Christmas is a time for sitting by the fire with your loved ones in your favorite Christmas sweaters, eating lots of gingerbread cookies and candy canes while listening to Christmas carols. It’s a joyous and peaceful time for everyone. However, pulling off a perfect Christmas is far more stressful and costly than it seems. Christmas on a budget can save your sanity.
As research shows, a typical family spends almost twice as much during the month of December than any other month due to Christmas spending. So with Christmas around the corner, don’t waste any more time trying to win the lottery. Here are 10 ideas to help you celebrate Christmas 2021 on a budget.
Ideas To Celebrate Christmas On A Budget
1. Plan Christmas On A Budget
It is the first and most important step. You should set a budget that you can afford and make a list of all the people to buy presents, instead of buying gifts and planning meals for all.
Don’t add unnecessary people to the list like your “co-worker Bob” who offered you coffee once. Make sure your list only contains people close to you.
Get a Christmas Budget Planner and ask yourself: “How much can I afford on Christmas gifts?” If you know your limits before shopping, you won’t encounter any over-the-budget gifts. Planning ahead will also give you ample time to cater to any unplanned surprises.
2. Find Ways To Make Extra Money For Christmas
You’ve made your list, cut your budget but you are still coming up short. It’s time to make some quick Christmas cash. Here are a few ways to earn extra cash for Christmas.
You probably have a lot of things lying around your room. Most of the things you haven’t used since last Christmas. Things like clothes that don’t fit anymore, or electronics you no longer use them. So, before Christmas arrives, have a yard sale selling off anything unnecessary in the house to make room for new and better things. You can add this extra money to your Christmas budget plan.
You can also make some extra money for Christmas doing side hustles. There are some side hustles you can start before Christmas.
You can make custom Christmas lighting/lamps and start selling them. You can take advantage of Instagram and Pinterest to market this type of product.
If you like to drive, join a ride-sharing company like Lyft, Uber, etc. The great thing is you can use your spare time to work on these side hustles.
3. Decorate Your Home For Christmas On A Budget
“Do it yourself (DIYs)” is a great way to save money on Christmas decorations. You don’t need an art degree to be able to make simple DIYs. You will get tons of ideas on Pinterest to guide you. DIYs usually add a more personal touch to the festive season making it more special for you and your loved ones. You can also decorate your home for Christmas with your own, unique home-made ornaments. Not just economic, but it’s also enjoyable to do. So do something that works for your home and taste, and make this season a creative one!
Christmas decorations usually involve a lot of lights, because what is Christmas without a well-lit tree and house? But this can lead to your electricity bill going sky-rocket high. You can still have a stunning house with a minimum amount of lights. Place decorative lights only where needed, don’t overuse them. Using LED lights than the generic light bulbs can also save you money in the long-run.
Don’t spend money on an expensive Christmas tree that people don’t appreciate as much as you think. You will probably throw it out after a month or two. So instead of buying an expensive one, you should look for a cheap Christmas tree. The Christmas tree looks expensive or not – it mostly depends on how much effort you put into decorating the Christmas tree.
4. Look For Early Christmas Shopping Deals
You’re probably thinking about when is the ideal time to start shopping for Christmas? We all know and agree with the fact that prices of general things are excessive during the Christmas season. So why not look for some early Christmas deals? For example, the black Friday sales that make everyone go crazy. You will also find early Christmas shopping deals in various shops months before Christmas. So when you see a potential gift for your family and friends in late November or early December, don’t hesitate to grab it. You won’t find better Christmas shopping deals than that!
Also, keep an open eye on various discounts and deals sites. Here are some of the best and our top favorite sites for Christmas shopping deals and coupons.
2. Honey – Honey is a browser add-on that aggregates the latest coupon codes so you can always snag the best deal.
3. Coupons.com – Coupons.com offers free digital coupons for a large variety of products.
4. ShopAtHome – ShopAtHome offers thousands of online deals and printable coupons for online and local stores.
5. Savings.com – Saving.com has thousands of coupons, promo codes, and deals for both branded and local stores. So it’s a good idea to check out savings.com before buying anything.
6. eBates – eBates is a little different than the typical coupon and deal sites. They give you Cash Back for most of your purchases. Overall, it is a great option to buy things cheaply.
5. Save Money On Christmas Shopping
Here are some ways to save money this Christmas.
Shop at Discount Stores: Many of us spend loads of money on expensive items at expensive stores during Christmas. At times, it’s okay to cut back on the expensive food and gifts when you are trying to celebrate Christmas on a budget.
Try to buy a few essentials from various discount stores. Check out the stores below where you can find discounted items and great deals during the Christmas season.
- Consignment Stores
- TJ Max
- Old Navy
- Dollar Stores
- Costco / Sams Club
- Big Lots
If you shop exclusively online, don’t forget about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Thanksgiving Day, and Turkey Day. If you really want to maximize savings, you should continuously check for deals as early as the Monday before Thanksgiving. Also, don’t forget to check out eBay, Walmart, and specialty stores.
Dollar stores can be a great source for many things, such as fairy lights, stockings, and tree decorations. You can get these things from the dollar stores just for a dollar. It will save you a bunch of money but will still ensure an appealing holiday.
Use coupons and Deals: We all get coupons and gift-cards every now and then, mostly from the shops we regularly buy from. Don’t let these coupons expire and go to waste. Use them in contributing towards your Christmas budget and make every dollar count!
6. Play Christmas Gift Games
Gift exchange games are the most fun and creative ways to save money during Christmas. A White Elephant Gift Exchange is a popular gift exchange game usually followed by co-workers, classmates, or a group of friends.
The general idea of the game is this – everyone brings a small wrapped gift. The gifts are stacked in a pile. Then, a randomly picked first person chooses a gift from the pile to unwrap. Starting with the second person, he/she can either steal the first person’s gift or unwrap another gift from the pile. If the second person steals the first person’s gift, then the first person must open another wrapped gift. Once there are no presents left to be unwrapped, the game ends.
It saves a lot of cash due to the fact that you’re now buying only one person from the group a present instead of buying them all one. It’s fun and cost-effective, so why not give it a go?
7. Plan Christmas Dinner On a Budget
Even if you are on a budget, you don’t have to compromise on the quality of the food. Follow the below strategies to make Christmas dinner on a budget.
At first, you need to choose your turkey wisely. Depending on your situation, you can opt for a smaller bird or a larger bird. If you look around in the supermarket, you will always find one is offering a bargain price for turkey.
If you want to save money, don’t go for the convenient pre-prepared veg. Instead, look around in the supermarket to stock up on veggies and fruits.
Making things own can save a lot of money. If you need a helping hand, get your kids involved in cooking.
Even if you’re the one hosting the Christmas dinner party, you can still share the costs with the ones invited. One common way is to make the dinner a one-dish party where everyone brings one dish so that your costs on food will be spared. This can also save you a lot of time which you can then spend with your children. Don’t take the burden of hosting a party all by yourself, share Christmas.
8. Look For Free Amazon Gift Cards This Christmas
Here are a few ways to earn free amazon gift cards:
Swagbucks can be a great way to rack up free Amazon gift cards.
When you sign up for Swagbucks, you get a $10 sign-up bonus. You can also rack up reward points by using their search engine, watching videos, playing games, doing surveys, etc.
Shopping with Swagbucks is like getting cashback. You can use Swagbucks to buy groceries and other items, and you will earn lots of rewards. Just be wary of how it works, what you’re getting into with each offer, and how much you’re actually profiting over time.
Take Online Surveys
Online surveys are a great option to make some extra money during Christmas. You need to reach a minimum threshold of reward points before you can cash out the money you’ve earned from completing surveys. When you reach the minimum threshold, you can get paid either by cash or by Amazon gift cards.
There are a lot of reputable, high-paying, legit survey sites on the web. Here is a list of survey websites that you can use to earn free amazon gift cards.
- Survey Junkie
- Pizza Rebel
- Harris Poll Online
- American Consumer Opinion
- Pinecone Research
- Panel Opinion
- Opinion Outpost
Sign up for Ibotta
If you do lots of shopping online or in-store, then the Ibotta app can help you cut down your Christmas expenses. Ibotta is a money-saving app that helps people to get real cash back on in-store or online purchases.
There has a variety of options to earn cash with the Ibotta app. You can simply create an account, unlock rebates and rewards, go shopping, verify your purchases, and then get cash. Once your earnings in the app reach $5, you can withdraw it through PayPal, or you can turn it into a gift card and use it that way. You can even earn money just by referring your friends.
9. Don’t Buy Expensive Gifts or Toys for Kids
It’s important to remember that most toys get put down as soon as they are picked. Instead of going for expensive presents, buy them cheap, small things to put under the tree. You can compensate for it with a fun family outing during Christmas.
If you are crafty or have a special skill, you can also consider making gifts instead of spending a lot of money. Try thinking outside the box if you want to avoid the common homemade gifts. There are lots of cool stuff you can buy on Amazon for less than $20. Check them too.
10. Early Preparation is Vital
If you are planning a family trip, try to avoid crowded places. Try to limit vacation trips as much as possible during this holiday season. Check your government’s coronavirus travel advice to avoid any hiccups.
If you are looking for more resources to read, grab this book: Zero-Budget Christmas: The Almost Entirely True Story of Our Quest to Do Our Christmas Shopping Without Spending Any Money. It contains some clever and creative ideas to celebrate Christmas on a budget.
Not only these tips will help you celebrate Christmas on a budget, but they will also ease your stress level. You’ll experience a more memorable and joyous holiday. Because this is what the Christmas season is all about.