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I know that Christmas is not that far away and most of you probably have all of your shopping completed (unless you are like me). I tend to wait until the last minute to complete my shopping, because of the business of basketball season.
With Christmas break upon my family, I have more time to complete my holiday gift shopping and even find more time to write. Here are 19 ways that you can save this holiday season, not only on shopping.
SAVE ON SHOPPING
1. Go for price adjustments
After purchasing an item if you see that it’s on sale a few days later ask for a price adjustment. A price adjustment is basically a refund on an item that you already purchased. To receive this refund, the item must go on sale or drop its price within two weeks of your purchase (This works all year round)!
2. Order from same online store
When you’re shopping online and buying multiple gifts try to shop from the same store. This helps you save on shipping charges. Most online stores require a certain amount purchased before they will offer free shipping.
For example, I was getting a gift for one of my uncles online. The item cost somewhere in the $20 range and they were requiring a minimum purchase of $40 to receive free shipping and a 20% discount. My wife had my other uncle in our gift exchange and I decided that I should just purchase his gift from the same store. This one decision allowed me to save 20% on the item and receive free shipping!
3. Use social media to your advantage
There are some retailers who provide exclusive discounts to individuals who like their page on Facebook or follow them on Instagram and Twitter. My wife has received multiple discounts by just following a store on facebook.
4. Unsubscribe to all promotional emails
You tend to overspend when you know that something is on sale or given at discounted price. The truth is that retailers use promotional emails as a strategy to attract consumers.
5. Borrow items
If you need a serving dish, a dinner set, a fancy tablecloth, a party dress or wine glasses, for the holiday party consider borrowing them from friends and relatives. Purchasing items for a one time use is a waste of money. We used this strategy last year when we hosted Christmas eve at our house. My mother-in-law let us borrow Christmas themed table cloths and placemats.
SAVE ON FOOD
6. Buy small, frozen turkeys
Frozen turkey costs less than a fresh one. Purchasing two 8 pounds turkey costs less than one 16 pound bird.
7. Host a potluck party
You don’t have to bear all expenses since you’re hosting a holiday party at your place. Ask your invitees to bring their best dishes and drinks along with them.
SAVE ON TRAVEL
8. Travel cheap and smart
Don’t spend most of your money on holiday transportation. Do your research and find out the best dates and cheaper fares to fly before finalizing your trip. It’ll help you free up more money to enjoy your holiday.
9. Travel by bus
You can also opt for buses instead of flights for cheaper travels. Megabus provides you cheap intercity travel for a dollar each way. A full circle trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco costs you $50, which is much cheaper than a $200 flight ticket.
Megabus is a good option for people traveling within close proximity (Houston to Dallas, LA to San Fran), not a very good option for somebody traveling from a big city to a small town (I did not find any options from Houston to Omaha).
SAVE ON GIFTS
10. Shrink your giving list
Cut down your gift giving list this year. If it's too late to start cutting down your Christmas list this year, then start talking to families about gift exchanges and finding ways to cut down holiday expenses.
Related: The Best or Worst Holiday (7 ways to cut holiday expenses)
11. Regift unwanted gifts
If you don’t wish to use a gift, you can always regift it. This holds the same for gift cards. You can also sell gift cards on Raise, CardCash or CardPool for cash. You can purchase new gift cards of your favorite retailers too. Regifting unwanted gifts is a great way to save money.
12. Send electronic greetings cards
Sending Christmas cards can put a big dent in your budget. on this is to send E-cards. Moreover, E-cards can be really fun.
SAVE ON ENTERTAINMENT
13. Engage in low-cost or free activities
Instead of shedding dollars on costly activities opt for the free and low-cost ones like caroling, building a snowman, decorating cookies, etc.
14. Go to free local events
Check local newspaper and find out free local events happening near you like holiday parade, Santa’s workshop, tree lighting ceremony, Christmas light display, and so on.
MAKE MORE MONEY
15. Take up a seasonal job
Boost your regular income by picking up a seasonal side job such as become a store assistant, shelf packer or a security staff at any retail store, or give SAT tutoring sessions to high school students, shovel snow, sell baked goods or crafts, or tidy up rain gutters, and the list can go on.
16. Rent an empty space
If you’ll be traveling for some time or you have some extra space in your house consider renting that empty space right away. And if your home is in an area with seasonal attractions then this is the best way to grab some extra cash.
17. Clean your closet
Don’t wait for spring cleaning. Take some time off from your busy schedule and clean your closet. It helps you bring out the unused or unwanted items. Sell those goods and make room for some extra dollars and extra space in your closet.
Related: How to Avoid the Christmas Hangover
WHAT ELSE YOU CAN DO
18. Cancel unused memberships
If you’re going to travel this festive season and won’t be able to hit the gym regularly, cancel your gym membership for the time being and save some bucks. In the same way, cancel other monthly expenses for some time. You can always resume it later once you come back.
For example, I canceled our Netflix membership for December, because we are out of town for two weeks of the month. I figured we really did need Netflix if we were going to be gone for half the month.
19. Avoid little extras
The holiday season makes us spend a little more, which eventually crashes our budget. So, avoid little extras which can turn your finances upside down. Though little, these little extras can make a big difference at the end of the day.
With the holidays, we can always find ways to spend too much money. There are lots of tips and strategy that we can use to save money, but the best way to save is to set a budget and a limit for each gift you give. My wife and I always set a budget and that budget keeps us from overspending on the holiday season.
Have a Merry Christmas spent with family!