It’s here! It’s here! The holiday season is officially here, and I couldn’t be more excited for it. I’m one of those people who absolutely LOVES Christmas time and will go all out for this time of year as much as possible. I’m also one of those people who loves to save money, but unfortunately, Christmas time is not exactly known for being easy on the wallet. So over the years, I’ve come up with some good ways to save money during the holiday season while still being able to get into the Christmas spirit. Here are some of my top tips and tricks:
1 – Buy gift wrap from The Dollar Store: Since this time of year is centered largely around gifts, buying gift wrap is pretty much inevitable. I hate spending money on gift wrap, though, because the majority of the time, it just gets torn up and thrown away. That’s why I started buying my holiday gift wrap at The Dollar Store. Last weekend, I went to The Dollar Store and scored four boxes, a bag of bows, a spool of ribbon, and four gift bags all for $10! After the presents have been opened, I like to save the gift bags and keep them in my gift wrap box to reuse for the following year.
2 – Buy a fake tree: Chris and I bought a pre-lit, 4 ft, fake tree back in 2012 for around $50 and it saves us money every year. A friend told me she paid $100 for her real tree this year and I couldn’t believe it! That’s a lot of money she could be spending on Christmas gifts rather than something that’s just going to die and be thrown away at the end of the month.
3 – Do a secret santa gift exchange or white elephant with family/friends: If your family and friends insist on exchanging gifts every year, opt to do a secret santa or white elephant gift exchange where you only have to buy one present instead of five. My family and I do a spin on a white elephant gift exchange every year where we set a $25 budget and buy something that someone would actually want instead of a gag gift. This usually results in gifts like bottles of wine or booze, Amazon gift cards, etc.
4 – Buy your gifts online: I especially love this tip because it saves you money AND time, and we all know that time is money. The way this tip saves you money is you aren’t using up the gas in your car to drive all over town and shop. Since Chris and I moved in October, we aren’t as centrally-located like we were before, so now I’m pretty picky about when I drive somewhere that’s more than 15 minutes away in fear of wasting gas. On Black Friday, I sat on my comfy couch and bought almost all of Chris’ gifts online in about 15 minutes. THE BEST. Bonus: buying your gifts online saves you the hassel of dealing with traffic, trying to find a spot in a crowded parking lot, long lines at the cashier, and encountering grouchy shoppers!
5 – Buy your holiday decor at thrift stores or DIY: I did this in college after I moved out for the first time on my own and wanted some cheap holiday decor to decorate my apartment with. At my local Goodwill, I found a stocking hangar, a string of lights, and tree ornaments that I still use to this day. DIY is always a good option for this time of year, too. I made this Christmas card wreath a few years ago and it’s become one of my favorite Christmas decorations because it’s practical and I made it myself for very little money. I should also mention The Dollar Store is another good place for cheap Christmas decor; that’s where I got the red tree skirt in the picture above!
What are some ways you like to save money during the holidays?