You’ve finally finished gift shopping for everyone on your list (maybe), you have the menu all planned out for the big family dinner, and other than cleaning the house or doing other daily chores, you might actually be getting ready to relax and enjoy this holiday season. But don’t let your guard down just yet. If you went over budget a bit this holiday you won’t regret it until you get the bills in January. By then it will be too late to realize some great savings that you can take advantage of right as the holiday season is winding down. We’ll show you ways to save money on the holidays next year by starting today!
Inventory What You Have Now – While doing your Christmas clean up this year try to save as much as you can. Although a lot of us remember what we got for Christmas last year, you probably don’t remember what color paper was used to wrap it. Reusing old gift bags, boxes, and wrapping paper when possible is a simple and easy way to save. Once you figure out exactly what you have leftover, it’s time to hit the stores.
Timely Bargain Shopping – Many of us might not want to go shopping right after our holiday shopping experiences. But if you want the best deals on Christmas décor and supplies, now is the time to act. Stores offer deep discounts on holiday supplies right after Christmas to clear out the shelves. Wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons are just a few of the many items that will be discounted heavily. Some of these supplies can be had for 90% less than they were priced at before Christmas! If you have one good bulk trip you might be able to get enough supplies to last you for several Christmases to come. Just remember that planning is the key. Be sure to make a list of what supplies you need so that you don’t go overboard impulse buying when you see all those low prices.
Watch Sale Ads and Combine Deals w/ Coupons – While most frugal people follow this advice throughout the year, the holiday season is full of sales by stores trying to attract customers. There are also coupons for a lot of products. Look for deals at department and big box stores.
Make Decorations Out of Household Objects – Christmas decorations can cost a lot of money, but it is possible to make a lot of them for free from household objects. Look for directions online to make tree ornaments, outdoor decorations, and even your own stockings.
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Wait Until the Last Minute to Buy a Christmas tree – On December 24th, any Christmas trees left on local lots aren’t going anywhere. This means that you have a lot of room for negotiation if you wait to the last minute to get a tree. The selection might not be the best, but you can get a tree for a fraction of what you would have otherwise paid.
Hold Off on Buying Electronics and Fine Jewelry – These items are typically marked up more during the holiday season, when quickly reduced in the months after. While there might be good sales on some items, in general you will do better if you wait to buy these items after the holiday.
Make Inexpensive Food Dishes – Sausage stuffing, spiral cut hams, and fudge all require expensive ingredients that can add a lot to your grocery bill during the holidays. Consider cheaper foods such as turkey, bread stuffing, and sweet potatoes.
Combine Your Shopping Trips – Driving to each store separately can use a lot of gas and take up a lot of time. Plan shopping trips to include several trips can save a lot of money.
Shop Carefully at After-Season Sales – The deals at these sales often aren’t as good as they seem. Many stores claim they have sales going on, but read between the lines. Not everything is a deal!
It is possible to be frugal during the holidays without sacrificing too much. Your holiday can be just as good as someone who has spent twice as much, simply by following a few simple suggestions. Take it easy this year and plan in advance. If you do it right, you can save loads!