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Last Minute Ways to Save Money Over the Holidays

save money at Christmas

The holidays are here once again and that means you’re probably spending a fortune on gifts and are preparing to host company or visit family. That means you’ll still be spending even more money before the holidays are over. But don’t drain your bank account just yet. There are several things you can do to make the rest of the holidays a little less expensive.

Get creative with your wrapping paper. Buying several rolls of paper adds up, so we often get creative in my family. You’ve probably heard of using comics from the newspaper as wrapping paper, but here are a few other ideas. We always have Mylar balloons leftover from someone’s birthday, so we’ll let the air out, cut them up, and wrap gifts in them. My dad owns a construction company and often has large rolls of plan paper from previous job sites, and he no longer needs it – so when I was younger, we’d wrap gifts in that paper and decorate the blank side for custom wrapping paper.

Make your own gift tags. You could use old greeting cards or some other scraps you have around the house, and cut them into whatever shape you want. No need to buy tags!

Make homemade gifts. Browse sites like Pinterest for tons of ideas of easy, cheap, handmade goods. Or if you’re not the crafty type, baking is always a great option because who doesn’t love receiving a tin full of goodies? I love to buy people gifts but my family is huge, so I buy each person a small gift and add baked goods to it so I have a little more to give. I’ve found some great holiday recipes off Pinterest as well.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on decorations. Artificial trees last for years, so there’s no need to spend a lot of money on a tree unless you want a real one every year. (I love real trees, but it’s not a great option for apartment living.) Check out the dollar store for other decorations. I’ve bought everything from ornaments to tins for my baked goods to serving trays at the dollar store. And remember that you don’t have to go with the best of everything if you can’t afford it. My boyfriend and I were looking at stockings at Target, and they were around $15 each! Definitely out of our budget for a stocking. Then we saw some $1 stockings, and yes, they were very plain and not as fancy as the $15 ones, but I wrote our names on them with paint and they look very nice hanging in our apartment. Maybe one day we’ll buy the $15 stockings, but these serve the same purpose and we could afford them.

If you’re hosting holiday company, look for cheap entertainment. There are tons of free events going on this time of year, from town-sponsored holiday events to church concerts or local university theater shows. Just piling everyone into the car to look at Christmas lights can be great entertainment. Or play an old-fashioned board game together! There are endless opportunities for free or low-cost entertainment. Be sure to check out our blog on hosting holiday company for more ideas.

What tips do you have for cheaper holiday celebrations? Share with us in the comments!

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