Christmas season can get expensive, but you don’t have to let it take over your bank account. Read these frugal Christmas tips to help you survive the holidays without going broke.
Christmas is right around the corner! I have almost finished my Christmas shopping, but I still have a few more things to get. Since we are in the middle of a home renovation we decided not to spend as much on Christmas this year.
Sticking to a budget is really important, especially during the holidays. If you let it, Christmas can ruin your bank account. I’ve come up with 20 frugal Christmas tips to help you stick to your budget this year and not go broke.
Here are 20 frugal Christmas tips you need to know!
1. Give gifts that meet a need. Take some time to consider those less fortunate than you this Christmas. You can donate to a cause or spend time volunteering within your community. We have a place called Agape Center locally that offers many different types of services to families in need from food to clothing to firewood. Helping strangers in need not only helps them, it also helps you.
2. Use meal planning to help save money on non-holiday meals. Keep your meals throughout the season low cost by meal planning. Having a grocery and food budget helps keep money in your pocket year round. Leaving you with extra money to buy a bigger Christmas ham.
3. Get cashback for shopping online. If you are going to be doing any shopping online, take advantage of cashback sites like Rakuten. Just this month alone I’ve already collected $17 cashback with Rakuten from online shopping. My husband and I use the same account and since he does all his shopping online we rack up the cashback amount. Tip: When you get your cashback consider putting that money aside to save for next year’s Christmas money. Any shopping you do online will get you cashback, so put that money in your “Christmas fund”.
Read about other cashback apps to use while shopping here.
4. Buy clearance gift wrap after Christmas. Stores usually mark their Christmas gift wrapping supplies way down after Christmas. This is the best time to stock up for next year.
5. Comparison shop. This is my main reason for shopping online. I would much rather shop in a store, but when I’m in the store I cannot really compare prices as easily. Comparison shopping will save you money, but make sure to factor in shipping costs as well.
6. Shop on Christmas Eve. If you can, head out early on Christmas Eve to get the best deals. Black Friday is a huge shopping day, but most of the best deals happen the day before Christmas. My dad does a lot of last-minute Christmas shopping and he saves so much money. My mom and I always make fun of him for waiting so late, but then we figured out why.
7. Make your own Christmas ornaments. Making your own Christmas ornaments not only saves money, but it’s also a lot of fun. Get the whole family involved and fill up your tree with handmade ornaments. You’ll have memories for years to come!
8. Decorate with handmade Christmas decorations. Handmade Christmas decorations do not have to be a difficult task. You can make a lot of home decor using items from Dollar Tree. They can be quick and easy and simple enough that the kids can help you, too.
For DIY Christmas home decor ideas using items from Dollar Tree, see these great posts:
Quick & Easy Christmas DIY’s
Christmas Swag Using Dollar Tree Mini Christmas Trees
Farmhouse Christmas Jars
9. Stick to the Christmas budget. Put a limit on how much money is going to be spent on Christmas and stick to it. When I was younger, my mom told me that she had a certain amount of money to spend on each of us and she usually stayed under budget. That was such a great frugal Christmas tip for me.
10. Give baked goods as presents. People love to eat, at least I know I do! Cookies and baked goods make the perfect Christmas gift for neighbors and friends. Consider baking some Cake Mix Fudge Crinkle Cookies or putting together a bag of Pretzel Hugs.
11. DIY your gifts. Consider making gifts for loved ones instead of buying. If you crochet or knit, maybe make a scarf with gloves and hat gift set. Homemade room sprays, candles, and wax tarts for warmers also make wonderful gifts.
12. Sign up for store emails for discounts. A lot of stores offer discounts on their items or your total purchase just for signing up for their emails. You can always unsubscribe later.
13. Do not buy unnecessary gifts. Just because you see a great deal on something doesn’t mean you have to buy it. Stick to your Christmas list as much as possible and stay away from impulse buys.
14. Use your skills as gifts. Using the skills you have can really help someone else out and keep money in your pocket. Are you good at doing taxes? Then consider helping someone with their taxes. If you can knit or crochet, make chemo caps to donate to cancer centers. If you are great at organizing, consider organizing a friend’s home for her.
15. Try a Christmas grab bag. I was talking with a lady while waiting in line at Kirkland’s and she mentioned that her church does grab bags instead of Secret Santa. They have a limit on the amount to spend on the bag and fill it up with items. A small candle or scent sachet along with a cute little sign and some chocolate fits perfect in a little grab bag.
16. Make the gift last all year. Have a friend or family member with a dog? Consider giving them the gift of walking their dog all year for Christmas. Or how about babysitting once a month for a couple who needs date nights? Give a gift that costs you nothing but means the world to someone else.
17. Save a dollar a day. Starting at the beginning of the year save $1 every day. At the end of the year, you will have saved up a little over $350. Make it $2 a day and you’ll have even more money when Christmas rolls around.
18. Look for free Christmas events. Every year our small town shuts down Downtown and holds a free Christmas event for the public. There’s caroling, sleigh rides, pictures with Santa, games, and so much more. Look for parades to attend, too. A lot of churches have Christmas plays or live nativities, so check out the churches in your area.
19. Combine gifts. My mom always gives my husband and I gifts separately, then gives us something together. Combining gifts for couples helps save a lot of money, especially if you don’t know what to get them separately.
20. Remember the reason for the season! Christmas isn’t about getting a bunch of gifts. It’s about the act of giving. Don’t forget the reason we have Christmas to begin with!
I hope these 20 frugal Christmas tips will help you spend less and give more this holiday season!