Is it possible to go Christmas shopping without leaving your home or spending any money? If this sounds too good to be true, read on.
The truth is that most people have many unopened and unused new items in their homes. These may still have the tags attached and/or be sealed in their original packaging.
You or a member of your family may have bought these items on impulse. Or, they may have been given as gifts, which you or a family member didn’t like or need.
Such items make excellent Christmas gifts.
How to Go Christmas Shopping Without Spending any Money
Here’s how to go Christmas shopping without spending any money at all. Do this every year before you buy any Christmas gifts online or from a store.
You will need:
- one or more large boxes,
- your Christmas gift list,
- Christmas wrapping paper, tags, and scotch tape.
Set aside an afternoon or an evening and go through all the closets/wardrobes, drawers, bookcases, storage units, and other places in your home where items are stored. Don’t forget to look in the loft, garage, and basement.
Take a large box with you. When you find a new and unused item, place it in the box. You may find that you need several boxes as you work your way through your home.
Search Every Room of Your Home
In the living room, look on your bookshelves for unread books or books that have been read once but still look brand new. Do you have any DVDs or CDs that are still sealed in their original packaging? Maybe you have a photograph frame that you bought because of its attractive design but never used because you didn’t have a photograph to fit into it.
Search through your kitchen cupboards and look for unused kitchen equipment, utensils, tableware, and cookery books. Perhaps you bought a bread maker on a whim and never even opened the box. Were you given a juicer that you never used? Many of us have recipe books that we have never opened or utensils that we have never found a use for. Unused table cloths and table runners, place mats and coasters can all be put into the box.
In the bedrooms, go through your wardrobes/closets and look for unworn clothing that still has its original tag. We have all bought clothes on impulse, only to reconsider our purchase once we have returned home.
Go through your children’s wardrobes/closets, and, as well as unworn clothing, look for unused toys, unread books, unwanted gifts and any other new items that you can find. Children often grow out of clothes before they have had a chance to wear them or tire of a toy soon after it has come into their possession.
Don’t forget to look through hobby storage areas. Did you buy a needlecraft kit several years ago because you liked the design but, when you arrived home, you realized that it looked very complicated so you didn’t even open the packet?
Look for sports clothes that members of the family have never worn, or equipment that they bought in the first rush of enthusiasm for a new pursuit, only for their interest to wane before they used it.
Look at What You Have and Start Shopping!
Once you’ve sorted through the whole of your home, you may be amazed at the number of items you’ve collected! Arrange everything on the floor and take out your Christmas gift list. This is where your shopping begins.
Go through your gift list, person by person, and choose a gift that he or she would truly appreciate from the selection in front of you. Cross that person off your gift list.
Don’t worry if you can’t find a gift for a certain person. Just continue with the next person on your list. When you reach the end of your list, you’ll find that a lot of your Christmas shopping has already been done.
Wrap and Label Your Gifts
It’s a good idea to wrap and label these presents now, so that you have one less task to worry about in the run-up to Christmas.
When you go Christmas shopping, you’ll only have to look for presents for the remaining friends and relatives on your list.
What if you don’t want to pass on unwanted gifts?
If you feel uncomfortable passing on unwanted gifts, you could sell them on eBay or at a garage sale and use the money to buy new gifts.
The Advantages of This Method of Christmas Shopping
This method of Christmas shopping has many advantages.
It doesn’t cost you anything, apart from a little time, which you would have spent shopping anyway.
It’s good for the environment, as many of the items you find may have been thrown away eventually and ended up in landfill sites.
It helps you to clear out your clutter and it may even inspire you to carry out a new project in the New Year — the task of sorting through all your household’s unwanted second-hand items and finding a new home for them.
So, do yourself and the environment a favor by starting your Christmas gift shopping at home. Not only will you save money and feel less stressed, but you’ll be helping to reduce waste by finding a new home for unwanted items.
This is an edited extract from Spend Less, Enjoy Christmas More: Have a Fun, Family Christmas Without Spending a Fortune by Roz Andrews