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7 Tips for Stretching the Christmas Budget

October 15, 2014

Finances are tough for many people this year, and for some it’s always worse around the holidays. Here’s some tips for stretching your Christmas budget.

1.Start gathering supplies early. There are some things you can’t get until December but for others that you know that you’ll need start stocking up now. If you know early to mid December is your baking time the stores know it too as that’s when many push demand. Buy sugar and other baking supplies now when you find it on sale! Not only will you save money but you’ll have everything you need at the time you need it!

2.Shop for little things early. Stocking stuffers and smaller presents don’t take a lot of storage space in your home. Stock them up and wrap them as you find them – often on sale. Don’t shop for the Christmas sales only – there’s money to be saved all year if it’s something you plan to buy anyway.

3.Be a creative shopping expert! Look at your recipients’ interests. Someone likes grilling or summer entertaining hit the *summer* clearance sales for Christmas presents at sometimes 60-70% off. You have the ideal gift for them that you won’t find in November or December because it’s seasonal.

4.Do a little at a time. You have a couple hours of time there’s nothing that says you can’t bake a few dozen Christmas cookies and put them in the freezer! You’ll have that much less to do and save money on ingredients.

5.Shop at direct purchase outlets in season. When you’re passing that farm stand that advertises pecans or walnuts or maple syrup – stop and get some and set it aside for holiday treats. You help small business and give yourself a great “taste of the season” cheaper, or at the same money, as commercial stores vying for your Christmas budget dollar.

6.Recycle/reuse. There are thousands of ways to use every day items that most throw out to make things with them. Check out Instructables.com or even youtube.com for how to videos and make things for Christmas!

7. Start now setting aside $10 or so per week for holiday meals. Watch for sales! If hams go on sale and you have $20-40 saved up you can get that and stick it in the freezer. Spreading out the work can make a big difference as well as the finances.

There are many ways to stretch the Christmas budget and when things are tight it can mean getting creative. It also helps to adjust your thinking. Planning for a Christmas budget isn’t about what you’re doing without it’s how much MORE you can do with what you have!

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