Hi there! I can’t believe it’s already December 1st. Only a few short weeks until Christmas:) To me, the holidays are supposed to be about family, love, and togetherness. However, it seems year after year we get sucked into the madness of consumerism. We obsess over getting the perfect gift, or the best deal, or the coolest new gadget. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the holidays. But I don’t love all of the stress and money being mindlessly spent on junk no one needs.
Here are a few things that work for me to save money during the holidays:
Use Your Reward Points
This is NOT an excuse to go apply for a credit card and rack up a bunch of needless charges. However, if you aren’t already a cardholder with a bank that has reward points, you are missing out. We are strongly against credit card debit. However, each month we use our credit card to pay our monthly bills, groceries, gas, and any other monthly expenses. At the end of the billing cycle, we pay the entire balance off. This allows us to earn lots of reward points just for normal purchases we would make anyway, like paying our bills. Our credit card lets us use reward points to earn gift cards and air miles, among other things. We get the most return on gift cards and air miles, and since we are working to pay off debt, we are not planning on flying any time soon! So at the end of every month, we typically earn enough points for a $25 gift card. That’s an extra $300 per year in gift cards!
We have a large blended family. We also have several December birthdays. For that reason, my family agreed not to do Christmas gifts this year for the adults (excluding my grandma, because she does what she wants!) Jacob’s family agreed to draw names with a set dollar limit. Not having to buy a gift for every.single.person is a huge relief on our wallet. Plus, no one I know really needs another festive scented body wash/lotion set or pair of pajamas.
For the Christmas gifts I AM buying, I always try to get the best deal. For that reason, I buy mostly everything online since I can usually find a coupon code. (I’m pretty sure our mailman hates us!) I also use Ebates, Swagbucks, and Ibotta to earn cash back on qualified purchases. All of our gift wrap supplies come from Dollar Tree. I think my last trip cost me around $15 and I walked out with two huge bags full of tissue paper and gift bags! For decorations I recommend thrift stores, garage sales, or craigslist. Just make sure to test anything that lights up before you purchase it!
It is possible use your DIY skills to make some inexpensive gifts for friends and family. My brother-in-law LOVES fudge, so I make him a big tin of it every year. There are a million useful DIY ideas on Pinterest, but some popular ones are DIY bath bombs, baked goods, or hand knitted blankets and scarves. (I’m a big fan of consumables since I HATE clutter.) Instead of cooking an entire Christmas feast, try having a potluck. You could offer to make the desserts (or the meat, dressing, whatever you are good at cooking) if the rest of the family pitches in for the rest of the meal.
Those are some of the ways I save our family money during the holidays. We try hard to make the most cost effective decisions, especially during The Season of Giving. What are some of the ways you help to save during the holidays?