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Celebrate Christmas Without Breaking the Bank
Christmas is a time that we should be focusing on family, the birth of Christ, and tradition, but so often those things can get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. Growing up, we did not always have a lot of money. I remember times when my parents struggled to put gifts under the tree, but even though we may not have had a lot we still had each other and I have wonderful memories of Christmas.
That is one reason I wanted to share with you some ideas for celebrating Christmas without breaking the bank.
Make your own gifts. Do you have a hidden talent that you can use to create gifts for someone? I own a sewing machine and embroidery machine, so many people receive embroidered items from me for Christmas.
Edible Gifts. For a small amount of money you can create a large amount of cookies, candy, fudge, dry soup mix, etc. wrap them in pretty containers that you can pick up at the dollar store and there you have Christmas gifts for several people.
Buy your Christmas gifts throughout the year. I start buying gifts right after Christmas. When stores have their gift sets marked down on clearance I pick up several and put them away for gifts for the next year. Throughout the year as a I see a good deal I will try to buy it so that I don’t have to buy so many gifts at the same time.
Take advantage of cash back opportunities. I am a big fan of Ebates. It is so easy to use! You simply sign up for an account and then go through their site to your favorite shopping site. Also, be sure to add the Ebates button to your search bar so that you get reminders when you visit a site that is eligible for cash back. You will be surprised at how fast the money adds up! Also, if you refer friends you have the opportunity to earn more money as well!
Buy a gift card each pay check. Then at Christmas time, use those gift cards to purchase Christmas gifts, or give the cards as gifts.
Shop thrift stores for items that still have the tags on them.
Shop Ebay. Just yesterday I was shopping on Amazon for a Christmas gift and learned that the item would not be back in stock until January 15th! So I hopped on over to Ebay where I found the item for $10 cheaper, in new condition!
Buy in bulk and divide for more gifts. Bath and Body Works often has a “Buy 3 Get 3 Free” Sale. I often take advantage of this sale and split the items into 3 gifts for 3 different people. Throw in a candle and you have a great gift!
Do you own a business? Offer free services from your business as Christmas gifts.
Exchange names. Do you have a large family? Instead of purchasing gifts for everyone in the family, exchange names so that you only have to purchase gifts for one person.
If you have friends and family, have a potluck and share the meal with them. That way one person is not responsible for preparing (and purchasing) the whole meal.
Watch for sales. In the weeks leading up to the holidays, watch the sales papers for the grocery stores in your areas.
Start purchasing items that can be purchased ahead of the holiday rush.
Save money by making your own dinner rolls. Don’t purchase pre-made yeast rolls. Here’s a great recipe for creating your own clover yeast rolls.
Create your own fruit and veggie trays. Not only will it save you money but will give you a chance to get creative as well!
Create your own decorations. Its very easy to create your own ornaments with your family using flour, water, and salt.
Create your own Old Fashioned Holiday garland like this one using dried citrus and apples.
Here’s another easy ornament idea for Cinnamon ornaments.
Christmas doesn’t have to be about spending money. This is a great time to create new traditions with your family, traditions that do not involve spending money. I remember as a child, popping popcorn and watching Christmas movies with my family. We didn’t have to spend any extra money and we were able to enjoy the time together as a family.
Create Christmas Traditions of baking or making other Christmas goodies with your family. I remember making chocolate covered peanut butter balls or “buckeyes” each year at Christmas. We would leave these on a plate for Santa, rather than cookies.