Christmas shopping ideas for the cheap mom.

I am thrifty. I am not one of those crazy people who save butter containers and use them as Tupperware, but I definitely like to save money. Every Tuesday, I get grocery ads in the mail and I totally get a kick out of thoroughly hunting for the best deals, you will never catch me buying an item at the market without checking the unit price. A year ago, I was in much better financial standing, my husband and I did not have any money issues and I didn’t even have to work. Even then, I was tight with the purse strings, but now that I am on my own with a toddler and a baby on the way, those purse strings are tighter than Ryan Reynold’s abs. Since I am not the only mom out there with financial strains, I am giving my tips on ways to save money this holiday season.

1. Ebay is awesome!
I never realized, until recently, how helpful eBay can be for children’s clothes. Babies and Toddlers barely wear a single outfit more than once, so you are most likely going to end up with a lot of clothes that they outgrow and are in good shape. If you need new clothes for your little one, there are always bulk lots at reasonable prices, and let’s be honest, it is so fun to go through a box of baby clothes that was delivered to your door. Once your little one outgrows their stuff, consider auctioning it off, just make sure to apply proper shipping so you can make a little money off of them. The same thing applies for maternity clothes, as we all know, that is another pricey bit of clothing that by definition can’t get too worn out.

2. Amazon Mom-
Amazon mom is a fairly new feature for Amazon that allows you to get pretty good discounts on baby items. The best deal is the subscribe and save for diapers. If you commit to a box of diapers a month, they bring them to your door and it is at a great discount. I pay $22 a month for a giant box of size 4 diapers, at the cheapest I could get those for $34 anywhere else. For diapers, I don’t think you can beat this discount.

3. Dollar Store- If you need to come up with gifts for coworkers, friends and family that you can’t immediately picture the perfect gift, go to the dollar store and make goody baskets. The Dollar Tree always has fairly fun stuff and if you put all the right items together, you can create a really nice gift basket.

4. Library book sales
Pretty much any library you come across will have a section of used books for sale. If you are lucky enough to catch a big sale around the holiday season, all the better. Getting your kids a few used library books for christmas would significantly cut costs. There is a good chance that the book your kid may be interested in at Barnes and Nobles for $15 is actually hiding in a pile at your local library for 75 cents. Get your kid their own library card to go along with the gift. These days, making sure your kid is more interested in books than the newest video game can be tough, but it is your responsibility to help them along a proper path to literacy.

5. Used kid’s stores
I live in a tiny town that doesn’t even have a Target (it kills me too, but I totally drive 40 minutes out-of-the-way to get to one). Even my town has a small shop for used baby and small children’s items. It is a great place too, you can trade in stuff you no longer need and get yourself a whole new batch of gently used items for super cheap. Scope out your town and see if there is anything similar available to you, it is a total money saver.

These are just a few ways to save this holiday season, give me your ideas on how you like to save.

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