As the holidays roll around we all start to look for ways to cut corners and save as much of our hard earned money as possible. The good news is that it is absolutely possible (and even easy) to save money without sacrificing any holiday joys! Let’s take a look at some effective ways to have a truly memorable holiday season without breaking the bank.
Shop the Sales Online
Thank goodness for the internet! If Black Friday isn’t your thing, there’s no need to brave the crowds to get the good deals. Most online retailers offer online-specific sales and free shipping incentives to their online shoppers. Keep a list of the gifts that you are hoping to purchase and their regular prices. When shopping online, search for those specific items. As soon as you find a good deal, add it to your cart and checkout without wasting a drop of gasoline or time spent browsing the aisles of your local store.
Give Group Gifts
When purchasing for a family or multiple people, consider gifting them a group gift to enjoy together. If you normally buy each person a $25 gift card, that can add up quickly! Some great group gift ideas are:
- Family Museum Memberships
- A Family Portrait Session
- A Gift Card to Their Favorite Restaurant
- Discounted Theatre or Amusement Park Tickets
Plan Low or No Cost Holiday Experiences
One of the best ways to enjoy the holidays is to ride around looking at holiday lights and yard displays. Make an evening of it: bring thermoses of hot cocoa, have the kids check off what decorations they see on a holiday lights bingo board and sing holiday carols. Being together is the best gift of all, and the whole night out costs nothing!
An excellent way to foster family togetherness and save money is to give back. Instead of browsing the shopping mall or purchasing tickets to holiday events, spend your time helping those less fortunate. Volunteering at a food pantry, animal shelter or nursing home will provide more benefits than you can imagine.
Put Your Creativity to Work
The homemade gift market is popular this year! Are you known for your baking or sewing skills? Put your creativity to work and create gifts for those in your life. A handmade ornament or jar of granola is a lovely way to let those you love know that you care.
If you don’t have a crafty bone in your body, you can still give handmade gifts. Children love to create frugal salt dough ornaments or paint a wooden photo frame to give as a gift. Also consider shopping from a local artisan. Not only will you be spending your money wisely, but you are also supporting a local maker.
Once you’ve experienced a holiday season that is free of financial stress, you’ll never go back. Going into debt or being stressed out about money is no way to spend these precious, festive days. Spend your time with your friends and family, give generously and thoughtfully, manage your budget well and enjoy the season
Photo: asenat29 / CC 2.0