- Personal Finance
Save Money On Christmas
How To Save For Christmas
As joyous and wonderful as the Christmas season is, it's easy to get carried away with gift giving and entertaining. The next thing you know you're wondering where all your money went.
Here are lots of tips and tricks for how to save money on al things Christmas.
When To Start Christmas Shopping
The day after Christmas, most stores have their holiday items 50% off. But, why settle for only 50%. If you are going to be storing it away until next Christmas, you may as well wait a few more days. I found that about 7-10 days after the holiday, you can get things as much as 90% off.
In fact, I like to hit the after-season sales for all the major holidays to check a few more lines of my Christmas list. Those pink polka dot pajamas on the Valentine's clearance - perfect winter pjs for my mother-in-law next Christmas.
These post-season sales are also the perfect time to pick up holiday decor and wrapping paper. I scored enough wrapping paper a few years back that for $10 or so, I have about 5 years of wrapping paper. Speaking of wrapping paper - if they have some in solid colors, such as red, silver or blue, pick up a few extra rolls for other occasions - weddings, baby showers and birthday parties.
Keep a List Of Who To Buy For
Christmas Gifts On a Budget
The biggest part of the Christmas budget for most people are the gifts. With that in mind, here are ways to save on holiday gifts.
- Make a list - Keep a running list of who is (or will be) on your Christmas list. Jot down their sizes, favorite colors, interests, etc.
- Shop early - Waiting until Christmas Eve to do most of your Christmas shopping means you end up paying three times what you otherwise would for the pre-wrapped gifts sets that might not even get opened. Instead, with your recipient list in hand, start shopping as early as the after Christmas sales. Sure, this won't work for the teenager on your list who has to have the latest winter fashion, but it's great picking up holiday blankets for your kids daycare workers or cocoa mugs for your office mates. If you time it right, you might be lucky to snag some deals at 90% off - making that $20 vase only $2. I've scored big hits (and big savings) during the 90% off post-holiday sales.
Mason Jars For Homemade Gifts
- Make It Yourself - If you are handy or crafty this is a no-brainer; simply put those skills to work making holiday gifts. But, even if crafts aren't your strong suit, there are lots of things you can make that are simple, budget-friendly and make great gifts.
- Potted Plants - A few months before the holiday season, get some cuttings from your favorite houseplant and repot them in a decorative pot. This also works well with plants that you can divide, such as African Violets. Give the transplants a few months to root before the Christmas season, so they are nice and full. For the cost of a pot and some soil, you have a great Christmas gift. Speaking of post-season sales, you can even get your pots at the end of the summer season for deep discounts. Consider this - a store bought potted plant can run you about $20 or more. Or, you can get an $8 pot for 75% off making it $2. Add another $2 for a bag of potting soil and for $4 you have a gorgeous gift that will last for years to come. In fact, that bag of potting soil will probably do 4 potted plants, stretching your gift giving dollar even further.
When Do You Start Christmas Shopping
More Ways to Cut Your Christmas Budget
- Just Say No - If you feel pressured into doing a gift exchange at the office, chances are others are feeling the same way. Suggest an alternative to a gift exchange, such as a dirty santa, a tacky sweater party or a hot cocoa mixer.
- Draw Names - As the extended family continues to grow, buying gifts for 35 cousins starts to get expensive. Consider drawing names rather than buying a gift for everyone.
- Family Gifts - Consider buying a gift for each family, rather than for each person. Think of something the whole family can enjoy, such as a family-friendly board game.
Remember The Reason
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you save money this Christmas. I'd love to hear your other money saving tips for cutting your Christmas budget.