Celebrating Frugal Holidays

Maximize your spending power with these tips for stretching your holiday budget

The holiday season is notorious for causing even the most frugal of us to throw our budgets out the window and spend with abandon. It doesn’t have to be that way – it is possible to have a jolly holiday season and give thoughtful gifts to everyone on your list without blowing your budget.

Here are some important things to remember as the holidays approach.

Create a holiday budget

Manage your spending with a holiday budget.

  1. Make a spending plan - Sit down and make a list of everything you plan to spend money on during the holiday season: decorations, gifts, entertaining, travel, etc. Estimate how much you will need this year and then make adjustments according to funds available.
  2. Know your limits - Decide how much money you can afford to spend on gifts and make a list of people you want to buy gifts for. This will help you to see how much you can spend on each gift and gives you a better idea of what to look for when you are shopping. Setting limits can help you to avoid credit card debt after the holidays are over.
  3. Track your spending - keep track of how much you spend as you go, so you will know if you are staying within your budget or not.
  4. Shop with a list to help yourself stay focused and on track
  5. Take cash. If you leave your credit cards at home and spend cash you will notice right away if you are overspending - not two months later when the credit card bill comes!

Frugal Holiday Decorating Ideas

Use these ideas to help you stick with your budget when decorating.

  • Make a centerpiece with a pretty birch log. Drill holes in the log and insert small branches or autumn leaves. Finish it off with moss, red berries, ribbons, or artificial birds (from a craft store).
  • Use a pumpkin for a Halloween or Thanksgiving centerpiece. 
  • Another centerpiece idea for Thanksgiving or Halloween: In a basket arrange leaves, mini pumpkins, gourds, acorns, and other natural autumn items.
  • Pretty ornaments in a bowl make a beautiful decoration.

Holiday Party Ideas

Parties play a big part in many holidays. Holiday entertaining is a lot of fun, and many people feel it is expected of them. These cocktail party ideas can save you time and money when entertaining during the holidays or anytime.

Holiday Gifts

There are many unique and creative ideas for frugal gifts. If you have a hobby, that may be a source of homemade presents . If you love to bake or are handy in the kitchen (and even if you're not!) there are most certainly people on your gift-giving list that would love to receive homemade food gifts from you. Be creative and give something from the heart!

Think outside the box when wrapping your gifts, too. If you are not careful, your wrapping supplies can cost more than the gift they contain! See these creative gift wrapping tips and learn how to recycle wrapping paper, ribbons, and other wrapping items.

Christmas on a Budget

Money saving ideas for Christmas cards, entertaining, and decorating for Christmas on a budget.

Valentine Ideas

Cook your sweetheart's favorite meal at home instead of going out to eat. If you have kids, try trading childcare for the evening with friends. Do each other a favor and host your date nights on separate days; you watch their kids while they celebrate, and vice versa. That way you can dedicate a night to your sweetie without the potential of having an interruption.

For unique Valentine gifts , get creative! There are many frugal gifts that say, "I love you", and your sweetheart will appreciate the extra thought you put into your gift.

Halloween Party Ideas

Ideas for Halloween decorations, homemade costume ideas , and Halloween parties on a budget.

From Frugal Holidays back to Frugal Living Now

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