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Christmas Gifts: 7 Secrets to Getting More and Spending Hundreds Less
By Noel Jameson
Let's face it -- just about every one of us feels the financial crunch Christmas gifts put on our wallet at Christmas time.

The more we have, the more we're expected to spend on our Christmas shopping, and the fact of the matter is, some of us really don't want to spend all that much. That doesn't mean we don't want to give our friends and family excellent Christmas gifts -- but it does mean we want to do it within a reasonable budget.

If you're looking for ways to make your Christmas shopping budget stretch like never before, read on...

1. Be an Early Bird

Those who are serious about saving money on Christmas gifts this year really do need to follow the example of the early bird.

If you wait until the last minute to buy your Christmas gifts, you're really not going to have time to shop for bargains -- and there may not even be bargains to be had at that exact point in time. Because of this, start looking for Christmas gifts now so you can jump on the great deals the minute the stores list them.

2. Be One of the Nutcases on Black Friday

I know, I know. We all like to laugh at the people who get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) to stand in line for the hottest deals of the year.

Don't be so quick to judge!

Those people who are waiting in line are savings hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars on their Christmas gifts. DVD players for fifteen bucks, 14k gold bracelets for $19.99, toys for fifty percent off (and sometimes even free if you meet minimum purchase requirements). What more could you ask for?

On Thanksgiving morning, get the newspaper and start flipping through the store ads. Make a list of what you want, go to bed early on Thanksgiving night and wake up at about 4:00 a.m. on Black Friday.

But wait! Don't leave your house just yet.

See if the online stores are offering the same deals as the brick-and-mortar stores. You'll still have to be up early, but you won't have to leave the house or deal with the crowds. Who knows -- you may get every single one of the Christmas gifts on your list for a lot less than you would have paid any other day of the year.

3. Price Match

Okay, let's talk about Black Friday again. When you're looking through the Black Friday ads in the local paper, you're going to notice that the hottest deals are only available between certain hours (usually 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 or 12:00 depending on the store).

How can you possibly hit all of the stores during those times? You don't have to.

If you see things you want at two different stores and you don't think you'll have time to go to both of them, find out if one of the stores offers a price match policy. If they do, make sure they carry the item you want from the other store (make sure it's the exact same item with the same UPC number, serial number, etc).

If the store price matches and carries the item, just go to that store with the flyer from the other store and get all of your Christmas gifts from the same retailer.

4. Become a Predator

If you really, really want to save money on Christmas gifts this year, you need to become a predator. What is it that you're going to stalk?

Deals of course!

Take the time to hunt down the deals. Every week between now and Christmas, visit the various deals forums on the Internet and check out what's going on that particular day or week. You'll be surprised at the great deals you can on Christmas gifts find by hunting for deals as part of a pack.

You can find lots of great advice on how to save money on your Christmas gifts at

5. Hit the Outlet Malls

Outlet malls can be a great place to shop for Christmas gifts, but not too close to Christmas. Within the next week or so, go to your local outlet mall (even if you have to drive an hour or so to get there).

Many of the stores will be in the process of marking down merchandise to make room for the new stuff that will be coming in during the Christmas season. It's the perfect opportunity for you to pick up some Christmas gifts at a great price.

6. Shop the Online Pre-Season Sales

Before Thanksgiving, thousands of websites put their items on clearance to get ready for Christmas. This means great savings for you. Don't be surprised to

find a number of online stores offering discounts of 70-percent or more and don't forget to check out the overstock websites. It's a great way to get Christmas gifts at unbelievable prices.

7. Regift

Yes, I know, it's the four-letter word (okay, actually six-letter word) that no one likes to admit to. The fact of the matter is, there's really nothing wrong with regifting as long as you don't end up giving your gift back to the person who originally gave it to you, and you think the person will like the gift.

Did you get an expensive candle that you just can't stand the smell of? Regift it! Did you receive a boutique sweater that you wouldn't be caught dead in? Give it to Aunt Jan -- she'll adore it. If you're creative and discreet, regifting is a wonderful way to save tons of money on Christmas gifts.

So now you know exactly what you need to do to save money on Christmas gifts this year. Put the advice to the test. Write down how much you save on every single gift and then total it all up when you're done shopping.

The total amount you save on Christmas gifts may surprise you!
Noel Jameson loves sharing tips, tricks and advice on how to make the Christmas season happier, more meaningful and less stressful. Check out her entertaining and impassioned blog,

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