14 Ways To Save Money Around The Holidays
The Holidays are a fun, yet stressful time. Your to do list is full and you have lots of gifts to buy, making money tight. Every little bit that you can save helps. If you need some advice on how to make you dollar go further this holiday season, you have come to the right place. Here are 14 ways to save money around the holidays!
#1 Make A List
Before buying any gift, you should make a list of everyone that you want to buy for and figure out how much money you can spend. This will help you avoid over spending and making unnecessary purchases.
#2 Shop Sales
Obviously, the most noteworthy holiday sales are Black Friday and Cyber Money. Some deals are too good to skip out on. A lot of Black Friday sales are now online so you don’t even have to leave the house! Plus, most sites offer free shipping during these sales–a huge bonus in my book.
#3 Rack Up And Redeem Loyalty Points
Most stores have a Loyalty Program and now is a great time to take advantage of them. Whether it’s saving money with your Target Red Card, redeeming Ulta Beauty points, earning Kohl’s Yes2You Rewards, or cashing in your Sephora points, the holidays are a great time to do it.
My favorite Loyalty Program is Kroger’s. I earn points for every purchase that I make and redeem them for savings on gas. I do all of my grocery (and gift card) shopping at Kroger to maximize my rewards.
#4 Clean Out Closets
The holidays are a great time to get rid of what you don’t need. Remember the saying, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure?” See if there’s anything that you could sell on Ebay or Facebook Yardsale.
#5 Buy in Bulk
If you know you’ll have a house full at Christmas, stock up on necessities like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and paper towels. Buying them in bulk will save you money and keep you from having to make a last minute trip to the store. Plan on doing a lot of baking? Buy large bags of baking supplies like flour and sugar.
I do all of my bulk shopping at Sam’s Club and try to wait until an item is on instant savings so I save even more money.
#6 Shop Early
Figure out what you want to buy and subscribe to store emails that sell what you are looking for. The item may go on sale in the months leading up to the holidays and you can luck out if you’re paying attention.
I subscribe to a lot of store’s emails but I send them to my junk folder. That way, I can go and look if I want to but I’m not loaded down with a full inbox every morning.
#7 Eat What’s at Home
This is one of the easiest ways to save money around the holidays. Use this time to clean out the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry (Hey, you bought those frozen pizzas and canned ravioli!). Plus, you won’t have to leave the house and go out in the cold.
#8 Cut Back On Extras
This is pretty straight forward. Cut back on non-necessities: do you nails at home instead of going to the nail shop, cut the Starbucks runs, and skip the dollar spot at Target (it’s hard, I know).
#9 Use Coupons
Whether it’s clipping coupons from the newspaper or printing them from a website, use coupons as much as you can. Spend a little bit of time looking for coupons before you grocery shop; you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save.
Tip: Many grocery stores have digital coupons that are only available by logging onto their website and loading them to your loyalty card.
Before making an online purchase, search for discount codes. My favorite website is RetailMeNot. I use the Shopular app to look for coupons while shopping in-store. I check for coupons before making any purchase, and most of the time I end up finding one.
#10 Shop Around for Credit Cards
If you plan on using your Credit Card to make holiday purchases, shop around and see if you can find a card with a better interest rate and worth-while perks (like 12-months no interest or Cash Back). It is definitely worth looking at and may help you save big in the long run.
Our friend Deb at Traveling Well for Less has the scoop on the Best Travel Rewards for Credit Cards.
11. You Don’t Have To Buy An Expensive Gift
When it comes to the holidays, it’s really the thought that counts. Gift your time! Perhaps you could bake cookies for your neighbors, babysit for a new family so they can enjoy a date night, or take dinner to an elderly friend.
#12 Earn Cash Back on Purchases
If you’re an online shopper, you may as well earn some money back on a purchase that you were going to make anyway! There are several sites that you can use to “get paid to shop” including Rakuten, Ibotta, and Swagbucks.
I have been using Rakuten (formerly Ebates) for three years and I absolutely love it. It’s super easy to use and I have made $280.
#13 Take Advantage of Free Holiday Activities
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun during the holidays! Take advantage of free activities like driving around and looking at Christmas lights, watching a movie at home while drinking hot chocolate, attending a holiday parade, or reading Christmas stories.
Making memories with your family and friends are all that matters.
#14 Be Smart With Gift Cards
Gift Cards are a great holiday gift, but did you know that you could score a gift for your family at the same time? Many restaurants offer a bonus Gift Card ($5 or more) for purchasing them in-house. Head straight to the restaurant to purchase your Gift Card and score a bonus card for your family to use after the holidays!
Past rewards: $10 on $50 at Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Applebee’s, Benihana, and Logan’s Roadhouse; $20 on $100 at Flemming’s Steakhouse, First Watch, Maggianos, and PF Chang’s.
Saving Money Feels Good
Well, there are our 14 ways to save money around the Holidays. If you have any other money savings tips, please let us know.
Have a great holiday season! Merry Christmas.
Need help figuring out what to buy everyone on your list?
Check out our Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide!
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Taylor Pittman Hardy wrote this article.