During the holiday season we all tend to overspend. Here are some tried and true ways to save during the holiday season:
- Gift-giving budget. The holidays are still a few months away, but now is the perfect time to think about adjusting your gift-giving budget. If you have a large family and gift giving is part of your holiday tradition, chat with everyone to see if perhaps you can cut down on the number of presents you all have to purchase. Maybe everyone can agree to only buy gifts for the kids in the family, or perhaps you could draw names so that each person is only responsible for buying a gift for the person whose name they pulled. You might even decide to forgo gifts altogether and make a joint donation to a charity that is close to your hearts.
- Hand-deliver your holiday cards. If you like to send holiday greetings to family and friends, but balk at the cost of postage, hand-deliver cards to local friends and family, and consider e-cards for those who are far away. Sites like 123Greetings and Blue Mountain Arts have free, all-occasion greeting cards you can email to friends and family all year long.
- Make your own coffee. Sure, a splurge on a fancy beverage at your local coffee shop is always a nice treat, but if you’re a serious coffee drinker you can save a lot of money by making coffee at home and taking it with you in a travel mug. According to The Simple Dollar you can make a 16oz cup of black coffee for about $0.44. If you add cream or other flavorings that could bump up your cost to around $0.70. Given that typical coffee chains can charge as much as $5 for the same size coffee, you could be saving $21.50 a week if you have one coffee a day, Monday through Friday. That’s a savings of almost $1000 a year just for brewing at home! You can even make yourself pumpkin spice lattes at home if you don’t want to feel left out during pumpkin spice season!
- Explore Ebay. If your job requires you to wear trendy business clothes – or you simply like designer finds – check out Ebay.com for great deals on designer clothes. Likewise, visit your local thrift shops regularly to scope out great finds in the clothing section. If you find something you love but it isn’t quite your size, buy it anyway and enlist the help of a good tailor to make it a perfect custom fit.
- Use a clothesline or a clothes rack. Your dryer is an energy hog, accounting for a whopping 12% of the electricity used in a typical home. If you have a big enough yard and your municipality allows for it, put up a clothesline or a clothes tree and dry your clothing the old fashioned way. If you live in an apartment or don’t have a large enough yard, you can use a clothes rack to dry smaller items like shirts, pants and undergarments. Sure it takes more time, but the cost savings are worth the extra bit of planning you’ll need to do to make sure everything is dry when you need it.
Remember: Every little bit helps. It doesn’t matter where the savings comes from, just save! I’d love to hear other ideas you have. Please comment and share with everyone how you save money during the holidays.