Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright January 14, 2017.

Going into Debt for Christmas?

Does this sound about right to you?

I was reading an article over on, The Cost of Christmas in 2017, and some of these figures and stats jumped out at me. I do not spend that much on any given Christmas. I just don’t have that kind of money.

Talking to others, I’m aware that many people spend a couple of thousand – or even more – each year. To me this seems crazy, but then I think about my growing family and I know I’m going to have to be vigilant at keeping costs down or I’ll need a part-time job just to cover it all.

No thank you. I just don’t have the energy or inclination for that. I’ll have to figure out how to keep costs down with the ever rising costs we face.

Gifts were the biggest expenditure in this figure at 66.49%, then decorations at 12.69%, travel expenses at 11.81%, and then other expenses at 9.01%.

Does this sound about right to you? The percentages? That figure?

For me, gifts are the biggest expense, then food, then other things such as wrapping needs and decorations.

There is a good chance that, since you are on this site, you’re looking for ways to cut costs, and I have plenty of ideas for how to do this. If it’s too late to implement these ideas for Christmas the current year, then consider them for the next.

Have a Frugal Christmas

For me, saving money on Yule and Christmas – yes, that is two celebrations at this time of year along with two to four other get-togethers each year – means starting with a list I create while I decorate.

  • As I’m decorating, I make a list of anything I notice I may need. This year, two sets of lights died. They are so old and well-used, they aren’t really fixable any longer. I put them on my shopping list, along with a few other items I needed. This list will go into my purse for the after-Christmas sales. If I can’t find those items during those clearance sales, they will be bought before the next holiday season when things are generally on sale to attract customers.
  • Once the holiday cards were made out, I added a generous estimate to my clearance shopping list of how many cards I will need for next year.
  • I cull my holiday card giving list each year as well. If I haven’t received a card from or hardly heard from someone in a few years, I take them off my card-giving list. This saves me postage.
  • My family is aware that I reused items such as gift bags and boxes, tags, tissue and wrapping paper, and bows year-after-year, and they are more careful than normal not to completely ruin these items. They keep them looking nice for me. Sometimes people even give me good bags and such that they have received gifts from others in, knowing that I will reuse them.
  • I also add these items to my clearance shopping list some years, in case I find any great deals and want more of a stock.
  • I shop the after Christmas clearance sales, often with the bestest and sometimes with my daughters. I find that, if I keep checking back, prices will generally drop more, but the selection isn’t as good. So I start right after Christmas, but then check back a couple of times over a couple of week period.
  • I shop thrift stores when my grandson needs clothing, and also find baskets, decorations, and other things I can use in those establishments. I can get him an entire wardrobe for under $30.00, and it is all in good condition. Also, my daughter and son-in-law don’t have to worry about the cost when I do that, saving them money in the long run as well.
  • I shop yard sales for mugs, gift baskets, decorations, and other things. If it is still in good condition, it is fair game.
  • I sometimes make things. I’m a crafty person, and like to make things for people. I can make holiday candles for people by reusing the jars and the utilizing the candle ends. All I need to buy are the wicks, and the stickers to make labels with.
  • I’ve also been known to make my own draw-string gift bags for gift wrapping.
  • People generally like homemade gifts from children, and this article that my sister wrote has some great ideas for things your children can make to give to others.
  • I shop clearance sales year round.
  • I do not have a specific list of what I am buying, but I do have a list of favorite items each recipient likes. Their favorite candies, colors, scents; anything I can come up with that will help me with my shopping.
  • I do re-gift, though it isn’t often that I receive something I don’t like or cannot use. I think it has happened twice in a five year time period.

Articles to Help You with Your Frugal Christmas Ventures

Holiday Food Ideas from Frugal Recipes

I have noticed that even clearance prices for items aren’t as good a lot of the time as they were when my children were young, and this means that they’ll be more costly as my family grows. I’m going to come up with more creative ways to keep costs down. When I do, I’ll mention what I’m doing here on the blog.

Warmest Wishes for this Yule and Christmas.





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