7 Easy and Unconventional Tips for a Frugal Christmas

If you want to have a frugal Christmas, you’ll want to see this list of unexpected ways to save money this holiday. Here are seven unconventional ways to see your Christmas savings pile up. Some of these ideas cost no money at all!

1. Have a book exchange

Instead of giving gifts that cost a lot of money, have everyone pick a favorite book from their collection, wrap it up, and bring it to the exchange. I did this with my book group and the book I got was “An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love.”

What would I bring to a book exchange? My favorite book, “The Blue Castle,” is fantastic. You don’t have to spend any money with a book exchange.

2. Have a toy exchange

A mom group toy exchange is a great way to get rid of old toys and games and pick up new ones to give your children for Christmas. I was able to pick up a board book at my homeschooling mom group. Bring the toys your kids are tired of to the next exchange.

3. Do family gift bags

Have everyone bring a gift and create a group gift bag. For example, my sister brought a gift bag that included cute kitchen towels, tea, useful crafts, holiday drink packets, holiday popcorn, and put an ornament in the bag.

There are lots of fun goodies that are not specific to anyone but great for the whole family to enjoy.

4. Say no to events you don’t want to attend

If something doesn’t sound super fun, don’t go. It’ll save you money, too. We all have the right to say no and politely decline.

Christmas gifts

5. Give gifts that help others save money

What does that look like? If you know someone who wants to try a frugal hack, sometimes it takes money to start it. You can give someone something that will help save money in the long run.

For example, if someone you know wants to get into canning to preserve vegetables and fruits, all that gear can be really expensive. Gift them Mason jars – sometimes I find them at garage sales.

Another example is to give diaper covers to someone you know who is using cloth diapers. Some of the really good covers can cost about $15 a pop, so any cloth-diapering mom would be ecstatic about getting cloth diaper covers as a gift. The ones I use are plastic-y inside with snaps.

Another frugal gift would be sponge replacement rags. They are mesh and abrasive, and they work better than a sponge, in my opinion. When they become gross, you throw them in the wash and use them again.

Christmas dinner

6. Do family Christmas another time

The most important thing is making time to get together. But Christmastime can be a hazardous time to travel because of the snow and the gift expectations are nuts. So why not make a big deal out of Easter or the 4th of July instead?

That way you can remove that whole gifting expectation and enjoy each other’s presence and play outdoor games. Moving the holiday itself could be nice for everyone and way less expensive. We do a Christmas thing at Thanksgiving.

7. Shop the year-end fall sales

I went to Hobby Lobby and all the fall stuff is 90 percent off. Shop for next year at the end of the current season. You know how in January all the Christmas stuff is discounted? Fall stuff is discounted in December.

I got some super pretty flowers at Hobby Lobby for $1.50 each that were originally $15 bucks! So I have a beautiful fall arrangement for $3.00.

Frugal Christmas

Those are my seven unconventional frugal Christmas ideas. What do you do to save money on Christmas gifts?

Please share your frugal Christmas decorating ideas here in the comments so we can all learn money-saving tips and tricks.

Join the conversation
  • Alice Alice on Nov 22, 2023
    I'm intend to give food items I make myself or purchase from the store. Laundry detergent, dish detergent and toilet paper is always usable year round.
  • Tammy Duncan Tammy Duncan on Dec 25, 2023
    Where is the link? I can’t find it.