Personal Finance

How To Save Money On Everything For The Holidays

save money on everythingThe holidays are a special time of year for my family. We enjoy visiting each other, sharing meals, and the excitement of gift-giving. This means that the holidays can be an expensive time of year if I’m not careful with my spending. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money on everything needed to make holiday celebrations merry and bright. Here are some of my favorite tips to save money on the things I need for the holidays.

Save Money On Holiday Gifts

Buying gifts for loved ones is often the most expensive part of celebrating the holidays. Some families limit this spending by establishing a set dollar amount for each gift, while others choose to do gift exchanges where one person buys a gift for one other person with names often chosen at random. If you’re buying gifts for multiple people, there are some other ways to save on your purchases.

Shopping seasonal sales is a good way to find gifts for your loved ones for less. In addition to the traditional Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas sales, many retailers have fall sales and special sales where you can get certain merchandise at a discounted price. You can also use the promo codes available on coupon sites to save on the things you want. If you are not looking for something specific, store clearance sections might have something that would be an appropriate gift for an attractive price.

Save Money On Holiday Foods

Sharing special foods is another holiday tradition that many families take part in. One of the least expensive ways to do this is to have a pot-luck-style meal where each family brings a dish to share with everyone else. However, this can be difficult to coordinate if you have family members traveling significant distances.

Many grocery stores offer special deals on common holiday foods close to the holiday, but by waiting, you run the risk of the store being sold out of what you need when you get there. I started keeping a watch for the canned and boxed foods I need for our holiday favorites to be on sale or have coupons available starting at the beginning of October. These foods are shelf-stable and store well until they are needed. Then, I can focus on fresh foods and meat sales as it gets closer to the event.

Save Money On Holiday Decorations

Holiday decorations can also be expensive, especially if you have a family that likes to go all out on the decorating. For decorations for the home, you can compare prices online if you are looking for something specific and buy the item from whatever retailer has the lowest price and shipping costs. For other items, see what local stores are having the best sales on decorations, or go to low-priced alternatives like Old Time Pottery or Walmart to see what they have available.

While shiny boxes and bows create a lovely image, the truth is the paper and other decorations are forgotten as soon as the gift is opened. Instead of spending a lot of money on top-quality gift wraps, go to a dollar store and get basic colored wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper, and gift tags. You’ll spend a lot less and your loved ones will be just as happy with their presents.

Save Money On Everything Else

For just about everything else needed to create a happy holiday, some apps and websites will help you save money. Travel websites show you the cheapest flights, hotels, and rental cars that will meet your needs while you travel. Gas price apps will show you the lowest gas prices along the way. Before you make a purchasing decision, search online to see if there is a better deal available. Remember, the holidays are supposed to be about spending time with your loved ones, not about how much you spend, so spend within your means and you will be happier after the holidays.

How do you save money on your holiday favorites? Share your tips with us in the comments below.

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