If you don’t look to save much money during any other time of the year, you probably at least look for the best deals during the holidays.
The best part about savings at this time of year? With all the sales going on, it’s easy!
Here are some great ways to cut corners during the holidays.
1. Cut down your gift giving-list. Seriously. The holidays are not a competition to consume and buy the most. It’s OK to give cards or even time. It’s OK to not buy everyone you love a gift. If they love you just as much as you love them, they will just be happy to have you in their lives.
2. Give gifts people need. Don’t feel pressure to buy something special that a person may like but not really need. If you husband needs a new drill, get him that instead of a tie. You at least know the gift will be liked and used and not a waste of money.
3. Give gifts to groups of people rather than individuals. For instance, give a gift to your sister’s family rather than one for your sister, her husband and each of her 3 children. There are always plenty of gifts to go around and your family will be just fine if you don’t give each member something individually.
4. If you are hosting a big feast or holiday party, ask guests to bring wine or a side dish. This will save you a ton of work, money and dishes in the end.
5. Buy gifts early and spread them out over the couple months leading up to the big day. If you start buying gifts in October, you will be able to save yourself a burden in December with last minute shopping.
6. Don’t forget online shopping deals. Keep your eye out for great deals leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Retailers often offer free shipping as a bonus this time of year to encourage you to buy online. Some of the best deals I have found were online.
7. Give used items. Hear me out. This may seem silly or even tacky, but you can take something used and make it spectacular buy cleaning it up and even painting it. Then it isn’t used anymore, it’s “shabby Chic” or “Vintage”.
8. Look for decorations at the thrift store. You would be amazed at how many decorations people donate that are still in excellent shape.
9. Buy an artificial tree. While you may really like the smell of a real tree, they are getting expensive, unless of course, you cut one down yourself. An artificial tree is a one time expense and if you miss the evergreen scent, just use spray or candles or even potpourri.
10. Re-use bags and boxes. Any bags or boxes that are in good shape, store them and re-use them next year. Just attach tags with ribbon rather than stick them on and use over and over.
11. Don’t go overboard with lights. They are expensive to run and can cost a pretty penny. Instead, hop in the car with your family, bring some cocoa and drive around town looking at lights on other people’s homes.
12. Make some of your gifts. Get together with a friend or two and have a bake day. If you all plan out several treats you want to make together and agree to all split the costs, you could make 7 or 8 plates of treats for gifts for under $30 each person who bakes. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time together.
13. If you send Christmas cards, make your own. Don’t get the expensive photo cards made and skip the photography session. Instead, just make some stamped cards, and go get multiples of a favorite picture of the family made for under 20 cents each or better still, print them off yourself.
14. Don’t get sucked into Black Friday sales. In recent years, things on sale have not been the blow-out prices they were in the past, rather, they are just a whole bunch of hype. Skip Black Friday and just keep your eye out throughout the season on deals and shop early.
15. If you are traveling by car for the holidays, carpool with relatives that are close. You can all chip in for gas and lighten the financial load for everyone.