Christmas is around the corner. You need to start now if you want to save money on the holidays this year. The following twenty tips can help:
- Budget. It is crucial that you take a look at what you can reasonably afford to spend on Christmas this year and budget accordingly. Consider all costs including presents, shipping, travel, and holiday meals when making your budget.
- Cut back on all other spending. Reduce spending in all other areas for the next couple of months so that you have the extra money you need for Christmas.
- Make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for. Go through the list and cross off anyone that you are having second thoughts about. Limit who you buy holiday gifts for.
- Think of items before you go shopping. Take your list and jot down a gift idea next to each name. This prevents expensive impulse purchases.
- Shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If the crowds of Black Monday are too much for you then do online shopping on Cyber Monday for good deals on those big gifts that you’ve decided to get this year.
- Use smart sites when shopping online. DestroyDebt.com recommends becoming an Amazon associates, using coupon sites, getting cash back by shopping at sites like FatWallet.com and finding good deals with sites like Pricegrabber.
- Make your own paper. You can make your own paper for gift tags, Christmas cards and even to use as wrapping paper. Why spend money on those things?
- Send Christmas emails instead of Christmas cards. If someone isn’t getting a gift then you may want to recognize them with a card. Send an email or give them a holiday call instead.
- Use LED lights for holiday decorating. These lights are much more energy efficient than other options for Christmas lighting and save you a lot of money each year.
- Be frugal with other holiday decorating. Use kids’ arts and crafts, make popcorn strings, hang homemade stockings and otherwise use frugal Christmas decorating options.
- Host a Christmas potluck at your place. A big Christmas meal for friends and family can cost a lot of money. A potluck is much more affordable.
- Give kids one big present and lots and lots of little presents. You can get very inexpensive gifts at the dollar store and convenience store. Kids like having a lot of stuff to open but every present doesn’t need to be a pricey one.
- Agree to trade emotional gifts with your spouse and adult family members. Go for handmade gifts like scrapbooks and homemade CD mixes rather than pricey store bought items.
- Do a gift exchange with large groups. Coworkers and large family members can do a gift exchange so that each person only has to purchase one item but everyone gets something.
- Give home baked cookies as gifts. This is a very affordable gift that you can easily make and deliver in one day to all of those people you want to gift with something but won’t be having over for the holidays.
- Collect freebies starting now. Make gift baskets of freebies to give away as holiday gifts this year.
- Get picky about accepting Christmas party invitations. You’ll spend less on wine, gifts and dressing up if you go to fewer holiday parties.
- Skip Christmas travel. Alternate family holiday gatherings so that you don’t have to travel every year.
- Choose frugal Christmas vacation entertainment. Whether you do travel or just stay at home with the kids, look for Christmas entertainment that is free or cheap. Watch holiday videos at home, read holiday books together, do cheap holiday crafts and go to free holiday events in your area.
- Do Christmas spending on a credit card that gives you cash back. Make sure that you pay the total amount in full to avoid interest while getting cash back for your purchases.
This is a guest post by Sean who blogs for airlinetickets.org and plans to save money by using coupon codes this Christmas.
Internet marketing provides a lot of opportunities for saving money while shopping. Several cash back sites, coupon sites, rewards programs are available on the net that help shoppers saving online. Such facilities are not available in the market. Moreover, online retailers provide special offers to the online buyers. Being a frugal online buyer, I always use cash back websites like ShopAtHome, AAfter Search and Ebates, and MrRebates.