U.S. Consumers Likely To Spend Less On Gifts This Holiday Season
A new survey done by the U.S. Conference Board reports U.S. households are expected to spend an average of $390 on Christmas gifts, down from last year's estimate of $418. The global economic crisis is a likely culprit in influencing people's decision to spend less this Holiday Season. Of course, retailers were hoping for a significant upsurge in sales as the Holiday Season approaches. But, the U.S. Conference Board says retailers will need to get creative to get consumers to spend. Interestingly, almost 40% of survey respondents said they anticipate spending less than $200 on Christmas gifts. So, are Americans in for the most frugal Christmas ever?
"Consumers are approaching the holiday season very cautiously," says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Job losses and uncertainty about the future are making for a very frugal shopper. Retailers will need to be quite creative to entice consumers to spend, both in stores and online this holiday season, as consumers most certainly will expect major markdowns and bargains."
Here is NowPublic's list of frugal gift ideas -- obviously, home made products make for the cheapest alternative out there. So, what goodies would make for good, but cheap Christmas gifts?
1. Hand made cards
2. Hand painted ornaments
3. Home canned veggies and fruit
4. "Service coupons" -- such as "this card is good for one pat on the back, two free nights of babysitting, twenty dishes washed etc."
5. Home made calendar with all the important family dates -- birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones -- already marked in it