Set a realistic limit that wont break the bank but will still allow you to buy gifts for everyone you want to buy for. Once you come to a final number, divide your budget among different groups (family, friends, etc) and then down by individual person. Not only will it help you stick to your limit, it will help you make sure you don't overspend on one person and underspend on another.Make A List and Check It Twice
Create a list of the people you want to shop for. Be sure to include EVERYONE you are considering buying gifts for. Family and friends are a given, but also include co-workers, children's teachers, and other acquaintances that you might buy for. A surefire way to exceed your budget is to forget about someone and not budget any money towards their gift(s).Send Christmas E-Cards
Christmas cards are expensive and can lead to a significant expense if you have lots of friends and family that you send to. A simple alternative is to send free Christmas e-cards. But if you insist on sending out physical cards, either limit them to close friends and family or create your own cards on your computer. You don't have to have a beautiful tree or dancing elf either, an endearing letter updating the recipient on how your family is doing gets the job done.Give Homemade Gifts
If you like to bake, use that to your advantage. Creating plates or even baskets (to dress it up a bit) filled with delicious goodies you created in your kitchen are great gifts to give to co-workers and other individuals you want to include, but don't want to spend a lot on them.Sales (Black Friday and Cyber Monday)
The gift of music is another wonderful option here. If you can sing or play an instrument, creating a CD of yourself performing classic Christmas tunes or even songs by your recipients favorite artists can be a way to create an intimate, fun gift they will love.
Taking advantage of sales, particularly those on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are the most popular ways that people try to save money. These sales can be the best way to save on the big ticket items on your list. Because these are the days that most of you will be doing the majority of your shopping it is important that you realize which of these "sales" are actual money savers and which are ways to get you to spend more money. (Christmas Money Saver will help with this by breaking down individual store ads and pointing out which of these are actual deals and which to avoid. You can find that information on the Black Friday and Cyber Monday pages).