Save Money With These Gift Exchange Ideas

Remember the old days when magazines dominated the casual reading pleasure? Those big, thick, colorful catalogs showing brand new consumer products from your favorite giant department stores? Think Sears, Macy’s, FingerHut and others to take you back to those times. These days, however, with the explosion of the internet, you can simply search for the same things online - without bothering to wait for the absent magazines which, by the way, you will never see again as you did in the 90s and early 2000s.

Today, picking the gifts you want has been made ever easier by Amazon Gift Lists, various registries (non-wedding and wedding alike), and gift exchange websites that are outright dedicated to helping you choose. In the following, we try to recapture some of the new Christmas spirit, by focusing on wonderful gifts that speak more from the heart than they do from the wallet. If you like the below, you’ll be sure to enjoy these Secret Santa gift ideas!

1. A Remembrance of Things Past

What does this mean, exactly? Well, in addition to being the title of a famous work of literature, this simply means you should catalog the wonderful time your family has together this Christmas. Things may not always be the same - in fact, it’s pretty much guaranteed they won’t, as children grow up and start their own families, etc - so a family journal is a great idea to preserve the memories. Spend a bit on a lovely, embroidered notebook for the collection of short, sweet thoughts from family members throughout the year. By the end of the year, you can all read them together by the fireplace.

2. Choose a Secret Santa Claus

This thoughtful little game is simple and heartwarming: choose one family member, in particular, to whom you wish to give a gift. By the rules of the game, you can only give a single gift. Of course, you can give to more than a single member; but the point is to make sure it’s just one memorable item each. The secret part comes in the leaving of hints and notes about your topmost desires - up to the prescribed dollar limit, of course.

3. Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words - A Photo Collage

If images are worth a thousands words, then a photo collage is worth at least tens of thousands. Put together a board of happy times of you and the family; it is a very inexpensive gift that is actually invaluable. The key here is to get your family members to give you 10 of their favorite photographs (just an example; you can ask for more) of every member of the family. Bind them together expertly and share your stories while glancing through them this Christmas!

4. Coupon Book Is Always Welcome

If you have any shoppers in your family, then a coupon book would be especially welcome. The personalized nature of this makes it an excellent Christmas time gift, too, and it tends to be the gift that keeps on giving. Although inexpensive, it can take some time to make sure you get the best coupons, tailored to your loved ones’ shopping habits. Don’t stress too much or try to be comprehensive; pick a particular, small section of the house or something and focus on that.

5. A Family Vacation is Always Welcome

Generally speaking, if you’re going somewhere special with the entire family, then it has to act as a substitute for physical presents. For many families around the world, though, this is a great trade-off - if only for the memory-creation aspect. Furthermore, as Thanksgiving concludes and the Christmas countdown begins, you’re bound to find some absolutely fantastic deals on travel - whether local or abroad to a winter wonderland.

Similarly, the trip you take needn’t be ultra-fancy; sometimes, simply a sojourn to your nearby large park can work wonders for family togetherness, and a fostering of that warm winter spirit.

6. Establish Gift Expectations Early

Anyone with children knows how important this is. As their parents, you of course want to give them the world - but only in principle! You know that in reality, even if money was not an object, this would not be good for them; as such, establish early in the year that just a handful or so of the presents that make their wishlist will actually manifest themselves underneath the Christmas tree on the magical morning of December 25th.

7. Recipe Trading - Inexpensive But Invaluable

This work especially well with extended family and very close family friends who might visit for the Christmas moments. Everyone has a favorite dish, right? So they jot the ingredients down on notecards, and give the recipes to different people on Christmas Day. Make sure there are enough copies so that everyone gets one of each, and gets ready to enter the New Year with the code to a delectable treat.

8. Charity as a Family

One of the most fulfilling things you can ever do is perform eleemosynary acts together as a family, for the less fortunate. Charitable endeavor might not be be what this civilization was built on; but it certainly made it the society it became. Check out Heifer International to make donations to families in need at any place in the world that catches your fancy. There’s also Made by Survivors, Families First and the Salvation Army - to go really supercharged, consider Soldier’s Angels to give back to the men and women who fight for this country. Rest assured if you’re not big on cash - there are plenty of ways to give back that do not require any.

9. Shopping By and For the Kids

This last gift exchange idea might seem like bank account suicide at first; but bear with us: let your kids do the shopping! Of course, you set the terms by giving them a set amount of cash with which to get whatever it is they want for themselves, as well as for the family. It’s a great way to give them a money lesson, while encouraging them to be thoughtful about gift-giving. Enjoy the Christmas Holiday!

Author Bio

We are Coupons.com, the leader in digital coupons. And we’re not just about groceries. We also offer online coupon codes, exclusive offers from top brands and restaurant and local savings. We fancy ourselves as experts at saving, and we want to share the love.

The Best Things to Buy in December

In December, shopping is the norm, regardless of whether it’s for you, your kids, spouse or family members. During this month friends, families or loved ones come together to celebrate, share their experiences, wine, and drink as well as show appreciation to one another through gifts. As such, some of the common items in the long shopping lists and bags include groceries and presents for family, friends, and holiday gift exchanges. Aside from such things, you can purchase other remarkable items to put a smile on yourself and those you love during the festive season. Check out some of the cool items you may want to buy in December to get the best deals:

  1. Gift Cards

Photo by Joshua Rainey Photography

Free gifts cards make up one of the ideal ways of getting more value for your money, especially in December. You can look up weekly advertisements put up by various stores near you for products that are accompanied by a free gift card. In most cases, electronics and personal cares items come with such cards. What’s more, most restaurants give a bonus when you buy gift cards.

  1. Pajamas

With winter taking over December, pajamas can be an ideal gift. Aside from being cozy, they are easy to shop for since you do not need to know the recipient ’s size. For this reason, pajamas are mostly cheap during this month. You can also find specially made gift sets to help you give your PJ drawer some new life.

  1. Seasonal Meats

Nothing brings the December holiday cheer better than good food and more importantly seasonal meats like brisket, prime rib, turkey and ham, particularly for meat lovers. Although these meats are available for consumption throughout the year, keep in mind that they will be high on demand in December. As such, take advantage of the December deals on seasonal meats to prepare for post-holiday feasts by stocking up your freezer.

  1. Electronics

If you are looking for an awesome item to buy in December, the electronics section ought to be on your mind. For best offers on these products, visit or contact your favorite retailer only on Mondays in December. The reason is that most people tend to visit electronic or retail stores during the weekends. However, Mondays present a great opportunity to score the best deals on your desired electronic items since retailers are aware that most people are back to work and can only engage in online shopping.

  1. Champagne

December marks the close of the year. As such, it is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the events of the year, what you did, what you did not do and more importantly celebrate! What better way to enjoy the moment than when sipping some good bottle of champagne? However, this does not mean that ought to limit yourself to this drink only, as it can be expensive compared to various alternatives such as sparkling wine. Furthermore, ensure that you take advantage of the great deals on champagne and sparkling wines on offer by various retailers or stores.

  1. Football Gear

Photo by dean bertoncelj

Although the list of teams playing in the playoffs may have narrowed down in December, the good thing is that you can get your favorite football team’s gear at a discounted price thanks to a losing season. Although during this month the stands may be cold, there may be no better time to get the best discounts on game tickets and team merchandise.

  1. Clothing (December 26)

Clothing items are one of the most common gift items during the holidays. Due to this demand, the prices may not be too favorable for you, especially before December 26 (Boxing Day). Hence, you may need to wait till this day to get some great clothing deals for spicing up your holiday and giving your wardrobe a makeover. Make sure you go for clothing deals with at least a 70% discount in a bid to take advantage of the declined clothing sales.

  1. A Car

December, particularly the end of the month, is a good time to score yourself a good car deal, as most car dealerships usually clear out their inventory during this time to make room for new cars. Try approaching a car dealership on 30th or 31st December and sneak in your negotiation talent to increase your chances of getting the best car deal or an additional discount.

  1. Hardware and tools

If you are a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) enthusiast, then you can appreciate the value of a new set of tools around the house. December happens to be the best month for landing affordable tools and deals. They can also make an excellent gift choice, especially for your dad. Hence, do not miss the opportunity to score great deals on general tool sets, drills, wrenches, and more items in December.

Author Bio

We are Coupons.com, the leader in digital coupons. And we’re not just about groceries. We also offer online coupon codes, exclusive offers from top brands and restaurant and local savings. We fancy ourselves as experts at saving, and we want to share the love.

The Best Things to Buy in November

The most celebrated time of the year - for most people around the world - fast approaches in the months of November and December. Perhaps it’s because the fall and winter seasons bring people and families together for warmth, and lead resolutely into Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Get-togethers and shopping skyrocket in these months (see Black Friday for example), and it can sometimes be difficult to prioritize the things you want.

It is with this in mind that we’ve compiled a list for you of the best things to buy in November. The price mark-downs on most of these can be downright breathtaking, and represent wonderful opportunities to scoop up things that you’ve always planned on getting - but that were a tad bit too expensive during the spring and summer. You can get something for both his and hers, and get ready to start off the New Year right.

1.Television Sets

When it comes to the best time to buy that new television set, the month of November wins hands-down. After all, the two big bonanza sale days belong to this month: Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the latter is obviously recent, given the explosion of mobile devices in the post 2010-era). Just make sure you pay close attention to the specs to ensure you’re actually getting the advertised good deal.

2. For the Cook and Baker

Another door-buster on the holidays are for baking supplies. Even if you don’t consider yourself a seasoned chef, all the essentials and condiments you could want for any delicatessen will be available at slashed prices in November. There are spices, sugar, cake mixes of all varieties - our favorite is carrot cake mix - and the associated kitchen appliances such as wire whisks and electric can openers on sale. Enjoy the hunt!

3. Organize Your Kitchen - Food Storage Containers

At first glance, this might seem a bit...random or maybe even spurious. Why food storage containers? Well if your house is like most homes in the post-Thanksgiving weeks, you’re going to have a lot of leftovers. Christmas brings extra food, too, so you might as well take advantage of the big savings on food storage containers found at the largest retail stores this November. Furthermore, you’ll likely want to have family and friends take away some of the extra food - what better encouragement that providing them with the discount plastic bags and containers you got at rock-bottom prices?

4. Halloween Discounts? Read More…

Since October would have ended not too long ago by the time November is here, you could consider getting hugely discounted Halloween-themed gear for next year now. You won’t find them at lower prices, since November is officially the off-season for the spooky months and suppliers have got to clear their inventory. Candy will keep for years, as well as the decorations and adornments you’ll need next time around.

5. Winter Preparations for the Home

Every November in the Western Hemisphere brings the first markedly cold drafts of the year with it; as such, it’s time to winterize your home through February, until the reticent Sun emerges regularly once again. This is well-known, and so the market reflects the fact by offering discounts on insulation, caulking and more operations meant to help keep you warm and toasty. Don’t forget to keep yourself, warm, too!

6. Perfumes and Colognes

Nothing wows those in proximity to you more than a subtly elegant fragrance. Although you cannot reasonably expect to locate the big name-brand fragrances such as L’Homme on sale, you most certainly can find some quite good ones on Cyber Monday without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Or, join the mad dash on Black Friday and grab the best ones you can!

7. Hardware & Tools

You can also find awesome discounts in the home improvement section of many stores on Black Friday. Everyone else will likely be focused on the electronics, leaving you to roam unimpeded through the tools and hardware for all those DIY projects that pique your interest from time to time. You can find deals as varied as carpeting and flooring, to even landscaping appliances.

For the power tool fanatic in the home, you are bound to get some deals on drill sets and energy banks - and it shouldn’t take much shopping around to get to them. All the major brand names are on sale (usually) on Black Friday, because of the competition - the engine that drives robust economies.

8. Bridal Dresses

This is more common than you think, and the discounts on fantastic wedding dresses in November has been going on for a long time - it’s certainly better to get one now for your upcoming wedding than in summer when the prices skyrocket.

This November, make sure you’re not too late checking out the door buster deals that follow Thanksgiving and precede Christmas

Author Bio

We are Coupons.com, the leader in digital coupons. And we’re not just about groceries. We also offer online coupon codes, exclusive offers from top brands and restaurant and local savings. We fancy ourselves as experts a