The holidays are a busy time for families. It’s also a time when family spending increases. Shopping for holiday decorations, Christmas gifts, and food for holiday feasts can certainly make a dent in your wallet. Holiday vacations are another added expense if you plan on traveling with your family during this festive season. The holidays can be an expensive time for any family, but I’ve shared some holiday savings tips below that can help you save money around this time.
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Holiday Savings Tips
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I have many in-laws, so buying gifts for everyone would just be too expensive. To help save money on that side of the family, we agree to do Secret Santa. Each of us draws one name and agrees to buy one present for that person. Doing Secret Santa saves me hundreds of dollars every year, so I don’t need to buy a gift for each and every person.
On my side of the family, my brother and I agree to only buy gifts for the kids. Since we agree not to buy any gifts for the adults, I save extra cash.
Make homemade gifts
Making homemade gifts is one of my favorite holiday savings tips. One of my closest friends gave me this idea several years ago. She was short on money one year and told me she was making gifts from scratch for people. That year, she made me peanut butter cookies from scratch and decorated them with festive string on a plate.
It’s really the thought that counts – not the price tag. I loved her present.
Use reusable Christmas trees and decorations
I admit that I am guilty of using fresh Christmas trees every year! That isn’t something I’ve been able to sacrifice yet to save money. However, if you are looking to save money and having a fresh Christmas tree is not that big of a deal for you and your family, I would highly recommend getting a plastic/reusable Christmas tree.
When I was a child, my parents actually used the same plastic/reusable tree every year and I still enjoyed decorating it and seeing it every day in December.
Shop at the local dollar store
We have several dollar stores where I live in my area. This benefits me financially because I save a ton of money shopping for decorations that only cost $1 each. Many years ago, I used to shop at non-dollar stores and I always left spending $100-$200.
Once I had a child and became more watchful of spending money, I started to buy decorations at the dollar store. Every year, I never spend more than $50 in decorations. This also includes materials for wrapping gifts.
Vacation locally or do a stay-cation
It’s generally known that spending money for a hotel or airfare during the holidays is more expensive than other times of the year. I agree that it’s a good time to go because the kids are out of school and many employers close down during this time. However, it’s also so much more money to spend, compared to going at a different time of the year.
For example, my parents live out of this country. I looked up prices to see how much airfare would cost to visit them around Christmas time. One ticket cost $1500. If I were to go at another time in the year, it would be closer to $800. That’s $700 in savings for one person!
Consider holding off on vacation around Christmas time. If you absolutely want to go somewhere during Christmas time but want to save money, I recommend going somewhere local where you and your family can drive, instead of taking an airplane.
Buy Christmas gifts off-season
Okay, so this idea forces you to shop “extra early,” to get the discounts, but you can end up saving hundreds of dollars. Holiday savings doesn’t just happen in November and December. January has some deep discounts (usually 50%-75% off winter apparel and accessories).
This is a great time to shop for discounted items and save them for Christmas presents for the following year. Imagine that you buy 10 pieces of clothing at original price in December ($30 each for a total spent amount of $300). If you buy those same 10 pieces of clothing in January with a 50% discount, you end up saving $150.
Local bake sales
There’s usually more school and community events that go on in November and December. Consider doing a bake sale at one of these events to help you earn some extra cash for the holiday season.
Many schools have holiday performances right before they close for Christmas break. If your child’s school allows you to do so, consider doing a bake sale at this event. Many parents and relatives attend these events, so it gives you extra selling opportunities.
Cyber Monday sales
You don’t see people camping outside as often in front of stores before Black Friday, thanks to the invention of the internet and big stores deciding to hold “Black Friday” sales before Friday.
Cyber Monday is the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday where you can find good discounts online. This saves you the headache of trying to find parking outside of crowded shopping centers or camping outside before Black Friday. You can shop in your pajamas at home right in front of your computer.
The holidays don’t need to be about excessive spending that leaves your bank account and wallet dry in January. Try some of these holiday savings tips so you can save money and enjoy the holidays with your family.
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