13 Ways To Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity During the Holidays
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Between now and Christmas there are so many things that we want and need to buy. There are beautiful and fun gifts just begging to be bought. But, to live frugally and simply we need to be very careful how we spend money. It’s so important to face the coming weeks with a plan and stick to it. Here are a few tips to help you stay on track.
Create a budget and stick to it. You’ll need to make a plan for gifts, decorations, food, and extras. Then, shop by your budget and don’t spend more than that. It will take away a lot of stress when you don’t go into debt just to celebrate the holidays. Grab your turkey or ham at a store like Sam’s Club or Costco.
Live Cheaper in December
Come up with cheaper meal plans. You could have a few extra meatless meals and make things from scratch. Skip the drive-through and make something at home. Cut the electric bill by turning down the thermostat one or two degrees. Skip the coffee shop and vending machines by taking your own coffee and snacks from home.
Offer Gifts of Time Instead of Money
If you have more time than money you could make your gifts. A hand made gift is so special: crafts, cookies, mixes, or custom baskets will make someone very happy.
Shop local for unique presents and support small businesses. Small businesses can offer great discounts and services, too. Many small businesses offer free gift-wrapping during the Christmas season.
Save On Gift Wrap
Don’t spend a lot on gift wrapping. Save bags year after year. I save tissue paper and ribbons to reuse. Gift bags are very expensive so find cheaper Dollar Store bags and paper. You can also buy bundles of generic white or brown paper bags. You can decorate them with stamps or let children decorate them with crayons, glitter, or paint.
Save Time And Energy By Cooking Ahead
Bake ahead and freeze for holiday meals. Most recipes will tell you if the dish can be frozen before or after cooking. You’ll have more energy to enjoy the event if you haven’t spent the last 12 hours in the kitchen.
So many times I’ve busted my budget by waiting until the last minute to get stocking stuffers. Shop early and grab stocking stuffers on the clearance table or at the Dollar Store.
Don’t Shop When You’re Hungry
Although it’s tempting to treat yourself with hot pretzels or giant cookies, it’s better for your wallet to put snacks in your purse. Carry a tote and bring along a bottle of water.
Give Of Yourself
Give “Coupons” for services like baby-sitting, dog-walking, or another needed activity. Make your own or print out gift coupons with free online templates.
Get Cash Back
Make sure to shop online through Rakuten to get cash back on almost everything you buy. You’ll find all types of gifts and even travel reservations. Travel is cheaper when you book far ahead – train and plane ticket prices will just go up closer to the holiday. If you have a credit card with travel points, you might be able to get some free flights or hotel rooms.
Win Your Gifts
This time of year my blog has more giveaways than every before. Enter all my giveaways and you never know what you might win!
Some gifts can be found on eBay or Craigslist. You could find a gym set or bike that’s almost new. Christmas decorations could be made with cheap thrift items. Thrift stores are good places to find platters, glassware or dishes.
Create Free Christmas Traditions
Most of the best memories are ones that cost nothing. My family loves to drive around to look at lights and visiting drive-through nativities. I love to have a tree decorating night with homemade pizza. Families grow closer with board game or movie nights at home. Help serve food at a soup kitchen, volunteer at the Salvation Army or visit elderly and sing carols.
These and other great ideas can be found in the eBook below. I hope you’ll download this free ebook.
@2021, copyright Lisa Ehrman