Hello, everybody! Today I am going to discuss how to save money over the holidays! Or at least, how I save money over the holidays. 🙂 Holidays such as Christmas can always break any budget, but hopefully with the following tips, you can keep some green in your wallet all December long! : )
Buying Holiday Cards at Dollar Tree or Costco
This year was the first year ever that I did photo cards! I find that Costco has a great deal on holiday cards this time of year. A whopping 50 cards for $14.99! Plus four free small 2018 calendars with your order of the Christmas cards! Keep in mind that you may have to be a Costco member to order these cards, but other websites like Shutterfly offer deals on holiday photo cards as well, so always keep a sharp eye out on your options for photo cards!
Of course, if you cannot afford a small fortune of $14.99 for Costco photo cards, there is always another great way to score wonderful holiday cards! Your local Dollar tree has packages of holiday cards (mainly for Christmas, I have found in the past) which you can buy! I believe the one I have bought in the past was a pack of 20 Xmas cards for a buck! If you truly want to go the frugal route for holiday cards this season, Dollar Tree has got you covered! 🙂 They even sell fancier Xmas cards for a dollar each and have 2 for $0.50 Xmas cards in their card section. Just find whatever works for you! 🙂
Buying Xmas Decorations at Thrift Store
Why pay retail for something you have to store in boxes all next year after the holiday season? Thrift stores are a great way to stock up on Christmas and other holiday decorations for your home! Unless a store is having over 50% off Christmas decorations sale, there is no need to buy Xmas decorations for retail prices. Thrift stores have you covered! Heck, the Fancypants Thrift Store by my house even sells Christmas cards of all kinds too! You can even pick up working Christmas lights for cheap! Outdoor or indoor lights a plenty. 🙂
And speaking of thrift store Christmas decorations…
Invest in a Fake Tree
YES, I know fake trees are horrible for the environment, but if you can’t afford a Spendypants real Christmas tree each year, then buying a fake tree is the way to go! For the first time, I just got a look at the prices of real Christmas trees and boy, was I ever shocked! They’re $20+ dollars for a dying tree! Ridiculous. Having a fake tree on hand each year is sounding a lot nicer, don’t you think? However, if you pay retail for a fake tree, it can be hundreds of dollars! Worse than buying a real tree! Sure, you only pay those hundreds of dollars only once for a new fake tree, but if you go to thrift stores, a lot of them will have fake trees already for sale and at a bargain price for one! My local Goodwill was selling fake trees fo $45.00, but that price right there is only a ONE TIME FEE instead of buying a real christmas tree for that price every year. So everyone… that is what I call A SCORE!
You can always check Ebay, Craigslist, or other buy/sell websites as well and I’m sure you will find some gently used fake Xmas trees as well for a great deal too! 🙂
When buying gifts, ALWAYS Budget, Budget, Budget! Or buy throughout the year!
And stay on budget! No going over! Some credit unions or maybe even banks like Golden 1 have what they call a Santa Saver account. I don’t really have one yet, but I think they work similarly like this: Every month, your bank/credit card union takes a certain amount of money out of your checking account and puts it into an account called a Santa Saver account. This money you can’t touch until the holidays and can be spent on gifts for your friends and family or on yourself. Pretty cool, huh?
But about the budget thing… ALWAYS stay on budget when buying gifts. If you go over budget, you could be squeezed out money wise by the end of the month or heck, even in the middle of the month and you are going to have a hard time. Guaranteed. So it’s always important to have a budget for gifts and not go over it to avoid that situation with your bank account.
When I buy Xmas gifts for my family, I always have planned expenses for the month and amount of money I cannot go past in order for me to okay money wise throughout the month. It helps me out immensely! And that’s why budgeting is important. 🙂
Or if you are also like me, you can buy your Christmas gifts throughout the year and stuff them away until Christmas. This right here is an AWESOME way to save money by the time the holidays roll around! I do this every year for my cousin’s White Elephant Gift Exchange Gift so I do not have to buy everything at once during the holiday season. Works beautifully. 🙂
And also, you can even THRIFT YOUR GIFTS! If you know how your friends and family feel about thrift store stuff (and I’m hoping their views are positive), there is nothing wrong with thrifting stuff to give as holiday presents! In fact, I have already thrifted LOCBrotherA’s and LOCNiece’s gifts from Goodwill. 🙂 I have also given thrifted items to LOCAunt and her children as gifts for them as well! Always a good time finding gently used things as gifts for freinds and family!
Make Holiday Goodies at Home
And what is Christmas without holiday sweets and goodies to nom on? 😀 Unless you are in pinch for time, make your holiday foods at home instead of paying a premium price for them at the grocery store! You’ll get more bang for your buck, plus all of the extra holiday goodies for yourself! Okay, and for your family and kids if they wish to partake in them as well. 😛 There are so many holiday recipes you can make that it is almost more fun to bake holiday goodies at home anyway instead of buying them! Check out Pininterest for some great holiday recipes or search for holiday recipes on cooking blogs!
When searching for holiday recipes on Pinterest or cooking blogs, be sure to read the comment section first to see how people’s cooking experience went with the recipe to see if the recipe might be a dud or not. Nothing is worse than buying ingredients for a recipe and finding out it sucks in the end after all of your hard work preparing it. > .<
“Something They Want, Something They Need, Something to Wear, Sometime to Read, and maybe an experience!”
So, if you have a Facebook account , you may have read about this method of giving gifts to children. They method goes like this: “Something They Want, Something They Need, Something to Wear, Something to Read”. This is a great 4-gift method to give children who have too many toys already. It also cuts down on clutter which minimalist me loves. 🙂 If I had kids, I would probably do this gift giving method with my kids.
I also put down an experience as well because what better way to make memories during the holidays than doing something memorable with your family? You could go on a trip to a far away location or somewhere local where your entire family can have fun at! It has to be a very special thing though because it is a Christmas present to your entire family after all. Doesn’t have to be pricey either unless you want it to be though. 🙂
Shop Holiday Clearence Sales
And this is the best part of the holiday season I find! HOLIDAY CLEARENCE! Sure, you have to store everything you bought until next year, but all of the holiday stuff is marked to clear in most stores, so if need anything like wrapping paper to ornaments, holiday clearance sales are a must to go to!
I believe in some places in Europe and in Canada, they have a day called Boxing Day on the 26th where stores have crazy bargains on everything and is just like our Black Friday, or Black November people are calling it now. Now for my fellow Canadian readers and European readers, if you decide to go to this Boxing Day, only buy what you need and don’t spend all of your holiday money you got from family members on stuff you will forget about next year. Heck, even sock away your holiday money for a rainy day for when you really need to spend it is what I would recommend. Or to really get a bang for your buck, shop at thrift stores that day and see if they are having any special Boxing Day sales! If you are an avid thrifter, thrift stores is where you can score some great gently used stuff for cheap!
So I think that is it! Now you know my holiday secrets to saving money are! 😉 The holidays don’t have to always make you burn a hole in your wallets for stuff you don’t really need when you are totally prepared for the holiday season! Always plan accordingly and stick to your frugal roots! Being frugal is cool even during the holidays and throughout the entire year!