Best 10 Ways to Save Money This Christmas

Best 10 Ways to Save Money This Christmas
Written by Oana Schneider

December is here and together with it, we all know that a new season of joy, happiness and…spending is just around the corner. With Christmas and New Year’s Eve as the most important celebrations of the month (and as some of the most important ones in the year), most people will spend a lot of money  on food, gifts, partying and all the other trifles that eventually sum up to huge amounts of money.

Most of you may have already resigned with the idea that Christmas and December in general mean spending a lot of money. However, you should definitely know that things can work in other ways as well – and that you can get through Christmas without spending huge amounts of money and without feeling that you’re missing out on the marvelous things this holiday can offer.

Following, we have put together the best 10 tips to help you save money this December. Read them, follow them and have the best Christmas ever!

1.  Plan ahead

Now, we know that it is extremely difficult to plan ahead, but trust us when we say that it is worth it. The reason this works is quite easy to understand.

Imagine yourself going to the supermarket on December 19th, not having much of an idea what to buy, who to buy it for and so on. You will wander around the supermarket, picking up everything that catches your eye and looks attractive – or everything that’s on discount. That’s a marketing strategy every store uses on Christmas (and generally speaking on holidays) and the very reason why it is very likely to find cute and funny plush toys in the middle of the frozen veggie aisle – so that you feel attracted to it and buy it when you see it.

You may not realize it, but this could save you a ton of money. In fact, this is one of the main reasons a lot of people overspend when they go out and shop – regardless of whether they shop for groceries or for Christmas presents.

Instead of allowing yourself to be taken by the “wave”, plan everything ahead. Think of what you are going to buy (including the ingredients you will need for the Christmas dinner) and think of the person that you’re going to buy it for. When you go out shopping for these items, go straight to them and don’t waste your time around the supermarket or mall.

2. Shop online

Best 10 Ways to Save Money This Christmas

If you want to avoid wasting a lot of time out shopping and if you want to avoid buying products you don’t actually need (see tip #10 here), give online shopping a try. It’s faster, more comfortable and yes, it can save you money.

The thing with online shopping is that it allows you not necessarily to save a lot of money, but to avoid spending it. Online shopping gives you a bit more time to think things through, to analyze a product and to read about its quality. You are less likely to make irrational decisions simply because you saw something cute.

Of course, over-spending and spending on unnecessary things can be troublesome when shopping online as well (especially if you use your credit card relentlessly). However, it could be a best option for Christmas.

Plus, you have much better chances of getting some really nice discounts when shopping online – even with stores that have offline shops as well. The key lies in knowing how to search your product and how to find the best deal on it. Also, remember to plan these online purchases ahead of time as well because it will allow you to have them shipped to you in time for the big Christmas Eve.

3. Services

Create redeemable coupons for something you are really good at – cooking dinner, baking beautiful cakes, organizing paperwork or magazines, and so on. Offer them to your close friends and relatives and they will definitely love having you offer them a “service” in exchange for the coupon. This is a fun idea and it costs basically nothing.

4. About Big Parties

Christmas is mostly about gathering with friends and family. Yes, throwing a big party is a great and beautiful idea and you know everyone will feel excellent. However, if you are tight on money, you should definitely not be afraid to tell people what to bring. You can save quite some money by having some of your guests bring the drinks, for example. After all, everyone will gather around the table and there’s no shame in having your guests contribute as well. It will even make them feel more useful and more like they are part of the celebration!

5. Forget about Wrapping Paper

Yes, wrapping paper does not cost much. But the truth is that when you are on a tight budget, every dollar you save can be of extreme importance. You can save a lot of money on gift wrapping paper by buying it at discount stores or by “recycling” gift bags you may have received throughout the year. Also, remember to buy wrapping paper this January so that you have plenty next Christmas. Usually, holiday-related items go on clearance right after Christmas and you can save a lot of money this way (and not only on paper, but on Christmas decorations and other Christmas-related things as well).

6. DIY Gifts

Best 10 Ways to Save Money This Christmas

If you have a skill, bring it into Christmas. Remember that Christmas is not so much about how expensive a present is, as it is about the nice feeling it awakens in the person who receives it. You may be a great seamstress, you could knit or you could make the most amazing cookies. Trust us when we say most of your relatives and friends would be more than happy to receive a handmade gift from you.

For instance, back in high school I got to be “Secret Santa” for this really rich classmate. Since I did not have much money to buy him a gift, I made him some French crepes filled with Nutella. He loved them – he probably loved them even more than he would have loved something that would have been bought at the mall.

7. Couponing

If you have coupons or vouchers lying around the house and you know they are still valid, USE them. You may feel that they are not saving you a lot of money, but if you add up everything, they may be absolutely great. Even if you only spend $20, that could still be important (for instance, you could use that money for holiday cards).

8. Sending Cards

Speaking of cards, you can easily save a lot of money by sending Christmas cards instead of gifts – especially when it comes to far-off relatives you are not even very close to. If you want to add a touch of personality and charm to your cards, you can make them yourself or ask someone to help you edit your photo/a photo of your family into a nice Christmas card wish.

9. Don’t Avoid Discount Stores

You might find that it’s extremely difficult to save money this Christmas if you only shop at one supermarket. Shopping around, on the other hand, can and will save you money. One supermarket may have a product that is cheaper than the other supermarket so don’t be afraid to shop around. It might take a bit more time, but it will be worth it. Even more than that, don’t forget about discount stores. Sometimes, they are a great way to buy delicacies and products that are usually quite expensive at prices that are much lower.

10. It’s All About the Celebration

Too many of us think that Christmas is about money and gifts and too many of us forget that it’s about something completely different: it is about being with the people you love, about spending quality time with them and having a bit of fun. You don’t need a lot of money to be happy – you just need to have a “holiday spirit”. Your guests will enjoy your Christmas dinner even if it’s not the fattest goose on the table or if you don’t serve French cheese! As long as you do everything with love and your heart is open to them, they will all enjoy your dinner, your gifts and your presence.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.


  • December is the time of year where people spend most of their hard earned income on gifts and new clothes or travelling. With regards to gifts, I agree with Christmas cards, even though they’re kind of obsolete nowadays because of the advent of technology. However, you can still opt to make cards for older people like your grandparents. They will appreciate that gesture. Online shopping can also be one way for you to save money because most of the items that they have on hand are not only brand new but the price is lesser compared to department stores.

    • I would say that everyone likes receiving physical cards. E-cards don’t feel the same, and they lack that touch of sentiment that makes a gift worth receiving. Online prices and in-store prices are a lot closer than they used to be, though, thanks to price matching and price wars. In fact, you can often find comparable prices these days, and shipping often makes online prices more expensive when factored in.

  • In the end, it really is all about the celebration. If you can’t afford gifts for everyone you want to buy them for, then let those individuals know and get them a card instead. We aren’t obligated to spend money on Christmas gifts, especially for those of us that are in a tight situation. It’s a nice luxury, but far too many people think they absolutely need to buy gifts, whether it destroys their financial well-being or not this holiday season.

  • I forgot all about DIY gifts and coupons! I used to be an avid knitter, so that’s definitely something that I should resurrect this year, to see if I can whip up something quick for my family this year. I also love receiving DIY gifts, since they feel so much more personal, and heartfelt than some knick-knack someone picked up at a store for me. Ultimately though, you are right – it all comes down to the celebration itself. Spending time with loved ones and friends is worth so much more to me than anything I could buy in a store.

  • Another important aspect: not all people in your life should receive presents. I know it sounds like I’m the Grinch, but many of us waste a lot of money buying gifts for all kinds of people who are not as close to us as others. I can understand buying presents for our family members and the closest friends, but some of our neighbours don’t always qualify for it 🙂

    • Well, obviously you can’t buy gifts for nearly everyone you know. You’d wind up spending a small fortune, and that’s something that most people can’t do, even on their own family members. If you keep your shopping list small, then you’re guaranteed to wind up in a better financial spot after the holidays are over.

  • DIY is a great option if you have the crafty chops for it. There are a ton of interesting tutorials and suggestions on Pinterest if you have the skills but lack the ideas, too. As a full-time artist myself, DIY gifts are my usual go-to because a) I’m making things anyway and b) the term ‘starving artist’ is oh-so-accurate. 😉

    With regard to the wrapping paper, I’d go one further and suggest giving it up altogether. It’s pretty environmentally unfriendly. If you really DO want to wrap, though, another money-saving way to do it is to buy a roll of brown packing paper and decorate it yourself. It’s really easy to liven it up with a stamp (you can even make a custom one, if you feel like it) or some pretty washi tape.

    • I actually really like your brown packing paper idea. That’s fantastic. It gives that added personalized touch that you won’t find from normal wrapping paper. i can see it being pretty time consuming if you’ve got a lot of gifts to wrap, though. Nonetheless, I’ll have to give it a try one of these years, maybe even this Christmas.

  • I love the idea of making your own Christmas card. We did that this year and the personal touch is awesome. My kids got into it as well. I loved to see how excited they were about making special cards for all the family members. You could also save money by shopping the deals after Christmas for next years presents. I do this every year. When things on sale %50-%75 off after the for stores to get rid of things. I find it helpful to do this if you already know who might like these items. Then I just stick them in large container marked Christmas, and I pull it out around November to get an idea of who else I need. I like the tip on reusing gift bags, if you have Christmas with the same people every year in one house you could just reuse the same bag with the same name every year. I completely agree that Christmas does not have to cost you an arm and a leg.

    • If you have kids, then you pretty much have to create handmade Christmas cards. Doing so creates that magical personal touch, and it shows the recipients that you care enough to take the time out of the day to make something by hand. It’s a better option than simply buying generic Christmas cards from the store and sending them out with a half-hearted note.

  • I actually read this article this morning before doing some last item Christmas shopping, and I’m so glad I did. I loved the idea of discount stores and online shopping. I did a quick search at home of some of my favorite stores online to see if they had any online deals. I was able to find most of the gifts I was looking for at a discounted price. Since I visit these stores at least once a week I opted for their free ship to store option. This way I don’t lose all the money I just saved in shipping costs! I then went to my local dollar store and was thrilled to find such a great holiday selection! I was able to pick up a few things to really make our home pop for the holidays all for under ten bucks. My dollar store finds were so cute in fact that my boyfriend, who is very much the typical man, even commented on how nice and cheery everything looked.

    • You can find plenty of great stuff at the dollar stores in your area, no matter where you live. They’re especially useful for finding affordable holiday decorations for any given holiday, especially Christmas, though. I’m glad to hear that you were able to get some great savings at multiple places for the holidays!

  • I did most of my Christmas shopping online this year and combined Ebates with online retailers to save money and get cashback. I also tried to shop online on days there was good deals for example “Spend $50.00 and get $10 off your order” Nothing wrong with that!

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