This is the time of the year where I try to save the most money. I know I will be buying several gifts and I need to try to cut corners in order to try to balance out my gift buying. Although my “savings tricks” do not save enough money to make up for my holiday spending, every extra penny sure comes in handy.
Here are a few ways that I save money over the holidays:
I grab coupons from mailing fliers, the newspaper and online when I have time.
I buy off brands at the store on certain items such as toilet paper, paper plates, etc. I try to stay away from changing up items such as my son’s favorite pop tarts because he would NOT appreciate that. I have tried before, and the pop tarts didn’t taste the same and then no one ate them. So that swap wasn’t worth it since the off brand pop tarts sat in my pantry until their expiration.
Eat at home
This is the time for us to stay out of the restaurants and save money be eating at the house. There are many enjoyable inexpensive meals that can be quickly prepared. Even if you choose to eat steak at home, it sure beats the prices at the steakhouse.
Count your change
Time to clean out your piggy banks and roll up your change. I like to put my change in my purse or in my car for quick access. If you have a huge amount of coins, check with your bank to see if they have a coin counting machine or if they will provide you with free money rollers so that you can roll up your money in order to have it deposited into your account.
Clean out freezer
Time to start eating everything out of your freezer. If it is bad, throw it out, if not, plan to cook it soon. How long has it been since you cleaned out your freezer real well?
Eat left overs
I like to make larger meals than necessary and use the left overs for quick snacks or lunches. One of my favorite meals for leftovers is spaghetti, pork chops or lasagna.
You can make ornaments and holiday decor instead of buying new ones this year. Kids love construction paper chains, paper snowflakes and stringing popcorn. Did you do that as a kid?
Keep track of the items that you need to buy on a holiday list. If you have kids, make sure to balance out the presents so you don’t end up making a last minute run to the store in order to get the other child more items to keep from having a Christmas Day disappointment.
If you have Netflix, find a great series to start watching. My family loves Merlin. If you have a DVR, record your favorite shows and stay away from the movies, and outside activities that cost a lot to attend.
Good luck on your holiday road to savings, you’ll be glad you took these steps once January comes and you begin to feel that hated Christmas caused money crunch.