Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2010
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Cost-saving measures when gifting a large family

Exchanging gifts with loved ones is one of the joys of the holiday season. But it can be challenging to reign in holiday spending when your shopping list is especially lengthy. Fortunately, there are many ways for holiday shoppers to cut costs this season.

Create a limited gift exchange. Speak with other family members who also may be feeling the pinch of holiday spending to establish a gift exchange system. Rather than purchasing a gift for everyone in the family, split the list accordingly. Maybe everyone will only be expected to purchase gifts for the children, instead of buying for kids and adults. Propose that you only exchange gifts with immediate family members and not your extended family, such as your cousins, aunts and uncles. Develop a system that works for everyone so no one feels like they need to break the bank this holiday season.

Host a holiday grab bag. Grab bags are great ways to exchange gifts without going broke. In a traditional grab bag, everyone brings a gift that does not exceed a predetermined value and puts it in the bag. Each family member then pulls a gift out of the bag. Allow everyone the option to swap with one another if one gift is more fitting for a particular person.

Set a price limit. Decide in advance that gifts should not exceed a certain price. This way if you are budgeting for the holidays you will have a better understanding of what you can expect to spend if every gift should be around $30.

Pool your resources. Rather than giving many little gifts, pool your resources with some relatives and give a single big-ticket gift. Each person can contribute the same amount, or family members can contribute as much as they can afford.

Give an experience. Sometimes the gift of an experience, such as tickets to a sporting event or a night at the theater, can make a thoughtful and impressive gift. Again, other family members can contribute, and collectively you can enjoy a night on the town or another adventure.

Having a large family can be expensive come the holiday season. However, there are ways to curtail your spending without taking any joy out of the holidays.

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