Holiday Money Saving Tips

How to save money with these holiday saving tips.

1. Holiday Gift Giving

This tip is especially helpful for large families. Although it is fun buying for and receiving from everyone, it can be very expensive. Make an agreement with your family that you will continue to buy for the children but that the adults will go with a name exchange. This way the children are not disappointed and you can spend a little more on one or two people rather than spreading your money thin. For the members that you did not pick to exchange with, bake a loaf of their favorite homemade bread or cookies.

2. Clearance

Always head straight for the clearance rack where you can find amazing bargains. Sometimes you may have to dig a little to find the right item but the savings will be well-worth your time. Most clearance racks offer variety, current trends, and great value. For example, Bed, Bath & Beyond has a clearance section where you can find all kinds of wonderful household items for a fraction of the original cost.

3. Thrift / Surplus Stores

Unfortunately, thrift and surplus stores have been given a bad rap. Many of these stores are filled with hundreds of top quality items. Name brand merchandise is easy to find but just like clearance racks, it takes some time to find.

Find a thrift or surplus store close to where you live and then plan spending some time to find those outstanding bargains. One woman in Kansas City, Missouri located such a store about 20 minutes from her home. After shopping through every isle over the period of two hours, she walked out of the store with eight huge garbage bags filled to the brim with designer clothes for her and her children, many with the original tags still attached. She even found a couple of Liz Claiborne suits for herself at $5.99 each and a Dooney & Burke purse normally valued at $225 for $19.95. Her children had an entire season of school clothes and best of all, she paid less than $200.

4. Wrapping Paper and Bows

Create your own wrapping paper, which is not only unique, but also fun. Use plain brown grocery bags and craft-like paints to make your design. After wrapping the gift, let your creative juices flow. For example, using black and yellow craft paint, create a miniature road. Then dipping toy truck tires into red paint roll them along the paper making tire tracks. You can then draw free hand a stop sign, yield sign, or stop light.

Next, using a hot glue gun, glue a couple of the miniature trucks to the paper. This is perfect for a young boy. He will be just as thrilled with the wrapping as the actual gift.

For a girl, you can simply create miniature bows from existing fabric or lace and glue them on brown paper then free hand draw colorful flowers.

Just use your creativity and look around for items you already have on hand to use.

5. Reuse

When you shop, look for items that can be reused. Rechargeable batteries are a perfect example. Even though the initial purchase may be more than non rechargeable batteries, there is a definite savings over a long period.

Another option would be to purchase a nice artificial Christmas tree. Many of the current artificial trees look amazingly real and with the right lights and ornaments, you can change the look from year to year.

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Photo. Olia Danilevich


  1. Photo Gift – Don’t know what to give that hard to shop for person in your life? Get a photo (or take one) of them, have it enlarged to a 5 x 7 or 8 x 10 (print it out yourself if you have a good quality printer), then frame it with a simple wooden frame. Pictures from their youth, their relatives or friends are good choices for their photo gift.

  2. Old Fashioned Tree Trimming – Pop some popcorn and string up with thread to make an old fashioned tree garland. You can add colored beads between several popcorn or cranberries. My children have added small red and green buttons in place of the beads. Takes time to make but is much fun! Happy Holidays everyone at Pioneer Thinking!

  3. Homemade Gift Wrap – Save money and the environment by making your own gift wrap. Cut open a brown paper bag and stamp designs randomly all over the paper, you can purchase ready made stamps or make your own using a potato cut in half. Carve your design in the potato then dip into paint, press onto paper. Get creative, add some green, silver or red sparkles to the wet paint for a glamorous holiday look. You can wrap smaller gifts in store bought tea towels then tied with a wide ribbon. Its like giving two gifts in one!


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