7 Ways to Save Money this Christmas

7 Ways to Save Money This Christmas

I just love this time of year.  There’s so much excitement and anticipation in the air.  Holiday parties, making cookies, wrapping presents, and LOTS of shopping!  But if you’re anything like me, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the holiday gift guides out there, and stressed out by the money you’re shelling this time of year.  For all of my budget conscious readers out there, I’m here to give you a few tips on how to save money this holiday season, while still making the most out of this magical and precious holiday.

      1. Make a list, and check it twice.Christmas Savings

        Before I even start buying gifts for the holidays, I make a list of everyone I’m going to buy for.  If I can see a list of everyone I need to spend money on, I can be more realistic with how much I am able to spend on each person.  Next, I go through and set a spending limit for each person.  Every family will have different budgets for this step, but setting limits that you actually stick to will seriously help you keep costs down this Christmas.

      2. Keep it to the Stockings

        Christmas Savings
        Since having kids, much of the excitement my husband and I feel for Christmas comes from getting our children gifts and making the season magical for them.  We realize we don’t need or want as much as we used to and watching them open gifts is just as exciting as opening our own.  So instead of buying each other presents just for the sake of having something to open, we decided to just fill each other’s stocking.  It’s so fun to try to find smaller gifts to give each other and it forces us to be a bit more creative. We try to wrap everything, even if it’s just a candy bar, so it takes us longer to go through them. We haven’t tried it before, but I’ve also heard of people doing themed stockings such as a “date night stocking” or “sweet tooth stocking”. As long as you’re not filling each other’s stocking with gold and diamonds, this trick actually ends up saving you lots of money and still allows for sweet sentiment between you and your special someone.
      3.   Homemade Gifts

        Christmas Savings
        We all have those people in our lives who are not in our immediate family but we still buy things for- co-workers, friends, neighbors, etc. For these gifts, I usually like to give something homemade.  Sometimes I’ll make a bunch of cookies or chocolate-covered pretzels and put them in a pretty jar with ribbon and personalized gift tag. You can also give a small potted plant or a pretty candle or soap you find on sale or from a local small business. This way, you’re not empty-handed when they hand you a present but you haven’t spent a lot of money either.

      4. Instill the “4 Gift Rule”

        Four gifts per family member- something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. I think this is a really sweet idea and not only helps to keep costs down, but really forces you to be intentional about what gifts you buy.
      5.  Or the “3 Gift Rule”

        4717782603464a7961e38fcdfdcc8367.jpgI’ve also heard of families using a “three gift rule,” as modeled after the first Christmas. Jesus was given three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Since we would not even be having our present-day Christmases without the first Christmas, this sentiment of three gifts is one that I love. It’s hard not to think about the real meaning of Christmas when opening presents if you use this simple rule.

      6. Shop online

        Christmas savingsShopping online is just safer! Well, it is for me at least! Shopping in stores leaves you open for more impulse buys, and last minute grabs near the checkout. When shopping online, I tend to go right to what I’m looking for, rather than browse through the whole selection. I also like that I can have several windows open at once to make sure I’m getting the best deal for what I’m looking for.

        1. Gift Experiences Instead of Products

          ice-skating.jpgI am using this method for several of my gifts this year. We have one group of friends with an ever-growing child population. When our group only had one or two babies, of course we all wanted to buy them presents. But as the kids get older, and more babies arrive, it just gets to be too much. We all just love spending time together. So this year, in lieu of gifts, we are all going to a local farm that hosts hayrides, cookie decorating, and a light show on the lake. This way, we’re creating lasting memories and contributing to the joy and excitement of the season, without buying individual gifts for everyone.

With these tips and tricks, I guarantee you will be able to cut down on costs this holiday season, without missing a beat of Christmas joy.  What are your cost-saving ideas for this time of year? Share your best advice in the comments below! And Happy Holidays!

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