I do my holiday shopping early to avoid the crowds. I often find really good deals going early too.
Fortunately, I live next to a Goodwill. I pick up items during their color tag sales. I was able to pick up two gifts for $1.99 each - saved $14 one one item and $12 on the other. One item was a piggy bank for my goddaughter. It was dusty, so let it soak in my sink for a bit to clean it up and have the price tag sticker soak off. I want her to learn about saving money at an early age.
Over the past two years, I have really begun to pick up the hobby of making projects myself. I find not only is it a great outlet for my artistic aspirations, but actually saves me quite a bit on money that could me used for other aspirations. Here is a collection of some of the projects I have put together over the past couple years.