Holiday Savings For Your Family

8 secrets for holiday savings

From grocery shopping to gift wrapping, get a hold on your family's personal spending this season by taking these simple steps to help save money.
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Stop gobbling through food budgets.

 Create your holiday menus and shopping list in advance, take the list with you to the grocery store, and don't go shopping on an empty stomach! That way you'll stay on target and not be seduced by every pretty package on the shelf. (You might also save calories!)

Decorate your own wrap.

 Save on expensive papers by encouraging your children to make their own wrapping paper. Collect stamps, stickers, crayons, etc., and let them express themselves on brown paper bags. Friends and family will appreciate the personal touch!

Give the license to enjoy.

 Cut down on shopping time and extravagant spending by giving targeted gift certificates. Consider what the recipient would love and personalize it: a back massage, a trip to the movies with mom, a special seaweed pedicure, or a fun-with-me pass for a picnic in the park. Remember that your "presence" in your gifts is priceless.

Flower power on the cheap.

 Save on expensive flower arrangements by making them yourself. Use unusual vases you can find around the house, such as an egg colander or silk purse.

Go natural.

 Don't go crazy at the craft store: All the natural elements you need, such as branches, berries, holly, and pine cones, can be found in nearby woods, or possibly your own backyard.

Give the tree of life.

 Research your family tree online and create your personal Ancestry Tree as a gift to mom and dad, or the grandparents. You can do most of the research online, and if your ancestors came through Ellis Island, you might even discover the boat they came on!

Food for love.

 Type up your favorite cookie recipe, add a personal story, and put all the unbaked ingredients in a basket or jar to be given as a gift. If you don't have your own cookie recipe, use one of ours.

Go alcohol-free.

 Make this a teetotaling year. Serving alcohol at parties can wipe out a limited budget fast. Anyway, these days, many people are abstaining completely or obsessed about carbs. Make your nonalcoholic drinks original and tasty, like our Spritely Ghost Punch. Or, make the alcohol simply a splash, for example, in coffee-based drinks.
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12/23/2012 , 
Latasha  B.
I have 3 children, whom I shop for and my husband and mother in law. Also I have 5 brothers and sisters that I used to all shop for, but for the past three years we have been pulling names, which makes it a lot less expensive and fun
12/5/2012 , 
Helen  V.
Because our family is truely a "blended family" we decided to have Christmas in January every year. There are currently 6 grandchildren and instead of a lot of gifts i try to give "experiences". The first year I got a hotel room and everyone came over after dinner and swam all afternoon/evening, then we ordered pizza and sat on the beds in the room and watched TV. The next year I got tickets to a water park....The kids and their parents will have wonderful memories...and less broken or ignored toys.
12/5/2012 , 
Deb  V.
sponsor a sr citizen for needs they may have for a ride to the dr or the library or shopping. Invite your guests for the holidays and have them bring an item of clothing or food to fill a bag to donate, instead of having them shop for gifts that may not be so needed.
12/5/2012 , 
Maggie  K.
I grow pots of bulbs in containers garnered at yard sales and thrift stores,decorate for the holidays, and give them to family and friends. I make lavender sachets from dried lavender from my yard.I also collect baskets all year,decorate and fill with soups,cookies,biscuits and fudge ingredients along with the instructions.I also make napkins and placemats to add to the baskets. The children we buy for.Usually and hopefully what they need and want. I love to craft and do homemade so it makes it just as much fun for me as is the giving.
11/29/2012 , 
kris  b.
When I was a kid my Dad had a lot of friends from the military that had no where to go for the holidays and we did not live near any of our family. So we would host Christmas day Breakfast to Dinner day and people would let him know when they could be there. Everyone would bring a dish to share. It was always a bit crazy with people coming and going,but it brought people together and let them share in the festivities with out emptying the bank. One year we had close to 100 people but it was still cheap because everyone pitched in and it made sure the Veterans were not alone for the holiday and some made new lifelong friends for the rest of the year.You can do this with family and friends its a great way to catch up and enjoy each other without all the money issues like gifts and wine and other stuff.
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