40 Best Frugal Tips For Surviving The Holidays
The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to start thinking about how we can make the most out of them, without breaking the bank. Now we all know I’m all about frugal living so going broke during the holidays is not part of my plan, ha! But I still want to make sure my friends, family, and most importantly (to me) my kids, have an awesome holiday season. With that being said, I thought a lot of you would probably be in the same boat and want to try to save some money during the holidays. Am I right? That’s why I put together a list of my 40 best frugal tips for surviving the holidays to help everyone save money! Let’s check them out:
Here are my 40 Best Frugal Tips for Surviving the Holidays:
1. Grab the paper! The Sunday paper always has local store ads, and with those you can see where the best deals are.
2. Know you grocery store! Leading up to your big holiday food shopping trip, find out when you store normally has sales, and how you can get the best bang for your buck. Here are some great ways to save at the grocery store.
3. Price Match! Want the best price but don’t want to go to 3 different stores to get everything you need? That is where price matching comes in. Find out what local store to you price matches and bring along the other stores ads so you can get the best price all at one store.
4. It doesn’t always have to be name brand! Store brand foods are great for sides and desserts. No one will ever know if you used a brand new green bean or not.
5. Don’t wait until a week before to shop! Now you will have to wait for your fresh ingredients, but not for your canned and boxes goods. Grab them while they are on sale!
6. Think Ahead! After Thanksgiving the grocery stores will be putting their holiday food on sale to get rid of it. But think about this, most of this food will last until the next December holidays! Last year I grabbed a turkey for 1/2 off, and I put it in the freezer until Christmas. Win win for the stores and you!
7. Make your own stuffing! Not only does it tastes better, it’s cheaper. About a month before your holiday dinner, start saving the crusts and heels of your bread. These can keep in the freezer until you are ready to toast them and use them in your stuffing. I love using things that would have otherwise been thrown away!
8. Keep it simple! You really don’t need 3 main courses and 7 sides on your holiday menu. Make a few things and make them well. I promise you guests won’t miss all the extras.
9. Go for Punch! Punch is cheap to make, looks pretty on your holiday table, and cuts down on plastic bottles and ice usage!
10. Take the offered help! Putting on a dinner for 10 people can get expensive. So when someone offers to bring a dessert or side dish, let them!
11. Shop all year round! Don’t just wait until the holiday season to grab gifts for your friends and family. Browse the clearance section all year round and pick up a little something here and there all year. That way it won’t be such a big blow at the end of the year.
12. Go Homemade! Making homemade gifts is not only fun, but it can save you a ton of money. Plus, who doesn’t love knowing that someone took time out of their day to make them something? Here are some great homemade gift ideas.
13. Shop Online! I am a big online shopper all year round, but especially on the holidays. So many deals to be had. The possibilities are endless!
14. Price Match- A lot of stores will price match during the holidays. Just make sure you bring the ad along with you when you shop!
15. 2 Words, Black Friday. I know some people might not agree, but I LOVE Black Friday shopping, and it really is one of the best days of the year to save some money. So if you are up for the shopping marathon, it’s worth the effort! Here are some Black Friday shopping tips to get you through it.
16. Get Social! By following your favorite retailers on Social Media. Companies will usually post special sales and coupons on their social media pages.
17. Use ebates! If you are going to shop online, why not get paid to do so? That’s exactly what ebates offers. Check out our review of ebates here!
18. Make a budget, and stick to it! When I’m doing my holiday shopping, I have a budget for every person I buy for. Once this budget is set, I go grab cash for the exact amount. And then I leave my credit cards at home. No temptation that way!
19. Consider a group gift! If you have a large family, buying gifts for every person can get super expensive. Consider a White Elephant Party or something that would require you to only buy 1 gift and get 1 in return.
20. Give the gift of time! There are some great gifts that don’t cost any money at all. Got a friend with kids? Offer free baby sitting. Have some serious skills in the kitchen? Why not offer to make a date night meal for 2? Sometimes the best gifts are the one that don’t cost a dime.
21. Get the kids involved! Nothing brings me holiday cheer like seeing my home decorated with homemade Christmas crafts from my kids! Cheap and sweet.
22. Think Ahead! After Christmas stores will have HUGE sales on their remaining Christmas decorations. I’m talking up to 90% off. Then you will be ready for the next year.
23. Don’t forget about nature! Pinecones, cranberries, pine needles, all free and there for the taking. You can use these to decorate your mantle, tree, and more!
24. Go artificial. I know how wonderful having a real tree is. But to buy one every year can get really pricey. Invest in a great quality artificial tree that you can use year after year.
25. The Dollar Store is your Friend! When it comes to holiday shopping, never skip over the dollar stores. They will have great prices on decorations, wrapping paper, table settings, and more!
26. Keep it Simple! A beautifully decorated tree can go a long way. You don’t have to crazy (and expensive) to show your holiday spirit.
27. Skip the outside lights. Not only can they be expensive to buy, you will be paying for them in the form of a higher electricity bill as well.
28. Join a Christmas Card Exchange! What is a better decoration than a row of Christmas cards sent from family and friends? Plus, buying a box of Christmas cards is way cheaper than some other decorations!
29. Goodwill. Is there any other explanation needed? Goodwill rocks.
30. Make you own gift tags and wrapping paper! The comic section in the newspaper makes a really cute wrapping paper, and grab some pretty cardstock and make your own gift tags!
31. Buy Gift cards where you can get something out of it! A lot of big box stores will offer deals and discounts on gift cards. Example, I just got $100 of American Girl gift cards at Costco for $79! Also, my local grocery store offers 4x gas savings with the purchase of gift cards!
32. Get one really nice Holiday outfit for all happenings! Instead of spending a ton of money on different outfit for each holiday gathering, grab 1 nice outfit and a couple of different ways to make it different (a scarf, jewelry, a sweater to go over it, etc)
33. Donate, Donate, Donate! Ok I know you are wondering how this can save you money. Donating around the holidays not only declutters your space, it also can really make the difference in another family’s holiday. Plus, it’s a tax write off, which saves you money!
34. Start a new family tradition! You know what is fun AND free? Grabbing some hot chocolate, loading up the car, and heading off to check out the beautiful Christmas lights around town. It’s free holiday entertainment and fun for everyone!
35. Amazon Prime! I can’t tell you how much I love my Amazon Prime membership! Now yes, their is an upfront cost, but getting all your holiday gifts sent to your home with free 2 day shipping? SO worth it.
36. Make it about the kids! If you really want to save some money this holiday season, make a policy to only buy for the children in your family. It’s all about them anyways right!? ha!
37. Take advantage of services you already use! ABC shows great holiday movies all season long, so no need to go buy them. Also, Pandora has some great holiday music stations you can enjoy free of charge.
38. Keep the spirit alive with a Free letter from Santa! The kids will love it and it won’t cost you a dime!
39. Don’t forget the reason for the season! Whatever holiday you celebrate, don’t forget WHY. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in all the glitter and gold. But in the end, it’s not about the decorations, the food, or the gifts. It’s about being with family.
40. Breath! Have fun, set a budget, and you will be fine!
Do you have a Frugal Holiday tip to share?