Preparing for the Holiday Season

I know this post is a little late as Christmas buying supposedly begins the day after Thanksgiving (unless you are one of the incredibly ridiculous stores that opened on the Family Thanksgiving day), but I believe that ‘better late than never’ is a true mantra.

Spending

Luckily, there are several avenues to help you save big bucks during the holiday season! Famously, there is Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even other sales big stores may hold. Just to note, next year Black Friday may encroach on Thanksgiving even more than it already does and Cyber Monday just might extend to Cyber Week, so make sure to mark your calendar!

–          Coupons, coupons, coupons! Check your local newspaper for ads every Sunday, I love to get mine! They can provide coupons you will not find online or in the store! Clipping coupons from both online sources and newspapers can literally save you hundreds of dollars. I saved my dad $80 on groceries this past Friday just by using the Safeway Just For You and Card Program. Both are absolutely free to join! I think King Soopers also has a similar program. Check your local stores for such deals.

–          Shop the Sales! As I mentioned previously, shop the sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Note especially on years like this where the shopping season is an entire week shorter that big department stores often throw additional sales in the hopes of gaining extra income to make up for the shorter time period. I know that I’ve been seeing many commercials for suit and formal wear shops! Teens, maybe now would be the time to buy your prom dress if you haven’t, same for you guys that need the tuxedo (trust me, it’ll gain you points).

–          Think Different! How often do you make handmade gifts for your family? A couple years ago, I made pillows for all of my immediate and immediate extended family with their first initial on them and out of fabric prints that matched either their personality or something they like. This cost me about $30 at Hobby Lobby. That is much better than the about $100 I have spent this year on actual gifts. If you normally shop at a Tattered Cover or Barnes & Noble, maybe try ARC, their books range from $2 to $10, much better than the $20 to $30 I spent on my mother’s gift from B&N.

Cooking

With the holiday season, comes lots of holiday cooking. I recommend using the above coupon methods as well as potentially buying in bulk from places such as Costco or Sam’s Club. Additionally pay attention to these key details:

–          Price per Unit (1.32/lb)

–          Food you get per price (80% meat for $2 vs. (60% meat for $1.50)

–          Quality (Do you prefer Organic?)

Decorations

Decorations are a must in order to maintain that holiday feel! Try making them or each using decorations from other holidays! For instance, if you celebrate Easter as a religious holiday, you could use Christian decorations for Christmas. If you use gold tinsel or anything similar during Halloween, use it for Christmas! Even just making coloring pictures or taking out candles with Christmas associated colors, you can lift that holiday feel up. Also, some additional and inexpensive ideas include:

–          Gold, Green, Red, and White candles from a local thrift store, as well as plastic flowers

–          Weekly flowers from your local grocery store

–          Paper rings or tinsel from your local dollar store

–          Finally, just some hot cocoa, a fireplace, and some family movies with a blanket

That last one is my favorite simple solution for creating the holiday Christmas feel!

What are your favorite holiday saves?

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