Lots of people need to think of ways to do Christmas on a budget, and there are plenty of cheap Christmas ideas that can help you economize and still enjoy the holiday season. It really does help to begin with a budget, which should include things like the number of gifts you need to buy, and the basic amount you intend to spend. Try to include other typical Christmas expenses like Christmas outfits, Christmas cards and postage, the cost of a tree, travel expenses, and any special meals you’ll contribute to or prepare. By really looking at exactly all of the expenses, you’ll get a better sense of what’s possible for you and/or your family.
It can be a little overwhelming when you realize your pockets are pretty poor and all the “little” expenses can quickly add up. This is when the concept of inexpensive Christmas ideas becomes particularly welcome. One standard rule when considering gifts especially to neighbors or more distant family members is that it is usually less expensive to make gifts than to buy them. If you bake, can paint simple glass ornaments, write lovely poems, or take beautiful photographs, consider producing homemade and thoughtful gifts for your loved ones, which can save you bundles.
Additionally, if you typically go out for fancy dinners during the holidays, you might want to skip dining out in preference to home cooked meals, parties, or even potluck events that can save everybody a little money. Similarly avoiding the temptation of the many Christmas box office releases and renting a few Christmas classics to enjoy at home may still promote family time and togetherness without costing a lot.
When it comes to purchasing gifts for your children, you may not always be able to avoid a certain amount of expense. However in the realm of cheap Christmas ideas, careful planning and understanding of how to shop can save you a lot. For instance, if you plan ahead and shop online or at home on the days following Thanksgiving you may be able to get special deals on items that will increase in price later. Subscribing to a few newsletters from website retailers like Amazon may provide additional savings. Email ads from such stores often offer special prices or discounts, or even things like free shipping that can help reduce spending.
With the cost of transportation so high, be sure to plan shopping trips carefully, so that you aren’t taking multiple trips you don’t need. Another idea is to carpool with friends especially when you want to visit multiple stores in a central shopping complex. This can save you a little extra that can be spent on gifts or things you need for Christmas.
Especially if this is the first time you’ve needed to come up with cheap Christmas ideas and your children are used to fairly luxurious gifts, it may help to let kids know that Santa isn’t dropping off quite as much this year. However, let your kids do some work for a few dollars they can spend on gifts for the family, or alternately, encourage the children to make things they can give to others. It’s never too early to let kids know that part of the fun and excitement from Christmas comes from giving gifts, and lots of kids really enjoy the anticipation of surprising their family and friends with things they earned or made.
Other cheap Christmas ideas include participating in the many free activities that occur during Christmas. Look around for ways that you can enjoy the holiday without much expense. Park the car and take a walk through some of the fabulously decorated neighborhoods in your area. Check community events bulletins for free Christmas carol concerts, or organize a group to go caroling in your neighborhood. There are so many ways to have fun without spending a lot, and they can make the holiday just as bright.