creative. You can either shop smart or make DIY gifts for your loved ones. We all know that crafts can end up being more expensive than just buying something pre-made. Sometimes the cost of materials is not worth it. Not to mention, there is usually more of a time investment in gifts that you are making yourself. The upside is that they are usually way more unique and thoughtful than a store-bought item. Ultimately, the point of gifts is to show others you care. The holidays are all about thoughtful gift ideas. So, how can a person make creative gifts and still stay in budget. 

Do your research

Start the DIY process by looking at the craft items you currently have and the items you will need. Do your research to know how much time and work will go into your DIY craft. Also find out how much the items will cost to make it. Do this research BEFORE hitting the store. Take it a step further by searching online to see if other people have made this item. Other people might have found different supplies that work just as well. For example, one person might have used a hot glue gun, and another person might have used a special fabric glue. You might not own that brand of fabric glue, but if you already own hot glue, it can help you save money. It depends on the materials used to make the gift, so be sure to do your research first. However, if you can use a more affordable and universal alternative, that can help save money too. Also be sure to price-check online for the lowest price or any deals that can be used. 

Buy in bulk

When it comes to creating crafts, if you can make more than one product from the supplies that you purchased it will bring your cost down. Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money. Take your great gift idea and make it for more than just one person. Use up all of the supplies that you bought. Plus, you are spreading the creative love! Do not be afraid of gifting the same thing to multiple people. You can change up each piece just a little so that they are all unique. 

Compare

Finally, take the average cost per item. You can find this by calculating the total amount spent on supplies and dividing it by how many gifts were made. If you are more of a visual person, think of it as

total spent on supplies / how many products made = cost per item   

Then compare that amount to buying the same product, or a similar product pre-made. If making the DIY gift costs more, then you will save a lot of money and time by just ordering the pre-made gift. If the DIY gift cost is less, then buying the supplies will save you money. You will find that in some cases, making a gift is more expensive than just buying a similar item. Other times, you might find that DIY gifts are more affordable, and more fun. It really just depends on your interests and budget.  If you are set on homemade gifts, then go forth in your gifting glory! 

For ideas on homemade gifts, I found a lot of great ideas (variety of cost ranges) on diyjoy.com. Click this link to see them yourself!

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