How To Have A Thrifty Christmas
A few weeks is all we have left! Of course, we want to have the best holiday ever and often that means we are going to spend way too much money. Maybe it’s too late to plan but I wanted to share some thrifty, money saving tips that you can take with you for this year and years to follow.
We are all in the same boat. We have bills to pay and they are always due right around the holidays. Luckily there are lots of ways to save money and be thrifty. In my blogging group, I can across some great ideas as well.
My Money Saving Tips
There are common sense ways to save money on Christmas I learned when my kids were little and we struggled at the time just to get by. First of all, begin with a budget! I can’t say this enough. Decide beforehand a reasonable budget for how much you can afford to spend on everything from gifts to Christmas Dinner.
This is primarily where we spend the most money. I remember certain people you had to be really careful buying for because you knew you were going to be judged. I take gifts really seriously, I make it my mission to know about who I’m buying for so that the gift means more than the money spent. It is after all, the thought that goes into it, right?
Because everyone isn’t at the same place financially in life it is wise to be thrifty and set dollar limits when exchanging gifts with family and friends. This keeps the pressure for the perfect gift to the minimum.
I don’t know about you, but there were a lot of kids in my family. On my then husbands side, everyone had three kids, myself included. It is the perfect reason to do the Secret Santa or pollyanna. This idea is really great for the whole family outside of the immediate circle.
Homemade gifts are great! There is almost nothing you can’t make now and it’s not all difficult for the craft-impaired. You can give cookies, make an “Our Moments Book”. I went over this idea in my post about Gifts For Children To Make. To be honest, it’s great for any age.
The Dollar Store
I know it sounds cheap but there are tons of thrifty ideas there as well. Buy mugs and paint them, fill them with candy. Buy stockings and fill them with things you know the person really likes. It’s like getting two gifts. Last year for my granddaughter I bought a stocking and filled it with hair accessories. She was thrilled because she thought she was getting a crapload of stuff lol.
Give The Gift Of Time
Give your family and friends something they need. Any service you can offer can mean so much. Maybe it’s a night of babysitting or lawn care. Make them a gift certificate. Offer professional services like a free haircut if you’re a stylist or do their taxes. Whatever it is that could make someone’s life easier is a priceless gift.
The bottom line really is the people we love. It is one of the few days a year when everyone can get together. The drawback is the time and dollars spent. One year I had the whole family for dinner and that was 22 people, which I said I would never do again!
It cost upwards of 200 at the grocery store and basically all I did was cook (and drink wine). There is no shame in asking people to contribute. Have everyone bring something and help cook. It definitely takes the stress off and is fun as well.
Christmas Cookie Party Ideas I love!
I love Christmas Cookies! You bake some homemade goodies and I am so about it. I recently ran across a few brilliant ideas that involved cookies and parties.
First up was Matt from sprinkles and sawdust with a Chrismas Card And Cookie Exchange which involves cookies, voting and prizes..loved it. You can read it here—> SprinklesAndSawdust
The another post that got me craving cookies is from Susan at the Sparrow’s Home. All about hosting a Christmas Cookie Baking Day. Sounds fun and just think more cookies, less work. You can read it here—> Cookie Baking Day
How Others Save A Few Dollars
So I put the word out, asking how other people are saving at Christmas because I love new ideas and a couple of bloggers put their two cents in.
Zoe from Whimsy And Cosy says she puts the gifts she’s planning to buy in her wishlist on Amazon and waits for the price to go down.
This is what Sam from Modern Day Hippie Mama had to say:
-stock up on presents throughout the year so they’re not bought all at one time with a large expense.
-I make a lot of gifts, or do swaps with local artisans
-I buy alcoholic gifts and chocolate as close to Christmas as possible so that they don’t accidently get consumed by me, and need to be replaced (it’s been known to happen…)
-I get necessities for my kids’ stockings. Santa brings toothbrushes, socks, undies, etc. They’re all things they’ll need throughout the year anyway, but so much more exciting when Santa brings them.