Smarter Holiday Savings-Deals and Tips

21
June

The holidays are at time of joy, laughter, and sharing. However, they can also cause a huge hit to the pocketbook. Between buying gifts, decorating, entertaining, and donating, it is a Christmas miracle if you have any money left come January. Below are some helpful hints to get through the holidays unscathed and still have money left over for that New Year’s resolution.

First, make the local craft store your best friend by making gifts in lieu of buying. By being creative and creating personalized gifts, family members will appreciate the amount of time and thought you placed into their present. In addition, you will save loads of money in the process. There are numerous holiday gift idea ideas online that are creative and easy.

For instance, make each family member a cookie or brownie mix by using an online recipe. First, purchase a group of mason jars, a sheet of tags, and a spool of ribbon from a craft store. You can also find coupons online at many sites for the major chain retailers. These are often 50% of your total purchase, or off of one item.

From there, buy the necessary ingredients from the grocery store. These often include sugar, flour, cocoa, and possibly some form of chocolate candies. Again, browse through some online coupon sites to see if you can find any coupons for these items. Also, when purchasing the ingredients, try to buy the store brands rather than the name brands. They will taste very similar and help to save money.

Next, fill each jar with the needed ingredients. This often entails placing a layer of sugar, flower, cocoa, etc. The jars can be filled at one sitting, saving both time and frustration. Then, place a lid on each jar and tie a ribbon around the top. Once completed, create personalized name tags on the computer. In addition to placing the recipients name on the tag, create a fun phrase such as: “Two teaspoons of laughter, one tablespoon of Christmas joy, and 2 cups of love”. For around $3.00 per person, this is a delicious and heartfelt gift that anyone is sure to love.

Furthermore, this can be a great holiday family activity to get the kids and other members involved in. There are numerous ideas similar to the one above that can provide unique and customized gifts for a fraction of the cost of a regular present.

With a little of the same creativity, you can also save tons of money decorating the house and your tree. Rather than buying expensive ornaments, try making them. Set aside a family tree decorating night. Make hot cocoa, serve cookies, put on some cheerful music, and get creative! You can make snowflakes to hang on the tree and around the house by simply making a few small cuts in regular white paper. Jazz them up even more by buying various colored glitters. Also, make snowman ornaments by cutting out three circles and gluing on cotton balls and glitter. You can purchase a pack of paper, yarn, cotton balls and a couple jars of glitter at the craft store, with a coupon, for about $5.00. Furthermore, pop up some popcorn and string it together to make garland. And Voila! For about $7.00 you have decorated your entire tree, house, and made a family night of it in the process.

Entertaining can be one of the most expensive aspects of the holidays. The food, dinnerware and extras can be almost overwhelming. However, remember that coupons are your friends. Take advantage of the holiday price cuts as well as the vast amount of coupons available. Begin searching through sale papers in October for any holiday savings on stuffing, cranberries, pastas, or other non-perishable canned or boxed items. These can be purchased months in advance, many times at a reduced charge. In addition, ask each family member to bring an appetizer or dessert. This will allow you to fully concentrate on the main course and save money!

Many people have favorite charities that they like to donate to during the holidays. People often feel guilty when they do not have the money. By saving money on gifts, decorating, and entertaining, you can take a portion of the money and invest it in your favorite charity. Also, instead of donating all of the money try to donate your time. Many soup kitchens, food pantries, and other programs need more help around the holidays. Furthermore, you can make it a great holiday family outing by getting the kids involved.

The holidays can be a time of great stress and worry. By following a few simple money saving tips, the holidays can be a family bonding experience that saves time and money. Happy holidays, and saving!

This post was written by

jason – who has written posts on Budget Clowns.
Father of three and married to a lovely women. Always looking for ways to save money, and invest it properly for my children's future.

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