I KNOW it isn’t Christmas-time yet, but it will be here before we know it. I’m already working on getting ahead on my shopping list, but since switching to working 3 days a week I need to be extra careful to stay on budget. We have a huge immediate family, so read on for some ways I keep my spending in check.

Shop Early

I try to shop year-round for gifts and take advantage of sales like Prime Day, Target Circle and Walmart Deal Days. I knocked out half of my nieces and nephews during Prime Day this year and it feels so good knowing I have a big chunk of gifts already done.

Pile on Perks

If you know where you plan to shop, buy gift cards at the grocery store you use to get rewards. If you pay for the gift cards with a cash back credit card, you are also getting a break there! Every penny counts and even saving a few bucks helps.


Make a list of who you need to shop for and the amount you want to spend on them.

Go for a Gift Exchange

My husband is one of three so when you factor in spouses there are six of us. Instead of buying gifts for everyone we all choose a name out of a hat and go the gift exchange route.

Skip the Secret Santa

Do not commit to unnecessary “secret Santa” with friend groups or office Christmas parties. In my experience everyone trades a throw blanket and a candle that nobody ever wants or needs.

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