Looking to save on Christmas expenses? You can totally cut back, save money, and still enjoy a great holiday. Here are some easy ways to save.
As you probably know, the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years are the biggest retail weeks of the year. Stores want your money and they’ll go to great lengths to get you to buy their product.
We need to be diligent all 12 months of the year, but Christmas time can be an exceptionally tempting season toward overspending. Thinking about it today can help you spend less and save more in the long run. Create a battle plan now before the sights and sounds of Christmas sway you toward not so wise choices.
Thankfully, you don’t need to go all bah-humbug. There are plenty of ways to save on Christmas expenses.
5 Ways to Save on Christmas Expenses
The following are ways that we have made ends meet at the holidays.
For years this was my main mode of operation. I enjoyed the creative exercise crafting handmade gifts, and we saved money. If you’re going to make gifts, NOW is the time to gather ideas and supplies and to get started, if you haven’t already. Handmade gifts can take longer than you think, and it does you no good if you are burning the midnight oil on December 24th. Been there, done that.
–> Check out my HUGE database of gifts you can make, including easy and inexpensive ideas for kids, teens, college students, ladies and men.
Win with Swagbucks
I love Swagbucks. Over the years my family has used it a search engine that rewards us with points that we redeem for Amazon gift cards. Some years I’ve been able to purchase all the kids’ Christmas gifts on Amazon with Swagbucks. Talk about a Christmas miracle.
If you haven’t signed up yet, do so now and start earning SwagBucks. You can earn Swagbucks by searching the web, completing surveys, referring friends, shopping through their portal, and even watching short videos.
By the time the holidays roll around, you could have a nice little nest egg to trade in for gift cards. This past weekend I logged in to find enough points for $30 in Amazon gift cards.
Shop online via Ebates
Even though we live in the same state as most of our family, we don’t see everybody on the holidays. I’ve found that if I know I am going to ship a present, I do better to skip the middle man (me) and have the gift go straight from the store to the gift recipient.
(They usually know I’m too cheap to spring for gift wrapping, so they know not to open the package until Christmas.)
Since I order a fair amount online, I’ve found that using Ebates works well all year-round to get a little cash back from online purchases. Not only that, but Ebates has the latest in coupon codes and discounts so you can get extra savings shopping through their portal
In the past I’ve done my Black Friday shopping through Ebates and gotten great deals, free shipping, and cash back from my purchases. Since I signed up in 2009, I’ve received over $1300 back in ebates! The last few months, they’ve even offered me up to 15% extra back if I opt for a gift card instead of cash.
Basically, I’m totally a fan of Ebates, and you should be, too. Sign up here.
Make Do with Less
This is probably the most obvious as well as the most difficult way to save money at the holidays. But, there are lots of things that you might think are necessary at Christmas time, that really aren’t. Talk with your family and find out what is really important to them. Make those things priorities and if the rest doesn’t fit the budget, then do without it this year.
Christmas cards used to be a “must-have” for me. But, ten years ago I stopped sending them and haven’t looked back. The world went on without a holiday greeting from us in the mailbox.
Have you ever found yourself a day late and spending way more than your holiday budget? Lack of planning at the holidays can put you over budget quick. Take some time now to plan and really hone in on your priorities this holiday season. Now is the perfect time to do so, before Thanksgiving bowls you over.
My ebook, A Simpler Season is an ideal holiday planner that will set you up for success this holiday season. Not only does it provide some really fun family activities and tips for planning Thanksgiving, it includes extensive sections on budget-friendly Christmas celebrations.
When you put this holiday planner into action, you will
- Enjoy more meaningful celebrations as you pare down to what’s MOST IMPORTANT to you and your family is THIS stage of life.
- Let go of the have-to’s and should-have’s as you learn to PRIORITIZE and do what’s best for your children and yourself, even if it’s not what you “always do”.
- Experience the WONDER of the holiday season with fresh eyes as you count down the days with easy, actionable family nights.
- BLESS others with fun gifts that are easy on the wallet and your schedule.
- Have thoughtful devotions and books to enjoy with your family every night of the season.
- Celebrate simply so you can enjoy the peace that the holidays is supposed to be.
The ideas in A Simpler Season are varied and wide in scope. What might make you feel overwhelmed is now very doable since all the work is done for you. Well, almost all.
You get to bake the cookies yourself.
I’d love to know what helps YOU save on Christmas expenses.
Originally published July 29, 2010. Updated November 11, 2017.