Christmas does not have to be expensive. Christmas does not have to put you into debt. My thrifty Christmas tips put wiggle room in any Christmas budget–no matter how small it might be.
275+ Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Christmas
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Create Your List
Set A Budget
Generate Christmas Money
Sell Items On Facebook Marketplace
3. Use my guide to creating a virtual yard sale to help you generate the most cash possible for your efforts.
Pick Up A Seasonal Side Hustle
4 – 35. Read this list of 31 Fast and Easy Ways To Earn Cash Fast For Christmas and pick the side hustle that best works for you.
Earn Gift Cards
Earn PayPal Cash
Get Rewarded For Sharing Your Favorite Companies
Hold A Spending Freeze
107. You can also stop eating out; here is a list of quick meals to help you eat at home, even on busy nights.
108-123. One last area of the budget that can be eliminated for a while is entertainment; here is a list of 15 wintertime activities that you and your family can enjoy for free.
Use These Money-Saving Tips To Make Your Christmas Gift Cash Go Further
124. Move The Christmas Gift Giving
This idea is not for those with young children who won’t understand why Santa didn’t arrive on December 25th. Nor is it an excuse not to gather with loved ones on Christmas day.
However, your frugal friends and older extended family members can probably get behind a gift exchange that happens early in the new year when you and they can take advantage of savings found at after-Christmas sales.
Plus it is a chance to get together during a time of the year when less is going on and therefore it is easier to arrange a date that works for everyone.
Give Fewer Gifts
125. For family gatherings, keep the gift-giving to the children and skip the adults altogether or do a Secret Santa exchange.
126. Switch to a family gift tradition.
127. Pool money with others to buy bigger items. For example, the grandparents and parents could buy a teen the game console together instead of each buying separate smaller gifts that might not thrill the teen as much.
We did this when our boys were teens, and they didn’t mind getting just one gift if it meant they could enjoy the latest game console (and we do mean one; they even chose not to get stocking stuffers). But our daughter preferred several gifts to one big one. So, my word of wisdom is to ask the gift recipient first.
128. Make Your Time The Gift
129. Make Sure You Are Giving Gifts That Won’t Be Wasted
Every holiday season, a lot of money is wasted on gifts the recipient never used. You are not a mind reader and in this current economy people have even less money to treat themselves to items they love so why not ensure you do by asking for a wishlist?
Anyone with an Amazon account can make a public wishlist.
My son sends me a link to a Google doc that he keeps as a wishlist for gifts he wants, including links to the websites with the best prices for the item (that makes my frugal mama heart swoon).
When the kids were teens, I had them fill out a form I made with spots for favorite candy, favorite gift cards, gifts under $5 for stocking stuffer ideas. and a few lines for big-ticket items. They knew I wouldn’t buy everything on their list so there were still surprises.
130. Raid Your Closets Before Hitting The Stores
131-153. Raid Your Kitchen For DIY Gift Ingredients
154. Avoid In-Store Shopping Or Online Shopping
The key here is to know yourself. Where are you most tempted to overspend? For me, it is in-store since I am more of a touch-and-feel type of impulse shopper. When money is tight, I choose in-store pickup or curbside pick up to save money or I buy online and ship it to our house if the shipping is free.
You might be the opposite and find it relaxing to scroll gifts online for hours, but be a get-in-and-get-out shopper in-store.
155-156. Use Cash Back Browser Tools
Use Discount Code Browser Tools
158. If I can’t find a discount code using Honey, I use the Capital One Shopping Tool as often it might have a code that Honey didn’t have.
159-178. Give A Homemade Gift
179. Buy In Bulk
Places like Costco sell gift items in sets. Make their good deal a bargain by splitting up the set and creating several gifts.
How To Save Money On Postage
180. Grandparents, Ask Mom Or Dad If They Will Shop For You
We live in a different country than our children’s grandparents. Each year, until the children were old enough to love finding cash under the tree, the grandparents sent a check in my name and asked me to buy the children what they wanted and wrap it under the tree with a card from the grandparents on top. This saved them a whole lot of money on postage.
181. Ship The Gift Directly To Their Door Step
Use your Amazon Prime membership to enjoy free shipping on all your gifts by simply changing the address in the checkout process. This will work at other online venues, too.
The only downside is that the gift doesn’t come wrapped in pretty paper. But perhaps you can get someone in the household other than the gift recipient to do that when the gift arrives.
182. Send Digital Gift Cards
People understand that postage is expensive and many people, including myself, love gift cards as much as gifts.
How To Save Money On A Christmas Tree
183. Wait until late December for deeply discounted live trees.
184. Buy a gently used artificial tree from a thrift store or yard sale.
185. Create your own tree-like alternative using what you have–here is a list of 40 over at Pioneer Woman.
186. Find a sale. It isn’t hard to find artificial trees at 50% off or more all season long.
How To Save Money On Christmas Cards
187. Don’t send them–although recipients love them, they are not expected. Instead, create a social media post wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and attach a photo.
188. If you want to send something more personal than a social media post, send an e-card or a newsletter-style email that includes family photos.
190. Make your own using what you have–Good Housekeeping shares a lot of great DIY ideas in this list
191. Send Christmas postcards to save money on postage.
How To Save Money On Christmas Traditions
How To Host This Festive Season On A Tiny Budget
How To Spend Little To No Cash On Holiday Dating
How To Save Money On Christmas Wrapping
259. Skip the ribbon, bows, and gift tags. Our family has for decades and we don’t miss them. If you are wondering how we know whose gift is whose without gift tags, we use a black Sharpie to write directly on wrapped gifts.
260. Buy reusable Christmas-themed shopping bags like these ones for each person in your family. Grab a different design for each family member. Place all gifts inside and tape them closed or place tissue on top. Reuse every year. Cheap and Environmentally friendly. This is what we do now that the kids are all grown.
261. Reuse gift bags. Every time you get a gift in a gift bag, put it in a bin and raid it before you break out the Christmas wrap.
262. Use red and green pillowcases to wrap gifts. Close them with safety pins, yarn, string, or whatever you have on hand that would work.
263. Don’t buy the cheapest wrapping paper as it will rip before you even get those gifts under the tree. Instead, wait until January sales to buy a better quality wrap for as cheap if not cheaper than the cheap stuff in December.
264. For more ways to wrap a Christmas present using what you have, read this article over at Food52.
How To Save Money On Christmas Decor
How To Save Money On Christmas Dinner
How To Save Money On Holiday Baking
278. My best tip is to stop the holiday bake-a-thon and instead ask each family member what their favorite holiday treat is and then, starting at Thanksgiving, bake one treat from that list of favorites–and don’t make another on the list until it is gone. This avoids stale baked goods that end up getting trashed.
How To Save Money On Holiday Traveling
279. Take the time to compare the different ways of getting to your destination, as it may surprise you what mode is the cheapest. And it may not be the same year after year.
280. If you travel by car, use these tips to save money on gas.
281. If you travel by airplane and if you use the same airline carrier every year, join their loyalty program. If you can handle a credit card wisely, consider signing up for one that will earn you points toward free flights with that airline.
I hope these tips help you stay within your Christmas budget and help you make every loved one on your list feel special this holiday season.