Saving Money on Christmas Gifts: Part 1

As the kids’ tastes are becoming more expensive, as the extended family is growing, and as we learn to live responsibly within a budget, I’ve forced myself to think outside of a comfort zone with their gifts.

I’ve cut costs a few ways which I’ll be talking about in a 2 part series.

The first cut, is new to me this year because I finally took the plunge on it.

I realized that…


1. Not all the Kids’ Gifts Have to be New 

Especially young children do not know the difference (and older ones can learn to appreciate good quality items even if they are not in the box)

This Year’s eBay Experience: 

So my daughter loves princesses (along with 98% of the rest of American little girls).

Now you’d think if everyone wanted it, there would be so much demand that there would be an influx of competitors leading to a well-priced market. No. Disney has a complete curb on the market. :-I

And they price accordingly.

In fact, the good quality doll I wanted to get her ranged between $40 – $70 which was way above our budget.

So I finally pushed down my pride and checked eBay. There was the $40 18 inch doll for  $12 plus $9 shipping. Perfect Condition – just missing the crown.

$21 and 15 minutes of work to brush out the hair and put in a little party favor crown-shaped barrette we’d gotten. Voila! $21 high-quality princess doll!


This Year’s Craigslist Experience:

I wanted to get the girls some pretty dress-up dresses to twirl around in. However, dress-up clothes can be $35 a dress right now.

Even on craigslist, dresses were about $10 each for the exact same dresses, but I found a woman who said that she had a garbage bag full of princess dresses for $35.


-A somewhat short car ride, (that would have been shorter if I hadn’t gotten lost)

-and I had 10 pretty dresses 

I plan to sell 4 to make up my cost. If you are willing to put in the time to sell items individually and take pictures, you can often sell items higher on Craigslist.

So I got 6 dresses for essentially free.


As I surveyed the spoils, I did in about 60 minutes of weakness, think about giving all the dresses to the girls as a huge dress up trunk. However, I realize it would be overwhelming to them at their age, and it would go against what I’m trying to teach them about contentment with less.

I’m giving the girls each 1 dress for Christmas for dancing around in since they dance to Christmas music A LOT right now.


Then next month, my daughter will get this princess dress to wear on her birthday.

Admittedly, my kids are young, but simply buying and reusing a few well-maintained items helped shave our Christmas gift costs, kept the money in the American economy, and also helped me to think outside my gift buying box.

Stay tuned for the next part of my cost-cutting series.



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