If you’re looking to have a cheapskate Christmas, these simple tips can help.
There are so many reasons that Christmas can be a super tough time on families. It’s an expensive holiday that seems to get more and more expensive every single year. And while all that pressure from others starts to pile up, you don’t have to give in. You can, in fact, have a cheapskate Christmas where you stay on, or below, your holiday budget. Don’t let others make you feel like you have to keep up with them during the holidays…you do your own thing instead!
But the very best part? You don’t have to act as though your Christmas is “cheap”. Look on the bright side and try these simple Christmas ideas instead.
How to have a Frugal Christmas
Make Something Instead of Buying Something
Everyone loves homemade items and they are just so much more special. No matter if you’re talented at creating or crafting or not, you can create homemade gifts to share with your loved ones. Here are a few crafty ideas you can do instead of buying gifts:
- Make homemade blankets: Tie blankets are great gifts because everyone needs a throw or bed blanket. You can find inexpensive fabric at local fabric shops. Start making your tie blankets a few months ahead to spread out the cost for each one.
- Put together jars that mean something: Give friends and family a decorated jar with words of encouragement. Sometimes the best gifts are waking up every morning to feeling loved.
- Gifting food is always a great idea: From fruit baskets to homemade cookies, the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Give the gift of food presents this Christmas.
- Make homemade ornaments to then put on and decorate the tree together
- Bake up some delicious Christmas treats to share with all your family and friends
Draw Names for Christmas
Have you ever drew names at your family gatherings or place of work? It’s actually a lot of fun. Not only that but then you’re just required to buy one gift for something rather than a zillion for all your family and friends.
Plus, let’s all admit that drawing names is kinda fun and suspenseful as well!
Set a Gift Budget
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, but a lot of people to buy for, set a budget for each person. This can be whatever you can afford. Just make certain that you’re setting a limit that everyone in the family can enjoy. A $100 limit per present isn’t really logical, but $10-$20 just might be!
And it also keeps you totally on budget as well. If you know that you’re not going to spend more than $10 on a person, you can easily budget accordingly.
Buy Used Toys
Who says that toys have to be brand new?! New toys are never made as strong so there’s no doubt that they’re going to get broken within just a few months, right? Why not go the used route and see what you can find? Here are a few ways to find them:
- Garage sale sites that you can use online: If you know what your kids want, you can simply write a post on the garage sale site saying, “ISO X toy for Christmas.” People will comment on what they have and the prices. Or, you can just go through the listings and find what you want.
- Antique stores, flea markets or second-hand stores: You may not find up-to-date items at thrift stores, but you can find really awesome toys at places like Once Upon a Child, Goodwill, and rummage sales.
- Craigslist: As Christmas draws near, parents everywhere are selling the old to make room for the new. Hop on Craigslist to score great deals on electronics, toys, and other like-new items.
- Facebook Marketplace: An easy way to connect with people that you know that might have toys to give or sell.
Learn the Basics of Black Friday Shopping
Black Friday is actually a wonderful time to find the cheapest deals on top toys, electronics, and clothes of the season. The problem many people run into during Black Friday shopping is thinking they can go into the store and “shop.” You can’t do that. You have to go through the ads ahead of time, pick out the best deals at the best stores, and make a list of exactly what you have to get.
And don’t get sucked into all the great “deals!” If you went to a store and bought something that you weren’t normally going to buy, then you actually didn’t save any money no matter if it was on sale or not. Because if the item was $20 on sale and regularly $50, you didn’t save $30…you spent $20 because you weren’t going to spend anything before you arrived there….see what I mean?!
During Black Friday, you want to make a list of only a few items from each store because the last thing you want to do is grab a cart. Here are a few Black Friday tips:
- Don’t even try to grab a cart. . Trying to get through crowds of people with a cart is impossible.
- Keep your list short and sweet. You won’t get everything you want, so make a short list of items that you can run in and grab before everyone else.
- Understand that all that truly matters here is your timing. Not all the stores have sales at the same time or even open at the same time. Use that to your advantage. You will want to estimate that once you get the item and get in line, it will be about 1 hour before you get through checkout. This means you can estimate when you can make the next sale at the next store.
And remember the most important thing…just because you’re wanting to save money at Christmas doesn’t mean that you’re not in the Christmas spirit. It’s often harder to find ways to have an affordable Christmas honestly.
People who don’t set budgets during the holidays typically blow their it all very quickly…but when there are people like us who don’t like to overspend, that requires us to do a ton of planning and preparing to stay within our own personal budgets.
Being a cheapskate isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s the smartest option. Use these skills and have a memorable and magical cheapskate Christmas.
Do you have any other tips on how to have a cheapskate Christmas?
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