19  creative ways to get more from your Christmas budget

19  creative ways to get more from your Christmas budget

Stay at home mom’s guide to getting more from your Christmas budget

When you’re strapped for cash or trying to stay in budget, Christmas can seem impossible. I knew when I decided to be a stay at home mom(SAHM) two years ago, it would mean a lot of changes. One of these changes was how we do Christmas. From gifts to menu planning, there are so many expenses that pop up during the Holiday season. With a tight budget, these 19 creative ways will help you get more from your Christmas budget.

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Try these 19 hacks to maximize your Christmas budget and really stretch your dollar.

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19  Creative Ways to get more from your Christmas Budget

1. Make a List

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacksMake a list of everyone you will be buying for. Set a budget and break it up amongst your list. Grab a copy of my 2017 Christmas Planner {FREEBIE} to help with your planning and budgeting.

2. Shop Cyber Monday using Ebates

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacks Cyber Monday is the “Black Friday” of the cyber world. Tons of awesome deals will be out so you can stretch your dollar. Sign-up for Ebates to get cashback and special coupon codes. I save 100’s of dollars shopping this way and they send me a bonus check for any quarterly spending. Sign up through my Ebates link here, and you will get a $10 bonus.

3. Create a Simple Christmas Gift Wish List

19 Ways to Maximize your Christmas Budget Have family members make simple lists by writing down a few needs & wants. I created this Christmas Wish List free printable with the popular Christmas gift-giving items [want, need, read, wear, & favorites]. Pick a few items to purchase off of each list. You will know what gifts to get, making shopping easier, and each family member will get a few items off their list.

4. Purchase Practical Gifts

Pick out a few need items for each family member, such as socks, underwear, or shoes. Since you will need to buy these eventually (especially for growing kids), pick-up some great deals on Cyber Monday, or while you are out shopping.

5. Every Other Paydays

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacks Do you get paid every other week? This may work for you. My favorite “trick” for helping with the Christmas budget is plotting out our every other payday schedule. To help us with our Christmas budget, this is huge. When you get paid every other week, versus, the 1st and the 15th of the month, then there are usually two “extra” checks that are paid to you.  One of these checks usually falls in December.

For this December (2017), we will receive three paychecks this month, the 1st, the 15th, and the 29th.  The first of the month will be our “bonus” check for the Christmas season (gifts, menu planning, birthdays(mine!:))  etc.)

Grab a calendar, or use Google calendar to map out your paydays and write down which bills will come out of each paycheck. Map out if you can plan ahead so that all or a portion of your “extra” check can go towards your Christmas fund. Write down “extra check” on your calendar.

6. Shop the Pantry Week

Shop your pantry, and other creative ways to save for Christmas

 

Isn’t it crazy how much you can spend on groceries in one week? I created these meal planning printables that help my family meal plan to save some money each week. You can use these to meal plan and save your family some money. In addition, make one week in November or December a “shop your pantry” week.

Instead of grocery shopping and spending the usual $80 – $200+ dollars, shop your pantry and freezer and get creative. Use the money you save for your Christmas fund. Don’t have a lot in your pantry?

My favorite inexpensive meals are: slow cooker meatball subs, spaghetti, Shepherd’s pie, slow cooker pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, oven sandwiches, grilled cheese with tomato soup, and chili.

7. Make a Special Christmas Breakfast or Brunch

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacks Dinner can be expensive, breakfast is much cheaper. Instead of a gourmet spread for dinner, try a gourmet breakfast/brunch. There are tons of make ahead options for breakfast. Here are 20+ breakfast ideas for Christmas Morning.

8.Volunteer with your family at a soup Kitchen

This won’t stretch your budget, but it will do something else for your family. Not only will volunteering give the gift of service to others, but it will also give your children the gift of appreciation. It’s an eye-opening experience to see how fortunate they are to receive gifts, while others can’t afford to eat.

9.Use coupon codes for cheaper or free stuff

Scoring free stuff with coupon codes and Ebates Retailers go nuts with “freebies” and add on items at Christmas. To take full advantage of freebies and discounts, sign-up for Ebates to get cashback and some of the best coupon codes. In addition to Ebates, download the following aps:

  • Retail Me Not
  • Coupon Sherpa
  • Any stores that you shop at

Prior to shopping, or at least before checking out, pull the store up and see what deals are available.

By using my accumulated store rewards at ULTA ($125) special promotions (BOGO, samples, etc.), and Ebates I got everything in the picture for less than $10.00 shipped. I gave these items out as Christmas gifts. Check your favorite stores to see if you have any points accumulated that you can use towards gifts.

10. Subscription Services

Subscription boxes for Christmas stocking stuffers and presents

 

A lot of online retailers offer subscription services. They will have amazing introductory prices for you to try their products (like a pair of shoes for $10.00). You can take advantage of these to get some items for Christmas. Just remember to review their cancelation policy, and cancel if you do not wish to continue ongoing service.

The above picture is a toddler box from Walmart that cost $5.00 for postage. Some subscriptions, like Fabletics, Shoedazzle, FabKids, etc., you can choose what you want, others send you random items, like Fab Fit Fun.

11. Stock-up on Hostess Gifts ahead of Time

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacksScoring free stuff with coupon codes and Ebates I like to stock-up on hostess gifts ahead of time (October-November). My favorite hostess gifts to give are practical ones, like wine, coffee, candles, or hand soap. Last summer I found this awesome deal on wine. Normally they are marked $16.99 but I found these  marked down to $2.50 a bottle! $2.25 if you purchase four or more. I picked up a couple cases and gave them away with other gifts and as hostess gifts. I also made a few mimosas at home. This may be a unicorn deal, but I look for good deals on wine then buy six to save an additional 10% at my local Kroger.  Need some hostess gift ideas? Here is a list of  10 Best Hostess Gifts.

12. Open an Account for an added Bonus

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacks Some banks will pay 250+ dollars for you to do business with them. It’s an easy way to make some extra spending money during the holidays. Check the fine print for minimum balances, and account fees, etc. A lot of banks have accounts you can keep free some way or another.

13. Bring an Easy Side Dish

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacksA lot of Christmas parties will be “potluck” style. If you are trying to stay in budget, opt for budget friendly dishes, like low-key desserts (Oreo balls pictured above), appetizers, or meatballs. Bringing items like fruit platters, cheese and meat platters, lasagnas, or dishes with expensive ingredients can easily set you back 20+ dollars.

A family favorite that’s totally delicious and super easy: a crab ball. It’s one can of crabmeat + one block of cream cheese. Mix it together and form a ball. Top it with cocktail sauce and serve with crackers. Easy, delicious, and budget friendly.

14. Cash in Rewards Program Points on Credit Cards

Check out your credit cards to see if you have any outstanding rewards points. Cash them in for gift cards or turn them in for cash. If you’re good with managing your credit cards, check out new cards for added bonuses you can use for Christmas.

15. Turn in loose change to the bank

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacks

Go through your house and collect all your spare change laying around. Roll coins and turn them into the bank for cash to use for Christmas.

16. Stock up for next season

The few days after Christmas stock up on Christmas items for next year. You can usually score candles, wrapping paper, and decorations for over 50 percent off! Last year I got over $100 dollars worth of stuff for $15.00 at my local CVS.

17. Raise.com

Raise.com is a website that you purchase gift cards from at a discounted price. It’s an easy way to add a bump in percentage to your Christmas budget.

18. Shop Groupon

Groupon is more than just local deals and awesome prices on goods. Groupon also sends out special invitations for stores like Kohl’s, Target, Babies R’ Us and CVS. These invitations include specials like spend $10 get a $20 certificate. It’s an awesome way to add some bonus money to your budget that could come in handy for stocking stuffers and other gifts.

19. Use Coupons

Maximize your Christmas Budget with these 19 hacks

Couponing is a favorite hobby of mine. By using coupons I pick up make-up, candy and stocking stuffers for 50-90 percent off. My store of choice, CVS. Checkout some examples of  how I save hundreds by couponing on how you can to.

Looking for some extra cash this Christmas? Checkout these 19 ways to stretch your dollar

 

More on Christmas:

Christmas Central 2017
2017 Christmas Planner Free Printables
11 Christmas Games for Kids
The Candy Cane Game
Are you looking for ways to get more out of your Christmas Budget? Check out these 19 ways to maximize your Christmas Budget

As a a stay at home mom, I had to get creative with how I was going to buy presents for Christmas and stay in budget.

Christmas Planner 2017

Free Printables!

Start getting organized now!

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