Going on a shopping spree can be really exciting, especially for the holidays! Loading up on the latest wrapping paper designs, holiday themed cards, stickers and ribbons is joyful. But year after year this tradition leaves you with closets and cupboards full of half used rolls of paper, unopened boxes of cards and handfuls of tape rolls that you’ve completely forgotten about. This year shop your home first. You’ll likely be surprised by what you find, and you’ll be saving money in the process! Here’s how:

Make a Shopping List

Just like when you’re heading out for groceries, block out some time to make your wish list. From toys, books and wine bottles, to cards, wrapping paper and specialized scissors. Write down everything you want. If a bulk of the gifts you give are baked goods, add jars, gift boxes and specialized cookie cutters to your list.

Take Inventory

Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, so undertaking a hardcore inventory hunt may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Go room by room, cupboard by cupboard and desk by desk. You’ll be surprised that apart from the things on your list, you’ll probably find some other surprises too. Some of the trip souvenirs you brought back for your parents are still collecting dust in the art room; the oversized champagne bottle is still in the pantry; the ribbons and bows were stored in a box under your bed this whole time! Collect all the stationary-type items in one large bin, and put all the re-giftable gifts together in one place.

Time to Rev-up the Phone

Throughout the year, neighbours and friends will ask to borrow our special heart-shaped baking tray and our extra-large cookie sheet. You’ll have forgotten a cupcake carrier and favourite cookbook at your sister’s baby shower. Now is the time to pick up the phone and arrange to get everything back. This is a win-win situation because you’ll get your baking supplies in order, and you’ll have had a chance to catch up with loved ones.

Call in the Shopping Spree Elves

If you’re working full time and running a busy household, you may be too busy to shop your home. How about turning this into a game, and assign the kids to help with the in-home shopping spree? This is a great teachable moment to help kids learn about shopping, budgeting, saving money and reducing their environmental footprint – all while having a fun scavenger hunt!