Top 5 Ways To Save At Christmas

Tips for Keeping Christmas Affordable Yet Beautiful

Top 5 Ways To Save At Christmas
November 29, 2016

The Christmas season is rapidly approaching. Can you have a wonderful holiday while keeping your expenses down? Of course, you can. All it takes is willpower – and a plan.

If you are having trouble making a plan, feel free to use the following five ideas as a starting point.

  1. Don’t Overspend on Gifts – Easier said than done, you say? Not necessarily. You can keep your gift expenses down by making a budget, shopping early, shopping online for deals, and using any coupons or discounts available. If you really want to ensure that you do not overspend, leave the credit cards at home and pay in cash.

    It is best if you can get the whole family to agree to keep gift expenses down. Some families draw names so each member does not feel obligated to buy gifts for everyone else.

    Finally, consider making your gifts instead of buying them. Keepsakes such as knitted clothing or handcrafted art will not only save money but may well become family treasures.

  2. Keep Decorations Simple –You do not need a massive tree, or even a real tree, to retain the Christmas spirit. Go with a smaller or artificial tree, stick with simple ornaments, and avoid disposable items such as tinsel.

    Lights are fine, but there is no need to overdo it and light up (or potentially brown out) the neighborhood. A few simple strings of newer and more energy efficient lights will keep energy costs down. You don’t have to keep them on 24/7, either.

    After the Christmas holiday, you can check at hobby, craft, and big-box stores for clearance decorations that you can store for next year’s use. You might be able to save on future gifts at the same time. However, stay away from the clearance candy aisle or you will spend (and eat) more than you should.


  3. Save on Travel – If you are traveling by air over the holidays, keep a watch on prices and buy your ticket as early as you reasonably can. Airlines are packed over the holidays and prices can spiral for the few remaining seats. Consider nearby airports within reasonable driving distance – you may be able to find a good enough deal to cover rental car expenses and the extra time involved.

    Drivers may be at the mercy of local gas prices, but you can save a little gas money by making sure tires are properly inflated, driving at the speed limit, and avoiding side trips.

    If you have to, consider holding your Christmas holiday gathering early or late to allow travelers to arrive when airfares are a bit more reasonable.

  4. Keep Christmas Dinner Modest – Christmas dinners can be as bad as Thanksgiving for wasting food. If you want a ham or turkey, shop early for good deals and keep the size to a minimum, or have a plan for the leftovers to avoid waste.

    Minimize side dishes, or ask others to bring side dishes potluck-style to increase the variety while spreading out the expense.

  5. Avoid Impulse Buying – Impulse buying can easily get out of control. Stick to the budget you already made, and keep track of your spending so you can verify you are on budget. If you slip, keep the receipt in case you decide to return the item.

These and other simple tips can help you have a wonderful holiday without worrying about holiday debt. You can then focus on what is really important – your loved ones and the joyous time that you get to spend with them.


Photo ©iStockphoto.com/svetikd

  Conversation   |   15 Comments

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Erin | 12.01.15 @ 21:02
Impulse buying is definitely something that can get out of control quickly. I don't think we'll be cutting back on the food, but we usually don't have an issue using up the leftovers either. Great tips, thanks!
Sarah | 12.01.15 @ 21:03
Great tips for even those who celebrate other winter holidays too. Impulse buying is a dangerous habit no matter the time of year.
Daniel Dohlstrom | 12.01.15 @ 21:05
It is a time of year people can easily over spend, but make and stick to a budget and plan plan plan
Jane | 12.01.15 @ 21:07
Impulse Buying is the most difficult habit to break. I try, though, to see if the impulse item is on sale, and if I have any coupons.
Irene | 12.01.15 @ 21:07
Great info. I need to work on impulse buying. But I do well with decorations because I wait for after Christmas and Pre Christmas sales.
Christina | 12.01.15 @ 21:08
I stick to a budget all year round, and try to set aside money each month to go toward holiday purchases. I wish more banks still offered a Christmas Club to make that easier!
Heather | 12.01.15 @ 21:08
I usually save throughout the year and have a budget. This year we didn't and I just lost my job, so we will definitely need to stick to a list and no impulse buying. We are lucky that we do a gift exchange with my family, so we don't have to buy gifts for everyone. Plus, we all bring a dish for dinner so the bulk of the food isn't just on one person. That helps a lot.
Bobbie | 12.01.15 @ 21:10
I have a list an a budget that I stick too. I always look for discounts, sales or coupons for all the stores that I plan on hitting. I'll use credit cards that give me points when out shopping, then come home and pay off whatever I bought so I'm not hit with interest fees, but still get the benefits of the points.
Amanda | 12.01.15 @ 21:10
Impulse buying is my biggest issues, all the others I follow just fine. Trying to do better with the buying or over buying. Great tips for ones to follow.
Debbie | 12.01.15 @ 21:11
I am ashamed to admit I am an impulse buyer at times. I do plan well for the big meal and the leftovers though.
Nancy | 12.01.15 @ 21:20
The best tip for me is to not impulse buy. I try to buy in advance and then have it done to avoid the last minute spending.
Steffanie | 12.01.15 @ 21:20
These are great tips to keep in budget
Carla Truett | 12.01.15 @ 21:20
We are saving by going to the woods to cut our own tree this year. Money is tighter than usual for us but we will be together and that is what makes Christmas for us.
Clarissa | 12.01.15 @ 21:24
Pinterest has really great ideas for making your own gifts. Simple things such as cookie or brownie ingredients in a mason jar are cute, cheap, and can be enjoyed by just about everyone. Buying on clearance after Christmas and throughout the year is a fun way to start early because once it comes time to give the presents, you've probably forgotten about them so it's fun to see them again and have the joy of knowing it's finally time to gift them!
Elaine | 12.01.15 @ 21:26
I typically make my own gifts and like someone mentioned above me... Pinterest is great for ideas.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.03.16 @ 09:47
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