Holiday Cheer: 10 Ways to Save & More

Don’t throw your budget out the window this holiday season!  There are many ways to save money while spreading holiday cheer to your loved ones and friends.  We’ve included lots of ideas for those who want to save money during the holidays in the boxed sections below.  There’s a list of ten ways to save money on gifts and decorations during the holiday season, as well as crafting and baking project links specially selected to help celebrate the season.  Create lasting memories and avoid financial stress in the new year with these fun ideas.  Did you know can do many of these projects from start to finish in about an hour…and you don’t have to make a holiday deadline for the first one, as friends, family, and neighbors will enjoy these treats well into the new year.  Make it even more fun by including your family and kids in the crafting.

 

Mini Brownie Cheesecakes in a Jar

These festive snowmen snacks are almost too cute to eat — almost!  Inside the jars, a yummy traditional cheesecake is just waiting for its spoon.  The cheesecake is good for a week in the fridge; use the picture above as a model for your finished product.

Craft it: Slip a baby sock over the lid of one jar and cut off the toe end. Wrap the cut end with twine. Glue on tiny pom-poms or beads for eyes and buttons. Make a small cone from construction paper for the nose and attach with glue. For a second jar, wrap a ribbon around as a scarf. Hot glue the stacked jars together.

Make it: click to access this fun recipe: Individual Brownie Cheesecakes in Jars

 

5 Ways to Save on Gifts…

1. Make a list and stick to it. It’s easy to succumb to impulse buys while you’re shopping. If you want to watch what you spend, be sure to stick to your list.

2. Get daily deals delivered to your inbox.  Sign up for emails from sites like Gilt.com and Zulily.com, which offer discounts on popular brands for women, men, kids and the home each day.

3. Take advantage of in-store pickup.  In-store pickup allows you to save money on shipping fees by having your items delivered to your local store, instead of to your home or office.

4. Hit the sales.  Research sales circulars before you shop to make the most of your trip and enjoy big savings.

5. Play Secret Santa.  Do you come from a large family or have a large group of friends? Instead of buying gifts for everyone, each person draws a name from a hat and purchases a gift for that person. Be sure to set a spending limit that keeps everyone’s budget in mind.

 

5 Holiday Décor Gifts For Less…  

1. Get inspired by your surroundings.  Collect natural materials such as pine cones or branches and decorate them with ribbons, paint and glitter.  See the box below for sites with even more DIY projects.

2. Host a décor or ornament swap.  If you’re bored with your holiday décor and you have family and friends who feel the same about theirs, invite them over to exchange items.  It’s less expensive than buying new items and you may find some new holiday favorites.

3. Get crafty.  Consider DIY decorations to save a bundle.  Pinterest and other craft sites are treasure troves of inspiration for all holidays.  There are several DIY project links in the box below, choose a link and a great idea will be revealed.

4. Check out pre-Christmas sales. Many craft supply stores offer discounts on holiday décor and ornaments before the holidays.  Although the best time to stock up is after the holidays, when discounts are often up to 75% off, you can still find major deals a few weeks beforehand.

5. Organize a holiday cookie exchange.  Instead of baking dozens of different cookies, organize a cookie exchange with family, friends or neighbors.  Each person bakes 2-3 dozen of one type of cookie and then everyone trades what they baked. Be sure to clarify what everyone is baking to ensure that each person receives different kinds of cookies, and check to ensure that there are no food allergies such as nuts.  Bring your favorite holiday container (s) to bring home your share of the treats!

 

3 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Cards…

1. Send postcards. It costs less to send a postcard than a regular letter or greeting card.

2. Make your own cards. Websites such as VistaPrint.com allow you to upload photos and personalize your message for less.

3. Send e-cards. Sending e-cards from websites such as AmericanGreetings.com or BlueMountain.com is a great alternative if you have a large holiday card list.

 

Gingerbread Landscape & Truck

Looking For More Ideas To Get In The Holiday Spirit?

If you’re searching for even more holiday ideas for gift-giving, entertaining, and family fun, check out the following links for some great ideas.  Can’t find what you’re looking for in our list below?  Flipboard has a great overview of ideas: click here for a host of resources.

Flilpboard’s Holiday Central: Everything You Need for All The Holidays This Season

Last Minute Holiday Gifts from Lovely Indeed.com

The Science of Giving: 5 Ways You Can Give Better Gifts from, the Today Show

5 Gift Ideas That Cost $5 or Less from

DIY Christmas Gifts You Love from

Modern Holiday Table Settings

Hanukkah Recipes for Dinner

Christmas Brunch Ideas

 

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