33 Tips for Holiday On A Budget

How is it we have less than 50 till the biggest gift giving season of the year is over?  Are you ready?

Most people in the United States don’t finish their holiday shopping until mid – late December.  Only 25% or so finish before December.

That means there is going to be a budget crunch for many of us.  Let’s look at the numbers:

The average family in the United States spends $271 per kid during the holiday.  We think that is kinda conservative, so we’re going to assume $300.  But kids aren’t the only spending hole.  So, we’re going to talk numbers for a family of four:

  • $300 for Kid 1
  • $300 for Kid 2
  • $200 for Spouse
  • $200 for Spouse
  • $200 for Grandparents
  • $200 for friends and extended family
  • $100 for teachers, postal workers, co-workers and more
  • $200 for food and decor

If you look at this pretty reasonable budget — that’s still $1,700 to be budged.  If you didn’t start saving for it in advance, you’re looking at $340 a week from now until the end of the year.  (By the way, starting January 1, if you put aside $35 a week into a special holiday account, you’ll make the goal).

If you have an extra birthday or a special trip planned — you’ll also need to adjust for that, too.  All added up, this usually equals STRESS.  Stress and holidays shouldn’t have to be constant thing, so let’s try and take a little stress and put a little cheer back into your holiday.

Shop Smart Online

  • Watch out for promo codes that could save you money.  But, always read the fine print to make sure the item you want is included in the discount.
  • Register on the website and put the things you want in your cart.  If you then go off and do something else online, watch your email because many retailers will send you incentives to have you come back and complete your purchase.
  • Follow your favorite stores on social media.  Sometimes they advertise discounts and promo codes just through those mediums.
  • Check sites like Get My PERKS often.  We often have great things for families to do around the holidays but almost all our PERKS can be emailed to a friend far away or downloaded, printed on pretty paper and gifted.  Many of our PERKS are also up to 50% off.

Dig for the Discounts

  • Thrift stores or trade sites can offer some great deals on things that don’t have to be brand new to be perfect.  If your son is looking for a weight set, you can get them for $.20 on the dollar in many places.
  • If you have a growing kid, a second hand store can carry the name brands they want, at a price you can afford (especially since they will grow out of them in six months).
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday always have deals — but did you know about 80% of things on sale were also on sale for the exact same price last year? Do an online search of sale items from major retailers.  If you see something you need to get this year, put it on the list becuase it will more than likely be on sale again this year.

Be Creative

  • Your neighbors and your kids’ teachers don’t need a $20 gift each.  Get creative about how you deliver gifts.  Check out this cute idea card of 20 creative and cheap gifts:


Be The Life Not The Workhorse of the Party

  • Entertaining gets expensive but having 15 people over for Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to go through all the expense.
    • Assign side dishes / desserts to everyone.  They always ask what they can bring — so put that request to good use.
    • Instead of food, have at least one person bring paper plates or servingware
    • Almost all grocery stores have ways to get a free turkey.  Do your research and you could save $30 on the bird
    • Reduce everything by 1 to save money.  Instead of 5 sides, try 4 (no one can eat the salad anyway — it’ s a waste of space).  Instead of 3 desserts, try 2.
    • Skip the soda and offer water, lemonade, iced tea and whatever else you can make in bulk

What are your suggestions on how to do holiday on a budget?



3 thoughts on “33 Tips for Holiday On A Budget

  1. Do a game like secret santa with the adult children of your extended family. Not only is it helpful to all it’s a lot of fun too. Just make sure there are rules, like a dollar amount, theme if your looking for fun. If you could me from a family of bargain shoppers it’s fun to see who does the best shopping on say a $20 gift. Another fun one for the adults is the steal it gift exchange. Give a dollar amount and everyone bring their rapped gift 🎁. Then you all need to draw numbers to know the order of picking a gift. First person picks unraps their gift next person either takes your gift or pick an unopened gift. If the person picks your gift you then have to pick an open gift or one someone else opened except not the one you just had. That game gives you a lot of entertainment and you don’t go broke buying for all the in-laws, cousins, sisters & brothers or even friends. I think it’s great for adults just not little kids.


    1. My mom and daughter really dislike the steal it option. Before you throw that part in, check quietly with all of the participants. If they are all fine with it, go ahead!


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