Here are your choices when it comes to spending money during the holidays: whip out the credit card and suffer the consequences later, or cut so far back that it doesn’t even feel like it’s Christmas. RIGHT? Nope! It’s time to look at your third option – cutting creative corners. Here are some clever ways to save money this holiday season, so you can put a few more presents under the tree. We got this from Woman’s Day magazine.
- Reconsider crafting. Ethan Ewing, the president of Bills.com, a website that focuses on ways to save money, says don’t assume that something handmade is always a thrifty gift. Often people go overboard at the craft store and end up spending more than they would if they’d simply purchased a gift. So before you start, Ewing says estimate the real cost of, say, homemade bath salts for your girlfriends. Would buying them at a discount store and spiffing up the bottle with ribbon be cheaper? The calculator will tell you.
- Think “theme.” Let’s say you find a cozy bathrobe on the sale rack. You could package it with a paperback book and some tea for a “relaxing night in” theme. These small extras will cost you less than getting a couple of bigger gifts. You can get some great teas at the dollar store, and thrift stores are swimming in books that are often as good as new.
- Look for solid jewel toned paper. Ewing says this often sells for less than traditional holiday paper printed with snowflakes or Rudolph and it’s a more sophisticated look.
- If you have guests coming, consider renting an RV. A rented or borrowed motor home in your driveway lets you sleep an additional six or eight relatives. It’s cheaper than a hotel, and it puts an extra kitchen and bathroom right outside your front door!
- Get a coupon code. Use a site like FreeShipping.org or CurrentCodes.com to search out coupon codes for free shipping, or money off your online orders from major retailers. Buy your gifts online and have them shipped directly – and you’ll save money and time.