The holidays are coming and there’s no getting around it.
You’ve probably been thinking what I’ve been thinking: “It’s been a tough year and I need to do Christmas on a budget this year!”
Somewhere in the 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we deal with the chaotic combination of:
- Holiday parties (what to wear? what to bring?)
- Decorating the house for the holidays (tip: what comes up must come down)
- Gift shopping (at the busiest time of the year!)
- Planning and pulling off the perfect holiday feast for loved ones (at least once, right?)
While we do what we can to enjoy this special time of year with our loved ones, stress and tension seem to inevitably creep into the holiday season. And being nice — instead of naughty — by saving money at Christmas is on my mind as well!
If the expenses of the holiday season are starting to feel like a heavy burden, then you’ll appreciate these cost-saving tips to take the sting of the season out of your wallet.
#1 – Shop At Thrift Stores
While there once was a stigma about giving “gently used” presents (aka re-gifting), gift recipients are becoming more open to receiving a used gift these days.
Some great items to re-gift are CDs, video games, books, and movies – all of which make perfect gifts for both young and old.
You could also take your consignment shopping online and buy from one of the many online auction houses.
I love thrift stores — because I can buy inexpensive items and repurpose them into new personalized gifts. I gather ideas on Pinterest or when I’m out window shopping. Then I hit the thrift shop to find all the materials to make the gifts.
Often these consignment items are in such fabulous condition you can’t tell they were previously used!
Here are 5 great online consignment stores worth checking out.
#2 – Reduce The Wrap
The high cost of gift wrap can be a budget-breaker this holiday season.
I remember Christmas when I was a kid — there were dozens of garbage bags full of wrapping paper after hours of unwrapping. What a huge waste of money!
Some tips to save on wrapping paper:
- Buy gift wrap at the dollar or discount stores.
- Don’t buy gift bags unless they’re absolutely necessary for large and bulky items.
- Buy a couple of rolls of discount wrapping paper during the off-season months.
- Maximize the life of your wrapping supplies by wrapping multiple gifts together.
Bundle together a couple of the CDs or books you purchased on consignment, and wrap them together. Or wrap a couple of items of clothing together in a single box.
This may seem like a small savings, but if you have many gifts to wrap, it can end up saving you a significant amount of money on extra wrapping supplies.
There are lots of great ways to save on gift wrapping. Check out these 7 ways to spend the least money on holiday wrapping.
#3 – Attend Potluck Parties
Whether it’s your big holiday feast or a simple neighborhood get-together, don’t shy away from asking your guests to bring a dish or some drinks to your holiday party.
Otherwise, you could easily spend several hundred dollars feeding your party guests when you buy all of the food and drinks.
But if you ask each guest to bring a dish, you will drastically reduce the cost of your holiday get-together — and save yourself a lot of time in the kitchen!
When friends and family get together around the holidays, they inevitably want to eat, eat, eat!
Another cost-saving option is to host a holiday cookie exchange or candy party instead of your traditional annual holiday party.
With these potluck, cookie, and candy parties, each guest brings a dish, cookie, or candy platter — with guests sampling the goodies and taking samples of each treat home with them as they leave.
Here’s how to host a potluck dinner at your house.
#4 – Make Your Own Holiday Cards
Believe it or not, you can actually save money by creating inexpensive Christmas cards yourself.
You could spend a fortune on software and fancy paper making your own greeting cards.
But you’ll save money on your custom greeting cards if you skip the expensive software and fancy paper when you design your own holiday cards this year. Here’s how:
Here’s a really fun way to create postcard-size cheap holiday cards yourself.
You can enjoy all of the festivities of gift-giving, holiday parties, and Christmas cards for much less if you use these cost-saving tips this holiday season!
More Ways To Do Christmas On A Budget
In addition to the links I’ve included above, here are some additional
- Best Ways To Save Money On Gift Wrap
- 5 Holiday Gift Ideas You Can Make Today!
- What (& What Not) To Buy At Thrift Stores This Holiday
- How To Save Money At Your Next Holiday Potluck
- Money-Saving Gift Wrap Alternatives
I’m a health nut, a frugal mom, a dog lover, a DIYer, and a gadget girl. Personally, as a post-divorce, working single mom on a budget I have a lot of experiences that I enjoy sharing so others can learn from the things I wish I knew earlier! Professionally, I’ve worked full-time in a variety of marketing, sales, and editing jobs. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as Managing Editor at The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).