15 Ways To Save This Holiday Season

Don’t let financial concerns rob your family of holiday memories. Teach your kids to feel savvy and empowered about saving money during the holiday season, when many families tend to overspend.

Try these 15 ways to enjoy the season to the fullest without spending too much.

1. Discuss the deeper meanings of the holidays beyond the exchange of gifts. Have a holiday family keyword like gratitude, abundance or generosity. Explore your word together throughout the season.

2. Instead of buying whole holiday albums, let each child download four or five songs. Combine everyone’s choices into a family album for the year.

3. Want more holiday music? Check your community and neighboring towns for free performances and festivals. High schools and colleges often have free or inexpensive holiday music performances right before school gets out. Or go caroling and make your own sound.

4. If you need several baked goods for the week, make them all in one day so you only have to pre-heat the oven once. As a bonus, your kitchen will be toasty all day.

5. Before you head out to shop, visit websites where you can search for relevant coupons. Spend five minutes checking recent mail and email to see if you received any discounts for stores on your list. Scan store flyers once you arrive at each store. Avoid using any discounts on items you don’t want or need.

6. Visit a tree farm and cut your own tree. Cut branches from the bottom of the tree to make wreaths and garlands.

7. Go for engaging gifts for your children. Make sure their gifts will hold their attention for hours, rather than just minutes after wrapping is torn away.

8. Visit a Christmas bazaar or holiday gift shop and give each family member five dollars to spend on a present for him- or herself.

10. Use leftover meats from holiday meals for lunchtime sandwiches, instead of hitting the deli. Or combine leftover meat and veggies with brown rice for an easy stir-fry.9. Exchange kid-free shopping nights with other parents. Pop popcorn, pour apple cider and have a holiday movie night for neighborhood kids. Then switch up the child-care responsibilities on another night so you can shop with less time pressure and fewer interruptions.

11. Offer to pay older kids for holiday-prep tasks like baking and decorating cookies, caring for pets and making photo albums to avoid the need for outside help.

12. Test-drive movies before you buy them with your streaming service. Only purchase the few you can’t live without, including the holiday treasures your family will watch together every year.

13. Rather than take an expensive getaway, camp out in the living room next to the tree. Haul out the camping gear, make a fire in the hearth and toast some s’mores while you sing holiday songs or play board games.

14. Create some homemade gifts for teachers and friends. You’ll find plenty of inspiration on Pinterest.com/metrokidsmag.

15. Save money while you relax. On Sunday nights, use your fireplace, lamps, twinkle lights and candles, instead of overhead lights. Enjoy the hush as you reflect on the week ahead.

Happy holiday savings!

Christina Katz is an author, journalist and writing coach.

Categories: Money, New Moms, Your Home