It’s so easy to spend way too much money at the holidays. Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, these are the best holiday money saving tips to keep your wallet happy while still feeling totally festive!
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Money Saving Tips For Holidays
Every year, families prepare for three big holidays which happen to be back to back. Before the family is done spending money on one holiday, they may find themselves pouring money into the next.
It seems like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are becoming nothing more than a financial strain. Here are a few ideas on how to save money during this hectic time of year.
Holiday Money Saving Tips: Halloween
Halloween has become as much as a commercial racket as Christmas. Halloween candy and decorations appear in the stores in August, along with Thanksgiving items, and by October the stores are decked out for Christmas.
With so much temptation, it is hard to say no to all the beautiful decorations and delicious food items.
Halloween is a fun holiday, and can be an expensive one. Buying decorations, finding pumpkins, getting costumes, and buying candy really add up.
Related reading: Social distancing Halloween – 10 fun ideas for kids
But I’ve got you covered! Here are a few holiday money saving tips for Halloween:
Make costumes out of items around the house
Be creative, rummage through old clothes and play dress-up to come up with affordable alternatives to buying expensive store costumes.
Make a toga out of bed sheets, or cut a hole out of the middle of a bed sheet and use to be a ghost. Bring back the ghost sheet costume! 🙂
Keep decorating to a minimum
If the desire to decorate is too great, designate one area (outside or inside) to decorating. Make a decision on how much to spend, and stay within budget.
Pop some tags
Go to a thrift store to find or create a costume, and look for Halloween decorations, or go to a yard sale.
Save money on Halloween candy
Do not go overboard buying the best, most expensive candy.
You don’t get a neighborhood prize for giving out the best candy on Halloween.
If you’re on a budget, save money on Halloween by buying cheaper candy, in large packages. Just maybe not those rocket thingys, nobody likes those. 😉
Holiday money saving tip: Buy from a farm
Go to a pumpkin patch or a farm to buy pumpkins, apples, apple cider, and other fall foods.
Buying from a farm, farmer’s market, or pumpkin patch, can be much cheaper than buying from the store. It also supports local farmers.
Make a holiday budget
This holiday money saving tip applies to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Before spending any amount of money, sit down and do a budget sheet. See what can be afforded, and go from there. Make a list of items needed, and stick to that list.
Start Your Holiday Savings With Halloween
The main thing to remember about Halloween is, it is supposed to be fun and simple. With Thanksgiving and Christmas close behind, it is be really helpful to set a budget for Halloween. Any leftover money can go towards Christmas gifts or other holiday items.
Related reading: 10 cozy fall movies to watch this season
Holiday Money Saving Tips: Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is not usually the money pit that Halloween and Christmas have become. However, it can be. Thanksgiving is about being thankful, giving thanks for blessings received, and focusing on the importance of gathering together as a family. The only thing really needed at Thanksgiving is good food, family and friends, and maybe football.
Some holiday money saving tips for Thanksgiving include:
Keep Thanksgiving food simple
Buy enough food for all attending, with enough for seconds. But you don’t need 15 side dishes.
Create a menu with a starter, a main dish, two sides, a dessert, and one or two main drinks. Keep the food simple.
Holiday money saving tip: Potluck Thanksgiving
Have a Thanksgiving potluck dinner.
If lots of family and friends are coming, offer to make the main course or courses and have the family bring side dishes, bread, desserts, and drinks.
This not only helps save money, it also helps save time spent in the kitchen.
Keep decorating simple
Use fall scented candles as centerpieces, find a cornucopia and have it as the center piece, or find a beautiful fall bouquet for the table.
Some of my favorite fall decorations are simply things found in nature. Go for a hike or nature walk, bring a bag, and pick fallen colored leaves and pinecones. Arrange on your mantle or as a fall table setting.
Family and friends are not there to see decorations, they are there to spend time together.
Saving Money By Focusing on the Important Things
Thanksgiving needs to be the one holiday where everyone can just enjoy time together and being thankful for one another.
Since it comes in between two major money-making holidays, keep spending to a minimum, and get ready for the biggest holiday of all, Christmas.
Money Saving Tips for Christmas
Christmas can be a huge financial burden. Decorations, food items, and present options appear in stores in October. This gives the buyer three months to stack up on Christmas goodies, but the best Christmas items seem to come out around and after Thanksgiving, tempting buyers to give in to purchasing more than they should.
I have actually bought double the gifts for people some Christmases. I would find something perfect in October, squirrel it away and keep shopping the next couple months. Later on I’d find a gift I liked as much or better than the first gift so I’d buy it too. Great for the recipient, not so much for my bank account.
Here are helpful holiday money saving tips for Christmas:
Don’t be an impulse buyer
The best tip for saving money during any holiday, but especially Christmas is, do not be an impulse buyer.
Do not give in to buying something just because it looks good at the store, and remember some items look great in the store, but just do not seem to look as nice once they get home.
On top of that, guilt for buying an impulse purchase might set in, and there can be buyer remorse if you are way over budget. The best thing to do is, say “no” and walk away. If it’s not on the list, leave it at the store.
Use Christmas decorations already at the house
Do not spend a bunch of money on new decorations if the old ones are not broken. Use what is at home, and then decide whether or not to buy new ones.
Holiday money saving tips for Christmas trees
Shop several places for Christmas trees or use the one at home. When shopping for a fresh tree, try out as many places as possible.
Pick a day to go tree shopping and look for good trees at good prices.
Try to cut a deal (my mom is practically an expert at this), or go to a farmer’s market, an outdoor thrift market, or a tree farm.
In many cases, these trees will be good quality at cheaper prices, and sometimes better quality than what is found at major retailers. If looking for a fake tree, go to WalMart, Lowe’s, or local retailers and compare prices before deciding.
Save money on Christmas gifts
Limit gifts to a specific amount per person.
Parents want to buy lots of presents for their children, but sometimes money is tight, and it is not worth hurting the family financially just to gain some material items.
Sit down with the kids, explain what Christmas is really about. Tell them they can write a wish list of how ever many presents they would like, but let them know they may not get everything on the list. Even so, it will still be fun to be surprised.
Related reading: 20 Frugal and fun Christmas gifts for when money is tight
Christmas cards instead of Christmas gifts
Send cards to family, friends, and coworkers.
Don’t feel like you have to buy gifts for everybody.
Christmas cards can be found in value packs, and it will be much cheaper and easier to send cards than figuring out what gifts to buy.
Shop online for Christmas
Shop online. Sometimes online deals, even with the shipping, are cheaper than in-store deals.
Christmas meal plan
Make a menu for Christmas, along with a list of “must have” goodies, and stick to it. Keep it under a specific amount of money.
Do not give presents. Volunteer at a local shelter or soup kitchen for Christmas, and be a part of helping others as a gift to the community.
Here are 100 free or frugal Christmas ideas for festive activities that won’t break the Christmas budget!
DIY Christmas gifts
Make gifts. Give baked goods as gifts or even food gifts from your garden.
Make crafts, using materials from home, or from stores (if needed). If you know how to knit, sew, or cross stitch, come up with gifts to make for people (scarves, blankets, throws, cross stitch ornaments, etc.).
Here are 45 easy DIY Christmas gifts you can make even if you’re a total DIY beginner.
Plan holiday shopping
Don’t shop for Christmas gifts on December 24th.
You won’t get the best pick of things, you’ll probably be stressed and scrambling, and that might make you spend more than you intended.
Plan your holiday shopping. No last minute shopping.
If you are shopping in person instead of online, use cash.
Decide on your Christmas gift budget, and bring just the right amount of cash for the presents you are going to get.
Leave credit and debit cards at home, and stay within your budget.
Holiday Money Saving Tips: Final Thoughts
These are just a few ways to save money at Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween.
No matter what the holiday, no one should go into debt. Always look at how much money can really be spent. Set a budget, stick to it.
You’ll be able to feel good during the holiday, and your wallet will be happy after its over too.
If you’d like help on figuring out a Christmas budget, read this.