17 Ways to Cut Holiday Spending

| 11/20/2011 3:11:15 PM

Tags: frugality, Holiday, Christmas, gift ideas, saving money, budget, Jennifer Schwabauer,

Newspaper Gift WrapIt’s November and many have their eyes set on Christmas; the parties, the outings, the gift giving, the food. With the economy still so uncertain and many still without jobs, this season may have the air of being a not so merry holiday.

 But, it doesn’t have to be that way. With some careful planning and a few creative “outside-of-the-box” ideas you and your family won’t miss the hectic fast paced rush of previous years. In fact, you may come to treasure a slower paced holiday that allows you to reflect and appreciate the true meaning of the season. Check out these 17 ideas and choose a few to incorporate into your celebration this year, and make it through the holidays without breaking the bank or your spirit.

1.)     Make a list of people you normally give to, then look over the list again and decide who you should give a gift to. The operative word here is should. Cross off people like the paperboy, postal workers, trash collector, hair stylist, handy man or teachers. These people are gainfully employed and you show your appreciation by continuing to use their services. Why spend your hard earned money and precious holiday time buying them a gift.

2.)     Using the final edited gift list, determine a per person gift amount or gift item and stick to it. The amount can be different for immediate family like hubby and the kids than it is for extended family. Non-family members can receive homemade gifts.

3.)     Instead of individual gifts for your brother or sister and each of their kids, give a family gift that will enable them to spend quality time together. Family packs to zoos, aquariums or living history museums are great memorable ways for families to spend time together. Even passes to the local movie theater with coupons for drinks and popcorn make wonderful family gifts.

4.)     Let the kids make homemade greeting cards using craft items you have on hand and save on high priced cards. Or, send electronic holiday cards and save even more. Cutting down your holiday card list can also save you a bundle. Cards are perfect, and appropriate, for friends and family you don’t see often. It gives you a chance to get everyone caught up on what’s going on in your life. But, is it really necessary to send a card to local people you see often? A heartfelt phone call or personal greeting when you see them is just as meaningful.

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