Friday, November 30, 2012

A Price Less Christmas

A Price Less Christmas
 (side note there is a great book out this year called a Priceless Christmas, I love it and recommend and it's free go here to download the book

I love Christmas, and I love giving gifts, Homemade ones are my favorite to give. Although I really do love to shop, I really like to craft and make my own things, and since I know there are alot of you that  are wanting to save some money I thought These posts will come at the right time for some of our readers. There are lots of ways to save money at Christmas some are super smart and some are just a big duh stamp to the forehead and some are just to creative to pass up... So here are some of my tried and true tips to saving money this Christmas Season, grab your favorite hot chocolate and sip and read!

1. Don't go in debt for Christmas, I know it's easier than done but the sad thing is, 70% of us will have debt from Christmas after January... (come on we can do better!)

2. Eat what you have in your pantry for a while, don't buy groceries in December unless needed- think survivor island if needed (nothing wrong with pb and J or Frozen pizza's for a couple nights!) The money that you save when you would be buying on groceries could then go to gifts for Christmas. This also works well to clean out your freezer since Febuary and march you can get frozen food at a good discount!

super yummy home made cookie mix instruction to make it from C&H 
3. Give gifts that are homemade: idea would be to make homemade baked goods, candy, or  a craft. Most often than not the person you are giving a gift to won't remember what you gave them, only that you cared enough to give them a gift, if you keep that perspective in mind It might make it easier to give a homemade gift. some of my favorite things to give are cookie, brownie or muffin mix's in a mason jar, Hot Chocolate mix, Peanut butter balls, Banana bread, and cake pops or cake balls. wrapped up in nice container

4. This might sound odd, but I think it works, give them a coupon for a service you would provide, like baby sitting, a freezer meal, a skill you can teach- you get the idea. Buy a nice gift card holder or make your own (super easy, ideas to come) put the coupon in it so they can redeem it when they see fit.

5. Save money by shopping at good will and second hand stores and trift stores and garage sales. Yep, most of my one yr old presents are slightly used, but in awesome shape, and besides do you really want to mess with all the toy packaging? didn't think so, and kids don't mind, its all ready to play with no waiting for mom to get the scissors out to get the toy out!

6. Use your reward points, seems easy enough right, I love discover card, they give you some really good rewards, but also if you shop online a lot swag bucks is a way to earn rewards. Don't forget to use your customer loyalty card too, like Hallmark, they give you coupons for shopping. For example $2 off your next purchase just because you bought x amount last month! So nice right!

7. Stick to a list, and a budget. Retailers know how to get the consumer to impulse buy! that is why there are a bunch of (lets say Gimmeks  this time of year.) like a cute stuffed animal for $5- again cute for the co worker that loves said animal but really previous tip # 5 might just come really well right about now for the said co-worker. When you stick to a list you are most likely to be a bit more frugal with your money

8. Our Kiddo's don't always remember all the presents under the tree, so don't go to over board, what they really want and I am sure what every parent wants too, is to feel the love and warmth from the holiday season. You both will remember the memories more so than the presents, so you might want to save some of the Christmas money and use it for a night out to look at lights, and go out for a treat. (more on this tip to come!) But you get the idea, it's not what you get or give that matters, it's the moment and joy from the experiences that really matter most.  oh yeah and A book for your kiddo is a must each year!

9. Food, I seem to be going back and forth on this issue, but I do think that we eat way to much during December- So be care full how much you bring to a pot luck. My rule are: is this a family pot luck- make a dish that your loved ones love and make a new recipe to bring if needed. if it's as gathering of friends or co-workers, chances are there will be a ton of food so maybe bring some paper products for the event, and skip the food (hostess might be so grateful that they don't have to buy an extra package of plates, cups, plastic ware and so on...

10. If you are lucky to host a gathering, party or whatever shin dig you do for the Christmas season shop for all decorations and holiday stuff after Christmas for next year, with just a bit of tweaking you can make anything a bit more trendy. Don't forget to use online resources for the invites ( music (pandora) party games and ideas (Pintrest)

So now that you know some of my tips I would love to see if you have some that i haven't touched! Please leave a comment I would love feed back, Oh yeah and have a very merry Debt Free Christmas!

 I hope in the next couple weeks post some neat home made gifts, some that I have made and will give and some that I would eventually like to give. 

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