Since it’s the official time for giving, you’ll probably want to be a little more conservative with money around the house and wherever you can this month. There is so much excess during the holidays, but cutting back on the little things can help you save money — and who doesn’t love that?
After all, the holiday spirit doesn’t come from gifts or decorations, but from spending time with friends and family. I know for me and my family the holidays are always more about spending time together than buying a lot of gifts. Gifts are great, but the spirit of the holidays to me rests in get-togethers and long drives to see family and friends. In fact, this is the only time I like road trips!
Don’t get me wrong, giving gifts is a wonderful part of the season as well. If you are going to buy — here are some ways to save money in the long run. If you don’t know where to start, follow these easy-to-follow tips for the holiday season. And before you get overwhelmed, take it from me: these tips are doable even for the most extravagant shoppers!
Save on Your Tree 1 of 10
If you love the smell of pine (and who doesn't?!) and can't bring yourself to get a fake tree this holiday season, don't worry. Instead of buying a huge tree this holiday, opt for a smaller tree to cut costs. Balsam and Douglas Firs also tend to be cheaper than other varieties.
Finally, consider buying your tree from smaller lots where you can haggle about the price and hold off until mid-December to buy. The closer to Christmas it is, the cheaper the trees will be since sellers want to get rid of their unsold trees before the holiday
Ditch the Wrapping Paper 2 of 10
If you are giving away tons of gifts this year, you know buying rolls and rolls of wrapping paper and tape can become quite costly very fast. If you have gift bags or boxes from previous holidays don't feel bad about using them to present gifts. Or, if you get gifts this year in beautiful gift bags, reuse them. It's OK.
Reuse Chip Bags as Wrapping Paper 3 of 10
Don't have bags from last year laying around? Use an empty snack bag. If you have a used chip bag with a metallic silvery inside, cut the bag at the seams to create one flat, shiny piece of paper. Wash the bag to remove any grease, and used it just like you'd used normal wrapping paper. This tip sounds crazy but looks beautiful.
Use Long-Lasting Batteries 4 of 10
With all the toys and gadgets being bought and exchanged during the holidays, don't forget to include batteries in your gifts! And chances are you are going to need to buy tons of batteries for your kids' toys too. To save money, buy a large pack of batteries. Energizer® MAX® batteries have Power Seal Technology which means they last up to 10 years* - which means you'll always be ready!
Party Potluck-style 5 of 10
If you throw holiday parties save money by asking your guests to bring their favorite dish and enjoy having a great potluck party. Browse blogs and cooking magazines for recipes with inexpensive ingredients that will still feed a crowd. And those with food allergies or preferences will be able to relax knowing their dish is suitable for them. It will save you money in the long run and your party will be filled with a variety of delicious food. It's a win-win. Yum!
Limit Your Outdoor Decorations 6 of 10
Some of us really love decorating during the holidays. If you do too, make sure to remember that more isn't always better. By putting up less lights, you will save money on your electricity bill. Additionally, LED lights tend to use less energy. While, they're more expensive initially, they'll last year-after-year and eventually will pay for themselves in money you're saving on the electric bill.
Image: Mr_White/ Morguefile
Buy Discount Gift Cards 7 of 10
Websites like Gift Card Granny and Giftcards.com offer unwanted gift cards at discounted prices. You can often purchase cards for up to 35-percent off of the gift value. Whether you're giving the cards as gifts or using them to shop, you'll save a ton of money on items you really want.
Shop After the Holidays When You Can 8 of 10
Know that you're not going to exchange gifts with certain friends and family members until after the actual holiday? Then take advantage of post-holiday sales when items are marked down. The recipients will never know!
If you're the one organizing the gift exchange, schedule it for after the holidays with this tip in mind!
Cut Back on Gas 9 of 10
Instead of driving back and forth to the mall or to some of your favorite local stores, shop online and save money — when free shipping is available, of course. There won't be any need to spend a fortune in gas.
And to save even more money take advantage of holiday sales and and deals. Sites like honey help you find coupon codes when online shopping at over 100 retail sites. If you're not an Amazon Prime member, consider doing a 30-day free trial right after Thanksgiving. One of perks of Amazon Prime is free shipping so you'll be able to find great deals on gifts — and receive them to your door at no cost to you.
Image: datana, Morguefiles
Don’t Buy More Than You Need 10 of 10
This is the easiest tip of them all. Resist the temptation of buying that extra something you think you need, but you really don't. This will help reduce the clutter in your home during the holiday season and will save you money!