Monday, November 13, 2017

How to Do Christmas on a Tight Budget

"Things are pretty tight this year and we don't have much to spend. I am wondering if you had any ideas on how to save money at Christmas time?"

This has been a hot topic in our Wise Woman Builds Titus 2 Group and also everywhere online! Here are a few tips on how to do it:

1. Create a budget and stick with it - don't feel pressured to spend more than you already have. Be creative and work with what you have. Remember the true meaning of the season and start from there. Many parents like to do the 3 gift rule for their children - something they need, something they want, something to wear. This can be a blessing to help children to learn to be content and not have an overabundance of toys (especially if grandparents are giving them many toys) than can cause clutter.

2. Email cards - if cards are not a big deal to your family, move to emailing out Christmas cards and a attach a picture of your family with it. There are also free websites where you can send an animated Christmas card with music and songs too that are really cute.

3. Choose simple gifts - you could bake cookies or breads and give them as gifts. Or you could also get mason jars and create homemade cocoa or soup mixes to give out. Some people even make popcorn batches to give which is really inexpensive.

4. If you have extended family do a grab bag - pick names from a hat so you only have to give one gift instead of seven - you could put a cap on the amount of this gift too. Or maybe to keep it even more simple you could give a Christmas ornament or bake something.  If your family is really large just choose to not give gifts and just come together to make memories instead (like singing carols, playing games, watching a holiday movie, etc. )

5. Give grandparents updated picture of your family - You can print one from your printer and frame it with a frame from the dollar store or one that you got on sale. These are great gifts because many times grandparents already have everything they need and don't need more things. This also could be a good gift for extended family who don't yet have pictures of your family.

6. Give Scripture Printables - do a search online and you will find some beautiful ones that are free to gift and frame.

7. Decorate simply - no need for expensive fancy decorations on the tree--how about making pretty snow flakes out of paper or coffee filters or using popcorn and cranberries to decorate the tree? Bring in some outdoor greenery and pinecones to add to your mantle. Use pictures of your children as ornaments (punch a hole at the top and use red ribbon to hang).  Or print out some Bible verses to hang or display. You can even make your own nativity with your children that would be fun.

8. Rethink your giving list - if you had always given a gift to your mailman, your child's teacher, your friend from childhood, etc., you might want to rethink your list and whittle it down this year. Remember that you don't always have to do things the way you always have. You have freedom to set limits and stick to what you can afford.

9. Give the gift of time - if you'd like to bless someone how about just give them a card with a promise of a coffee date or lunch date in the future.   Some people don't need things or more clutter in their homes but would really appreciate time to talk and connect instead. Maybe for someone who has young children you could offer a night of babysitting to give them a break and go out on a date.

10. Change expensive traditions - if you have always spent a lot on doing things every year this year opt for things that you can do for free. Instead of going to an expensive party choose to go looking a lights instead or a free Christmas concert in your local town.

11. Join a helpful Facebook group - like Frugal Family Christmas to learn how others are doing it and collect more ideas.

12. Give gifts under $10 - You can find some HERE with free shipping included! Or even shop at a place like Five Below.

13. Visit our Wise Woman Christmas Gift Guide of 2019 - some gifts begin at just $2 and there are plenty of discounts and free shipping as well to choose from too!

I hope this list helps you to save money this year!

How do *you* save money at Christmas time?

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1 comment:

Debby in Kansas said...

I've always heard the 4 gift rhyme!
Something you want, something you need, something to wear, & something to read.
My parents would've LOVED that. I shudder to think of what financial chaos they got themselves into at Christmas.

On the other hand, a dear friend of mine spent less than $25 on 4 kids during some lean times. She recently told them that (they're in college now) and they said they had no idea. They had no cable service where they lived so no commercials to bait them. Most of their gifts were from garage sales. I distinctly remember calling her once when she was wash/bleaching Legos in the bathtub to clean them!

Another friend made his daughter a play house using an appliance box. He painted it all like a castle and mom made some simple costumes with tulle, a tiara, & a wand.

Myself, I make stuff nowadays. I made fudge, caramel corn, & dipped pretzel sticks in the way of food. And I embroider flour sack towels. If everyone is like me, they don't need anymore things to dust. I like stuff I can use up. My aunt once told me that her favorite gift ever was when I took her and my uncle a pot of homemade vegetable beef soup, a loaf of French bread, & an apple pie. I remember laughing when my mother in law was thrilled to receive a case of toilet paper from Sam's. Now that I'm 25 yrs. older, it all makes sense!!!


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