So many people would like extra money and think about working part time jobs for extra cash. But what if it isn’t extra money you need, but rather you could have extra by saving some of yours.
Whenever I read these articles, I see that I should stop buying Starbucks – but I already don’t buy it. Or that I could put money aside from every check, but I already do that also. I needed something practical…
Instead of going crazy with new decorations for the season, don’t buy any new ones (ok, maybe replacement bulbs and bows). Instead, put up something simple and then go on a scavenger hunt for decorations. Some families do this all together in one car, especially with young children. You might want to gear the challenge towards their interests then. I’ve also seen it where a family has set up a Facebook page and uploaded their list and photos there. Both ideas are cool, it depends on what works for your family. I need something in the middle for this: we don’t all have the same social media, but I DO NOT want it in a group chat!
Make your food from scratch. Think about how much money you will save for every meal you make and eat yourself. Bonus money, if you pack your own meal for work or school, too. But here’s the thing, take that money out of your wallet or out of the atm and set it aside. Literally put it in an envelope and set it aside. One week clean out your freezer and fridge instead of grocery shopping. Ok, you may still have to get the staples of bread and milk, but make some crazy meals and take the leftovers for lunch. Pretend you’re at a buffet style restaurant. Then, set that money aside, that you would have spent on groceries. Now SLOWLY fill the freezer back up as items go on sale for the holidays.
Check the clearance shelves for your stocking stuffers, advent gifts, Secret Santa exchanges, etc – you know, the little gifts. All fall (or all year if you are super organized) check out those clearance shelves. You can find all sorts of knickknacks and random items. Not only the little gifts, but if you like the idea of making themed baskets for gifts, you have all sorts of options here too.When you start buying items for just $1-5, you can stock up pretty quickly. BUT, the caveat is to keep this organized! You might need a list or photos or something so you don’t end up with a collection of $200 of little gifts for your niece, but only a little matchbox car for your nephew…
Find someone to barter with. So last year, the cool Meredith, aka Vt Vinyl, and I bartered. I sewed up some market totes for her, and she did some amazing vinyl work for me. We paid our own costs and time, but not the prices that we would have bought the items for. So figure out what talent and time you have and what you want to barter for. Do you love to bake cookies, want some hand knit socks? Maybe you make dynamite macrame plant hangers and your best gal has a green thumb…Maybe you can offer wrapping services in exchange for your brother watching your kids for you (babysitters are ridiculously expensive and some of us just can’t wrap!).
What’s your best tip for saving some money during the holidays?