This is a guest post by Danielle from The Life of a Blogger.
The holidays are approaching and I always find myself stressing about gifts, tree, decorations and more. I thought the holidays were supposed to be a little more laid back and relaxing, but who was I kidding? Well, I have decided to help make the Christmas holiday a little less stressful and a bit more frugal. Spending money is easy to accomplish, I don't think any of us need help doing that (the kids help enough), however, saving money is something some of us could use some help in, so I'm here to do just that.
Shopping for a Frugal Christmas:
- Purchase a fake tree ~ I know, I know, some people just have to have that real tree. Real trees are great but the heading out to cut one down or purchasing from a tree seller, pine needles everywhere and having to sweep daily (sometimes multiple times) and having to water a tree in my home just isn't appealing to me… Plus you are throwing out this tree after a short use and purchasing a new one next year…. What was I thinking? So I went to fake. The picture above is of our beautiful fake tree, it saves us money because we can reuse it and it's full and awesomely frugal!
- Purchase lights/ornaments in off season ~ Yes!!! Every year after the holidays everything goes on sale, make use of this… usually stores have schedules of when they mark items down so check them often. If you go the day after Christmas items will probably be on sale but it will not be the lowest it will go, I would say probably a week(ish) after the holiday is when you will see a drastic difference in price. So keep an eye out for these great deals.
- Buy plain vs pretty ~ If you are like me and always miss the sales after the holiday so here's a tip to help you. Have you ever wandered through the isles of your favorite store looking at ornaments and thought to yourself why in the hey-yell do these things have to be so expensive? I mean after all we are only using them for a short time… I suggest looking at the plain ornaments vs the ones with all the fancy smancy writing, glitter, college teams and what not. Plain ornaments tend to be cheaper than the pretty ones… This doesn't mean you have to sacrifice looks, plain bulbs doesn't mean white (how boring), plain just means any color under the sun (without glitter and glam) remember we aren't hosting the toddlers and tiaras at your house.
- Buy shatterproof bulbs ~ I'm pretty sure that most bulbs are shatterproof but I haven't been out looking at Christmas ornaments either…lol. I suggest this because they are a lot harder to break and with kids around that tends to happen quite a bit. When I purchase them I try to think about them lasting for a couple years so I'm not purchasing them year after year, frugal is my middle name. (don't laugh, it's kinda true, not really)
So now that you have read my crazy Frugal Christmas ideas you now know a little about my obsessive craziness. I like my fake tree which enables me to pull it out of a box and put it together, spending an hour or so pulling all the branches down to make it looking like a full real tree, putting a tree skirt around the stand and calling it done. I purchase my pretty plain bulbs (blue and silver, yes, it's an ongoing theme and I happen to love it… blue is my favorite color) to save money and I try to purchase the shatterproof so I'm not purchasing more the following year. Keep the stress down in an already stressful time and think frugal!
How do you keep the holidays from taking over your budget?