12 Easy Ways to Save Money During the Holidays

Holidays can be quite expensive if you’re not careful. But you can make it affordable. Know the ways to save money during holidays to make your life easier.
A hand inserting a currency note in a white piggy savings bank

Don’t ever let holidays become a headache for you. All kinds of expenses might creep in when you have holidays and that may make you uncomfortable. So, it is best to save money during the holidays and be happy. Here are a few pretty practical ways to save money during the holidays that you can try too! ~ Ed.

Coin plantations expressing ways to save money during the holidays

Well, who doesn’t want to save money for a rainy day, whether it’s for the holidays or otherwise.

Didn’t we learn that every penny saved, is a penny earned! Saving is one of the basic habits that make rags to riches!

Even if not you are not aiming to be rich, at least you can try to refrain from spending unnecessarily – isn’t it?

With holidays like Christmas and New Year’s coming up, expenses are sure to rise. And everyone will surely wish for ways to save up money.

That includes me too, and that’s why I wanted to write this post – to share some useful ways to save money during the holidays. Or you can call it ways of spending sparingly and methods to conserve money.

Believe me; if you think about ways to save now, you will be much happier (if not richer) later in life.

So, without waiting further, here are simple ways to save money that will make your life easier, especially during the holidays.

“A penny saved is a penny earned.” ~ Benjamin Franklin


A Dozen Ways to Save Money During the Holidays

There are many ways to save during the holidays if you really want to. (I mentioned this because it won’t happen unless you really want it to happen!)

Here are a few suggested ways for saving money:

Plan and Set a Budget

I know this may seem a tedious and boring job, but this is the first step, and one of the most important ways to save money. In fact, you actually end up saving chunks of money on the planning board itself!

You might tend to spend a lot if you don’t plan ahead. Just decide on how much you can afford to spend, and make sure you stick to that while buying things.

Check your list of things you want to buy twice. That’s because often you will find many things that you can easily do without, and that will save you a great deal of money too.

I remember the time when I was young, and how my parents used to give me a little money to teach me to buy things.

I was given the freedom to shop within that limited budget, and that’s one of the ways to save money during the holidays that I learnt when young. Nowadays, you can also use personal loans for all sorts of purposes, many of which come up with attractive terms and conditions.

Shop at Discount Shops

It’s better to shop at discount stores rather than malls because they often charge you for their overhead expenses.

Keep a look out for bargains, deals, and giveaways. Those finds become significantly more abundant during the holidays.

Also, keep a look out for coupons when you want to find ways to save up, especially during the holidays.

You could even join daily deal sites that are all over the Internet nowadays. They offer discounts for just about everything under the Sun, and are worth checking out.

When I was young, my Mom would prefer buying a little all year through and keeping it away for later. This helped a great deal because then you don’t feel the pinch only during the holiday time.


Better to Pay Cash

Some of you might find it better to pay through credit card, which includes my husband too. He believes this way you can earn enough points and redeem them for free gifts.

No doubt that too is a good way to save money if the plan executes in a controlled manner – within limits. But I feel it’s better to pay with cash so that you don’t have any pending balances left for later.

More so, using a credit card makes you fear that you’ll spend more than what you have. So unless you are careful while spending, you might overspend and regret later.

However, when you use cash you are fearless and take only the exact amount you’ve planned for. This way you create many ways to save money during the holidays and have peace of mind.

You might not realize it but you have to pay for the credit card fees and the unnecessary interest on things that you’re not even keeping at times!

Mailing Gifts

If you want to mail gifts to your family or friends, it’s best to know your shipping dates and deadlines.

If you delay in sending your gifts and do it all at the last minute, it might cost you more for shipping.

You should first shop for those who don’t live near you, so that you don’t have to pay more on the cost of shipping. This includes even the online gifts that you buy and want to have it shipped to someone.

Don’t forget to take out time to compare online shops to choose the best deals. They are great ways to save money during the holidays, which can make a big difference to your pocket. Needless to say – every drop accumulated creates a pond, if not an ocean.

Travel Options

Most of you might want to spend the holidays with your family, but it turns costly if you don’t plan your travel. More so, the flights turn costly and the highways remain jammed in most places.

One of the ways to save while travelling is to book your tickets well in advance, so that the charges are reduced to quite an extent.

Many families prefer staying at home on the actual holiday, though they celebrate and visit places a week or two early. It doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s one of the ways to save money during the holidays.


Food during the holidays can turn costly because anything elaborate and expensive costs money. If possible, eat out occasionally and have your meals at home. It’s a cheaper and healthier option.

Not to mention the never ending guests who keep visiting, whether they are family or friends!

Sometimes you might tend to do a lot more because you feel it’s expected. However, you forget that people come to you or your parties to share your company and be with you, and not eat a gourmet meal.

So, it’s better to have more fun and minimize the expenses. And if they are your family members or close friends, there is no harm is asking them to bring a dish along so that you can all share up the meal.

Other ways to save are to take advantage of the grocery store sales that take place during the holidays.

You can stock up your non-perishables this time, and buy extra food and freeze them for later.

Get Creative

This was another way to save my Mom taught me. She used to tell me to be creative and do things that didn’t require much of spending.

Speaking of which, we always made our own hand-made greeting cards when we were young. There was thus no need to buy and send them.

Of course, nowadays you have a cheaper option of sending ecards for Christmas, which is one of the best ways to save up on your card and postage.

We also used to make homemade gifts, which could be anything creative and thoughtful. A collage, burning a compilation CD, baked gifts that are personal and low in cost, or just about anything that has your heart in it.

More so, when you wrap up gifts yourself, you add a personal touch to them – so that’s another way to save on the gift wrapping counter. And you deliver the gift yourself instead of mailing them too.

As kid’s we even made use of any kind of paper or bag lying around the house and decorated or dyed it up. Just by making it look fancy and pretty, you can use it to wrap the gifts.

I’m sure you will love this creative video showing you many tips and ways to save money during the holidays.


You can save up a lot on decorations by keeping things simple, which is one of the ways to save money during the holidays too.

Get your children and other family members involved in using their crafting skills to make decorations at home.

Though do these before your holidays begin, so that they aren’t involved in decorations alone!

House Guests

Whether you like it or not, family or friends would love to visit you for the holidays. The cost of hosting many people, even if it’s for a few days can add up to your expenses.

You need to find ways to save right up from the meals to activities, and the entertainment.

One way is to ask your close friends and neighbors in advance for help where extra beddings, dishes, or games for entertainment are concerned.

You could even plan out outings based on free local events like visits to the museums, old work of arts, galleries, exhibitions, or such things.

Take Care of Your Bills

You need to take special care of your electricity bills that soar during the holidays. During your winter holidays wear warmer clothes so that you don’t need to keep the temperature up.

Even using candles or fire, which make you feel warm and cozy are great ways to save up during the winter months.

Similarly, use less of the air-conditioners during summers by adopting natural ways to remain cool.

Don’t forget to take care of your phone bills because during holidays you do tend to spend a lot on calls. Pay attention to the times you make or take calls, and don’t go overboard.

Buy and Keep

More easy ways to save include buying for next year, especially when the holiday season is over. That’s the time everything goes on sale, so buy and keep things for next year.

This way you avoid the holiday stress next year too.


It’s far better to focus on one big gift rather than many small gifts, especially when you have to gift someone something.

Try buying one or two bigger gifts rather than spending more on buying many smaller gifts. This ways you will save up more.

Remember, not every gift requires cash. Other ways to save when you really don’t have to spend money are:

  • Write a poem for a family member about something that you or they like.
  • You can interview an elder in the family about a particular life event and make them feel special. This is a nice time to make those elders who are a little depressed come out of it too.
  • Take family pictures and later give a copy to each one.
  • Make an album or scrapbook with last year’s pictures.

More than anything else spend time with your loved ones more than the money. They will value it much more.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.”  ~ Will Smith

Wrapping Up

Yes, you need time to follow all these ways to save money during the holidays. Make it all part of the family time that you can spend when you are all together, and keep it away from your busy and hectic schedule.

Remember, the best earnings are the moments of happiness, fun, and togetherness in the family.

Just make sure your holidays are less expensive and stressful, instead more enjoyable and creative.

Over to you

What more ways to save money would you suggest, especially during the holidays? Share in the comments below.

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  1. Well, its good to plan before spending during holidays. I plan beforehand and try and keep it within budget. But you never know I do spend over budget sometimes though.
    But this article is really helpful though.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Harleena,

    Those are good ideas for shopping during traveling. But how about if we do not have much time for shopping in travel? Sometime I think we just bought it because it is value of money or for souvenir only.

  3. These were great tips to save money during holidays but I often failed to do so as I always use to go for trips during holidays and spend a lot of money over traveling.

  4. Hi Harleena,
    You have a good point here and listed these tips to save money during a holidays I totally agree with what you have said!!
    Harleena, thanks for sharing your views.

  5. Really nice tips, many points covered. I agree that saving money and spending it carefully is very important.Even many rich guys suffer a lot with financial indiscipline.

  6. Harleena,

    Cool suggestions and collective thought! All valid points and I like points 1,2 very much.

    One should understand the importance of money and spend as required when needed. Set your budget is surely a best option and just make your mind to stick with it. Also, Deals and discounts are the next great options and can plan your shopping and hit at right time.

    Thanks for sharing the post.

    1. Glad you like the post, Manickam!

      Money is not everything, but it helps us bring stability to our life so we can try to find time for ourselves. It teaches us many virtues of life; planning, thoughtfulness, patience, accountability, conservation among many other qualities. Or you can say once you develop these virtues, you start valuing money and are better off dealing with it.

      Thanks for your views and for stopping by. 🙂

  7. Hi Harleena,

    I always make a list and figure out how much I am going to spend on each person and stick to it. If i use a credit card it is always paid off monthly. That way there are no interest charges. That is what can really get people into a bind. Love your ideas and tips.

    The holdiays can be so fun when we think and enjoy the people we are with rather that the gifts. Now we do do the drawing of names. This way we can get a gift for that person that they really want or need. It is like one gift for $50 dollars rather that 5 gift for five people for $10 dollars.

    Thank again and Merry Chirstmas to you,

    1. Glad you could resonate with the post Debbie!

      It’s wonderful if you are able to budget things up so well and stick to it too – I guess you can never really go wrong then – isn’t it? Using your credit card wisely, just as you mentioned turns out to be another way to save, though most people really don’t know the way it’s to be used and often have problems when they have to pay up later.

      Absolutely! Holidays should be for enjoying and being with one another, rather than thinking about what to gift each other, which can again turn out to be a costly affair. Though if you must, I think sticking to small souvenir gifts that are either hand-made or the ones that are needed as you mentioned – turn out better.

      Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Holidays to you too 🙂

  8. I made a lot of my gifts last year. A neighbor invited me to share a craft with her. We gathered brightly colored autumn leaves and used them to dye designs on plain white silk scarves. They really turned out beautifully, and best of all, I had a great time with my neighbor.

    1. That’s wonderful Galen!

      Making hand-made gifts are great ways to save up I feel, besides the personal touch they give. I can just about imagine how beautiful those scarves must be looking! Glad to know that you had a nice time too. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  9. We’re saving money this holiday season by not exchanging Christmas gifts. The holidays are extremely commercialized, and my family is over them. In fact, Thanksgiving 2012 was one of the best we ever had. It was calm and peaceful and the cleanup was super easy.

    It seems that most people aren’t focused on spending quality time their family and friends anymore. It’s all about getting an iPad or iPhone on sale. Personally, I’d love to get away for the holidays (a beach vacation would be nice) or volunteer somewhere and give back, even though I’m already volunteering with two organizations. The holidays could be a time to reflect on the blessings (some of them may not seem like blessings) and be truly grateful for what you have.


    Please don’t sweat spending time with relatives. Be cordial and polite and avoid reverting back to childhood and or teenaged shenanigans. 🙂

    1. I like that Amandah!

      Exchanging gifts can often cross limits and one never really knows if it’s something the other person is going to appreciate and like too – isn’t it? Spending time with your loved ones and being together with each other is what works best as that helps build relationships and makes them stronger – and I personally believe in doing just that for the holidays. 🙂

      You are doing your bit by volunteering and that’s commendable indeed. I guess being grateful and trying to do some good for others is what we all need to do instead of spending on each other or going way out buying things. It’s fun to be with relatives if you meet rarely I think, though if you have relatives whom you don’t really get-along with – it’s best to stay away.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

  10. Ah, this is never an issue with me Harleena. Jeez, where do I start.

    Okay, we draw names out of a hat for Christmas between the adults. Then by brother has two kids and they give us a list of what they want which can easily be purchased online. Yay! Then I have two kids that I officially call my niece and nephew that belong to an old best friend. I just give them money now to save on shipping and because they’ve told me what they wanted in the past and then someone else got it for them as well. This way, It’s just easier for all of us.

    I decorate my home with the same decorations I’ve had for years and most of them were either given to me or made for me. I haven’t put up a tree in years because I don’t really have the room and no one comes to my house during the holidays. It’s all just for me anyway.

    We all gather at my brothers on Christmas and we each bring a dish. They cook the turkey and the main dishes and we bring our favorites. We never really bought gifts for the rest of our family when we use to get together. It was way too large to even try doing that.

    We don’t travel during the holidays and I’ve never been a big spender. To me, it’s the time we spend together that matters the most. With the kids in their 20’s now they don’t want as much as they use to.

    Great post about saving money and you really did give us the goods here Harleena, Of course you always do.

    Enjoy your week and thank you for such a fabulous post. Lots of goodies here.


    1. That’s interesting Adrienne!

      I liked the idea you mentioned of picking up names from a hat, and it must be a lot of fun to have everyone’s name there and decide upon who needs what gifts. And yes, buying them online or giving cash, especially to older kid’s to buy whatever they want makes more sense. I remember my kid’s also complaining about gifts being repeated and they can never really do anything about it once they receive them too.

      I agree about the decorations part, and not really spending on them when you can make do with the ones left over the previous years. I have friend’s who prefer buying a small artificial tree and using it each year, instead of going in for a real one. I guess celebrating at your brothers place must be so much of fun for you. 🙂

      It’s a great way to save when everyone pools in their own dishes along with the main ones at the place you are invited – it helps the host a great deal besides there’s a lot of variety and a wonderful get-together also. Gifts are actually not needed within family especially I feel and there can be no limit to the extent you can go with them too.

      Yes indeed, it’s best to be stationed where ever you are during the holidays and make the most of it, though some people like to move around. We too stay at home and have a nice time meeting up our own relatives whom we otherwise rarely get time to meet.

      Thanks for stopping by, and glad you liked the post too. (Sorry for the delay in reply – though am glad I did now!) 🙂

  11. I find that the most important part of my holiday spending is about the planning. I plan beforehand what I’ll spend and try as much as possible to keep within this budget.

    I used to just go out and buy things I thought people would like. This is a really expensive way of doing things. In my book, How To Spend Less, I wrote a chapter about buying presents, holidays etc.

    I recommended buying gifts from the year before, to keep for the next (like you have here). This way you get stuff at half price. You have to be careful with things like clothes and music (because styles, sizes and tastes change) but usually, the other stuff work very well.

    All my Christmas cards are usually from the year before.

    A fantastic and helpful post, Harleena!

    1. Glad you could resonate with the post Anne!

      Sorry for the late reply, though am glad I am finally getting down to it now. 🙂

      Planning does take time, but I think when we plan and budget beforehand, we are being sure of not going wrong while saving during the holidays. Oh yes…there was a time when I was also quite carefree where choosing gifts for others was concerned – but am glad the realization came in.

      Absolutely! Buying things from sales or from the year before like you mentioned are great ways to save, and it really works out well for me and my family too. I agree about being careful with things that change with time when buying gifts, but generally what we buy aren’t really such stuff and remain evergreen – isn’t it? I guess that’s why I love discounts and deals and am sure to buy something or the other whenever I am out, though mainly for keeping it away for later. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with everyone. Always nice to have you over. 🙂

  12. Hi Harleena,

    I’m sure they all best tips to save money while traveling. one of the mistake I make throughout this year is that I spend money on gifts that people don’t even like. I have to change this. But on the food side, if I travel to a country that I haven’t visited before then I’d spend the most to food in that country.

    Thanks – Ferb

    1. Glad you could relate to the post Ferb!

      These ways to save money can be while travelling, or during/for holidays, or just simply saving up at home – I guess you can use them anytime and every time.:)

      Ah…yes indeed, sometimes we don’t realize how much we are spending on gifts, and I guess we tend to feel bad when the gifts we give aren’t appreciated too. May be trying out cheaper options or things that are generally needed might work.

      Spending on food in a country you’re visiting for the first time is a good way to know more about the place, and that’s perfectly alright I feel. Even going in for small souvenirs or gifts to take back home work well – anything as a remembrance from the place I guess.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. 🙂

  13. Hi Harleena

    Gift giving can become really expensive if one doesn’t put a cap on the amount you spend.

    I make my own Christmas cards each year and have done so since 1990. Family and a few friends look forward to my artwork each year. Sometimes I think about quitting but then I get a letter from my sister in-law saying she can’t wait to see what this year’s card is going to be. Would hate to have to go through telling everyone why I am not going to do it…so I just get down and create it. At least being automated over the last few years is much better than spending hours creating each one by hand!

    Have made melt-n-pour soaps with Christmas shapes and it is always gladly appreciated. I keep telling them to use it, don’t just display it! Quick, easy and loved.

    I have family outside of the country and when I used to send gifts I always had to take into consideration of the shipping cost. One time I sent something to my sister and the postage cost more than the item. Had to rethink that one.

    I try to never go into debt for Christmas. Just spend less. When our parents were alive we would occasionally go home for Christmas and when we did that we would buy less for each other, so we could spend the money on the trip and gifts for members we did not normally buy for.

    In the past when out on a day trip or vacation we would always be on the lookout for what would make a nice gift and purchase at that time. Made the outing more fun than just looking through shops.


    1. Absolutely Mary!

      You need to budget everything – right from your gifts, to what your kid’s or spouse needs, to what all is required at home in order to save up.

      Nice to know about your own Christmas cards, which must be so beautiful. Yes indeed, people start expecting these cards, especially from those who are creative like yourself. I remember the time we used to sit hours painting these cards and then writing the address, and mailing them. The whole process used to keep us busy for days together, but it was fun as kid’s. Everything now has become automated, which is good in a way, though I wish we could go back to the old era sometimes. 🙂

      Melt-n-pour soups sound interesting! Are these in shapes of a Christmas tree or Santa? I would never use them too, as I do have a few I was gifted years ago for a local festival of ours this end. I get emotionally attached to such gifts of value. Oh yes…I agree about the shipping costing more than the gift at times, or unless you send something costlier or along with a bundle, but then it does cost all the more.

      I agree about spending less, and holidays should be to enjoy each others company rather than spending lots over gifts or food. Ah yes…such outings are always fun, though we need to control the kids, if they are young ones as they ask for their share of gifts first and won’t really let you shop.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with everyone. 🙂

      1. Hi Harleena

        The soaps are pretty cool. You can buy different soap shapes and I have even bought the silicone ice cube trays with penguins, Christmas trees and Santa Claus. Put soap die in them to match the season. Also have used larger molds and sometimes embed them with white soap with Christmas shapes. Normally I use clear soap with color and scent. Not all soaps are with the Christmas theme though, it just depends who I am giving it to. I have even used candy molds. Only thing is once you use it for soap, that is all you can use it for.


        1. That’s really interesting!

          We get different shapes in our country too, but I’ve never really got down to trying out soaps in them. Just use them for baking things for the kid’s. Guess I need to get separate ones for trying out soaps and candles too!

          Thanks once again for these wonderful ideas. 🙂

  14. Hi Harleena,

    NOW… This gonna be very helpful for ones eager to shop in this holiday season 🙂 Very nice tips…

    I’m pretty much off from shopping and mostly I tend to do shopping when my mother starts non-stop talking about that I never did shopping for this year 😉 I did once this year and few more online. I’m a saver, right? 😉

    From my personal experience, setting budget is the best Harleena 🙂 When I worked on my job earlier, I used to have a debit card but after I got salary I brought specific amount home and gave it to my mother. She gives me amount daily and that’s what I spend for that day. But in case, I can get money from my debit card too. Most common thing I see among my friends is that they spend over the limit until their card gets rejected. And even for unnecessary things. It’s like we don’t save water until we find no more, right? 😉 That’s really a bad habit.

    I always admire discounts for products I love. I’ve been able to get that as I do online shopping in this year. As I see, my requirement for credit card is to shop online and retrieve funds as a freelancer. Instead of that I’ve never used it for offline shopping. I’m glad I always used to rely on cash.

    Hand made gifts is a really cool idea Harleena 🙂 And I believe it has more value than what we purchase. Cost saving option indeed 🙂 Reminds me of cost-saving party ideas.

    Well, I guess girlies have more ideas here as they are the ones do shopping most 😉

    Also I have learnt that we need to save first and spend whats left too 🙂


    1. Glad you found the post helpful Mayura!

      Ah…I guess you are still a bachelor so aren’t much into shopping, and yes, so you are a saver presently. But I look forward to your getting married and then asking you what ways to save did you follow when you shopped! 🙂

      If you plan out things and have a budget, you can rarely go wrong with your funds because everything is chalked out right in-front of you. Most unmarried lots did what you did, including my husband. I guess when you are staying with your parents, giving the salary to your Mom makes sense, while getting a little for your own expenses seems alright too. Oh yes…plastic cards WILL make you overspend if you are not in control, and later they have problems repaying the amounts or as you mentioned, their cards get rejected too.

      I love discounts, offers, and deals too. I think whenever such offers come, if you are a regular saver, then you can use your saved funds for buying during the discounted period – isn’t it? I remember mostly having shopped for my kid’s, their clothes, parties, or even if it’s something for the house at places that have deals and offers, which I think makes more sense.

      Hand-made gifts don’t cost as much as the ready-made ones in the market, and they are more valued when given to anyone too. Absolutely, when you have saved up enough, you will be more comfortable spending. Yes, girls are more of shoppers than guys, though not necessarily. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. 🙂

  15. Hi Harleena,

    I think at the start of year we need to make a budget. So it will help what we will expend in our vacation or special day. There will be little bit increase or decrease of budget but it will certainly give us idea on our upcoming expenditure.

    I also agree with all your points you added here. This will help others to spend money miserly & wisely 🙂

    1. Absolutely Ahsan!

      Planning and making a budget is one of the ways to save for any occasion. You can never mess up with your funds if you are careful about how you plan and budget your money. Yes, a certain amount of shifting of the amount you want to spend is always allowed, but majorly you would know where you are going to be spending and where you need to take control.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  16. Loved the tips in your post, Harleena!

    I have a space dedicated to gifts in my cupboard. One of my favorites is painting on Tshirts – I always get a stack of plain ones and can personalize it to whoever i want to gift it to! My friends love it. We live close to the hottest market in our city – and whenever we walk around our market and see some sort of exhibition, I buy stuff. Whoever visits our home leaves with a gift 😀 And since I have lots of children visiting I make sure I always have things they will love.

    Throughout my childhood (and now) I’ve been making handmade greeting cards. Even though online wishes are very convenient, a tangible handmade is precious. I am a big fan of DIY and make things all the time.

    Happy holidays!

    Love, Vidya

    1. Glad you liked the tips shared Vidya!

      That sounds wonderful if you have kept a space away for gifts! It reminds me of my school days when I used to do that with my gifts, and sometimes I never used to open them till quite sometime passed – just for fun sake. Ah…I’ve seen a picture of those T-shirts and other things in one of your posts I think – you sure are creative. 🙂

      I think it’s fun to buy things when they are at discounts, exhibitions, and sales. These are great places and ways to save up and you can always use them for later. Nice to know that you are always well stocked up with gifts – I guess I should visit your house one day 😉

      Yes indeed, nothing can match handmade greeting cards for the personal touch they add to the card. I somehow even love to send hand-written letters as compared to the more convenient emails, though all these things are slowly taking a backseat nowadays – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. 🙂

  17. Plan and budget is the most important when it comes to not wasting money during the holiday season. Any dollar not spent on something which is not required is in fact saving and can be used some where else.

    Using credit card is not a problem when one has planed the shopping and knows the maximum budget. Using credit card that rewards in terms of cashback or points redeemable for purchasing is also like saving money.

    1. Welcome to the blog James!

      You are absolutely right about planning and budgeting as major ways to save up during the holidays, or even otherwise. I guess you can never go wrong or run out of money once the holidays are over, if your budget is planned and chalked out.

      I agree about the credit card part, but you need to know when to stop and really control yourself, something that people aren’t normally able to do because they don’t limit their expenditures or don’t plan out beforehand. Yes indeed, those cashback or points are what attracts people to do their purchasing through the credit cards, and sometimes the offers are really good too.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  18. Hi Harleena,

    Awesome, awesome post and wonderful tips on saving money (not only) on the holidays. My most treasured gifts are those my kids made themselves.

    I love your advice on paying cash. I just cringe at the thought that some people put their gifts on credit cards and come January struggle paying for them. Why??? If you can’t pay cash for it, maybe you shouldn’t buy it. I used to have a ‘holiday cash’ jar that I ‘fed’ all year through. It came in very handy at around this time. I don’t do that anymore. For one, we don’t go crazy on gift giving at our house anymore, plus the boys rather have cash these days. That way they can buy whatever they want.

    Thanks for sharing these awesome tips!


    1. Glad you liked the post Ilka!

      Oh yes – these ways to save money aren’t just for the holidays but anytime and every time, if you learn to make a habit out of it – isn’t it? You are quite like me where gifts are concerned, because I value the ones given by my kid’s too, and their hand-made cards are so touching too.

      I agree with you about paying through cash instead of the credit cards, especially when you know your limits and yet tend to cross over and then face problems later. I like the idea of a holiday jar, seems like a wonderful idea I could use too! And yes, it would work best where you have kid’s or teens. Besides, by saving money this way, you actually build on a habit to save regularly for using when you need it the most. You could even have your kid’s contribute and add up their share to the jar, a little at a time so that the realization sinks in that we all save for the holidays. I guess beside the lesson imparted, it would be a great activity and way to save as well 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. 🙂

      1. Great idea about letting the kids chip in and adding their share to the jar! Hadn’t thought of that, Harleena.

        1. We used to do that as kid’s, though with our piggy banks our parents got us. I guess when kid’s have an aim to buy or shop something for the holidays – they put in their contribution too. 🙂

          Thanks once again. 🙂

  19. Hi Harleena,

    With Christmas not far away, this was a very timely post and you included some great ways of how we can save money. I thought the idea of interviewing an elder was absolutely amazing and very thoughtful.

    I definitely have started to do what you with regards to using cash whenever possible, rather than credit cards. I agree with credit cards there is the concern, that one might spend more than they can afford to. This might be a good way to remember to stick to cash.

    I like the idea of those daily deal sites on the Internet. I need to look into these more myself.

    1. Glad you liked the post Hiten!

      There are so many ways to save during the holidays or even otherwise that I just thought to share my experiences and thoughts in this post, and with the coming holidays it might help someone or the other too. I remember the lessons my parents taught me so they come handy here. 🙂

      We used to do so many creative things at home and that includes interviewing our elders, or even have them just say out and discuss their stories with all of us, which was an inspiration for the youngsters. More so, it made them feel important and loved, alongside giving a chance for everyone to know more about them.

      Paying with cash is definitely what always works for us, because we do use credit cards and know that we tend to overspend if we don’t keep control. My husband though feels that paying through them (within a certain limit) might earn you some offers, so we do use them – though sparingly. Ah…yes – those daily deals is something a friend told me about and I also learnt about most of them rather recent, though have’t yet tried out any myself to be very honest. But they are supposed to be good and authentic, though it’s always wiser to compare your options before buying anything.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

  20. Hi Harleena,

    Your post brought me back to memory land as I was reminded how I learned to save from my mom. My mom was THE most generous person I’ve ever known, and I don’t say this because it’s my mother, but because it’s true, yet she is also the person I have to thank for, for knowing how to save money.

    She taught me how NOT to spend more than what I have. You see, in Europe people don’t believe in credit cards as much as people in the US, and they tend to spend no more than what they have. I know some people who have credits ONLY on their house, not even their car, and that’s the case of my family. My parents owned even their house and never bought even a car on credit. My brother bought his first apartment on a small 15 year credit when he was 26 which it’s now paid off. So, yes, I was raised following all your good tips here.

    Yes, cash is much better to save then plastic money. Study has shown than people tend to spend more money with a credit or even debit card than when they were handling cash. I have to admit that I’ve observed that to be true for myself.

    When it comes to food, I am very economic as (again I’ve learned from my mom) to make my own food and seldom buy out or eat out. It’s better taste, better for you and cheaper. What’s not to like!

    Thanks you for your great tips, Harleena!

    1. Glad you could resonate with the post so well Sylviane!

      I think our Moms were quite similar in so many ways and wish they could have met. 🙂

      Like your Mom, even mine was the one who taught me about saving and spending only from the amount we had, though my Dad brought me my first piggy-bank to start saving with the coins. Oh yes, my Mom was another wonderful giver and I just hope I get to be a little like her in my lifetime.

      Nice to know more about your family and the way people tend to spend in Europe as compared to the U.S. I guess we are a blend between the two, though majority of the people our end pay with cash and try to keep away from credit cards. But yes, where online buying is concerned, we do use them, though again sparingly and only when required. Besides the studies, I think our own personal experiences have shown us that we do spend more than we would want to if we do through a credit card because there is no one counting how much is really going out. Whereas, if we have cash, we will count and see what’s going out and what we are left with – isn’t it?

      Home-cooked is the best, and it’s something my Mom was good at making, so we never really missed eating out as she used to make all our hearts desired at home. Similarly, I try to do the same for my kid’s and it’s rarely we eat out. Yes indeed, it’s a cheaper and healthier option and one of the nice ways to save up too.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. 🙂

  21. Thank you for sharing.

    I am really not on the same wave length.I would rather take a holiday once in 18 months than one in 12,but, I wont take saving while on holidays/travel.

    1. That’s perfectly alright BK!

      We all have our own viewpoints, and for some people saving for the holidays or during the holidays is a priority, while others prefer spending it out and living it right through. However, the post mostly is about ways to save and not really about going on holidays or restricting yourself from having fun.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  22. Hi Harleena,

    Thanks for these useful tips. Saving and setting a budget is never easy especially as a mom. But of course, with the tips you gave like proper planning and enough determination to save, this isn’t possible to achieve.

    1. Glad you liked these tips Sarah!

      I agree that saving and budgeting is easier said than done, but as parents or as a Mom or Dad, this is how things will work and you will be able to manage your months expenses too. I guess being parents we can always make minor adjustments, and if the expenses of one month are more than the other, we can spend a little less the next month – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  23. I always plan way before the actual holidays as to what I am buying for whom and how much will I be spending. And I look out for discounts and go ahead and buy it when I see it and find it at the right price. I don’t wait for the actual holidays to come hit me and then panic! LOL!

    I always make sure I have a budget and I stick to it. I think the issue arises when we go beyond the budget. And I think we need to make a budget the falls into what we can afford. Realize how much you CAN spend and how much you are willing to part away with!

    1. That’s a very wise way Hajra!

      If we don’t plan or budget how much we are going to be spending, it can make our budget go haywire. I agree about the deals and discounts, which are great ways to save provided you are timely in taking action when such offers come up. We also do the same and prefer to keep things away for using later. I guess we have a lot in common then in the way we shop before the real holidays come up. 🙂

      Yes indeed, when we budget our expenses, there’s no way we will go beyond what we can afford, and that’s where we save up too. I guess once you practice these ways they become a habit – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      1. Once we make it a regular practice we tend to become more wise and definitely can keep a track of how much we are spending and where. And it doesn’t lead to panic when you are calculating your monthly expenses! 🙂

        1. Absolutely Hajra!

          It’s just a matter of time before we can make these ways to save more of a habit with us, and yes, when everything is planned and budgeted, there is no question of panic. In-fact sometimes you save up and keep it away for the next month. 🙂

  24. I like to make gifts rather than buy them. I also like to think and plan before buying, rather than impulse buy something.

    1. That’s wonderful Jodi!

      When we let our creativity flow, we do come up with beautiful work of art – isn’t it? And just as Carolyn had mentioned, such hand-made gifts go a long way and are valued more. Planning and then buying things turns out to be a wise decision, something that most of us should do, if we aren’t.

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  25. Hi Harleena,

    Fantastic ideas for saving money. Your ideas are helpful to not only be conservative about spending, but also to feel as if you haven’t been sacrificing. I love your gift ideas. They are not only inexpensive, they are incredibly meaningful. Homemade gifts are the ones that will be treasured, long after the store bought ones are gone.

    Many blessings to you and your family during this holiday season, Harleena!

    1. Glad you liked the ideas Carolyn!

      I guess I have my Mom to thank for most of these ways to save, because she was the one who taught me how you can be creative and do so much from home. Yes, you can make many gifts at a very low cost, and like you mentioned, these gifts are appreciated, treasured and valued for a long time as compared to the other gifts that might have a short life.

      Thanks for stopping by and your warm blessings. Wishing you a nice holiday season as well. It’s always nice to have you over. 🙂

  26. Hi Harleena

    I first came to know about you in blogosphere on Adrienna’s post, and hope we can build on this. I want to say that I have adopted Frugality as way of life, more as a habit. I have applied that in every sphere of my life. I try to spend when it really required. Infact I have started leaving a very simple life, but I am testing myself that whether I can sustain through, only time will tell. – Sapna

    1. Welcome to the blog Sapna!

      Ah…I guess we need to thank Adrienne for connecting us up here then. 🙂

      Nice to know that you have adopted frugality, and I agree that we should spend only where it’s necessary and really required, though few are really able to do so. Simple living and high thinking is the way to live, but sometimes we need to do a little more than we really want to, especially if we have kids and a family because their desires and wishes need to be fulfilled too – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  27. Loved this post Harleena.

    I like to bake cookies and put them in a jar with ribbon and label using calligraphy writing. Home made ornaments are something we will do this year AGAIN!. Last year we had a Japanese themed Christmas tree with origami cranes hanging. This year we will have 3 trees. 2 made from a bundle of twigs painted white and hang birds again from them. Painting found acorns etc.

    I always buy clothes in advance on sale for the kids. They grow like weeds. And lastly the envelope system. I put cash in different envelopes each month.. One for food, another for entertainment and misc. Then that is all I have for that month. For other things I have a digital spreadsheet where I use the same envelope system. The trick is to enter items paid for into it everyday. It only takes a minute but makes me mindful of our spending. I could go on forever so will stop now.

    1. Glad you liked the post Annie!

      You sure are creative with all the wonderful things that you do!

      Home made ornaments are a great way to get your kid’s involved, and so are baking things – isn’t it? My daughters picked up baking because we loved doing it together, though now one of them manages to do a little on her own. I think baking stuff at home, either for ourselves or to give away as gifts are great ways to save up.

      Wow! 3 trees – that’s amazing! I’m sure your kid’s would be looking forward to all that you are already planning in-advance for them. More so, they love it when you do things involving them, and the way they come up with ideas is also amazing.

      I agree about buying clothes on sales, and doing so in-advance so that you aren’t really hassled at the last minute. Oh yes…kid’s grow too fast, so I always prefer buying a size larger (though they hate that!) I like the idea of putting cash in different envelopes and the spreadsheet too. But how do you manage if you overspend on one more than the other? Perhaps you adjust the amount or shift it a little from here to there. This must be ensuring that you stop things when you are out of cash – simple as that. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your creative ways to save with all of us. 🙂

      1. My budget is based on a yearly budget. If I overspend one month then I spend less the next month. It just averages out. Sometimes you just have to go over budget like if relatives go out of town. I have a slush fund for unexpected things which I can draw upon.

        I drew up my budget based on last years expenses. If I find that I am consistently going over budget in a category which recently happened to me with our grocery bill, I increase the budget. Some things you just cannot cut back on. The kids eat more.

        I used to manage millions of dollars in spending for a fortune 500 company and the home budget is still harder to manage than that company. LOL.

        1. I guessed as much, because that’s somewhat like how we Mom’s have to work.

          I don’t really do the whole year’s planning, but the month to month one is often what works best for us because there is very little variation in it. The adjustments and shifting around the funds have to be done because some months the expenses are more than the other, either due to the guests, kid’s or any other reason.

          Also, to keep away a certain amount for emergencies like a medical condition needs to be catered for at all times – isn’t it? I agree that the home budget is the toughest to manage, but we do manage to get it done with too. 🙂

          Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us. 🙂

  28. Harleeena,

    I love that quote by Will Smith. One of my favorites. I see too many people spend way more than they can afford. I try to stick to a budget and look for sales mostly online. I don’t like shopping in crowds and the time it takes to park and wait in line is precious to me. So I mostly shop online now.

    Also people can pick names out of a hat instead of having to get gifts for everyone in the family, an organization or a group of friends. Love your point about shipping things yourself to those far away, easier to order online and get FREE shipping then to package yourself, wait in line and pay a lot of shipping on top of the gift. I’ve done that before and I have learned the hard way.

    1. Glad you could relate to the post Lisa!

      Ah..yes…that quote is so true and I loved it the moment I read it too. Some people have a habit of over-spending and they tend to realize it much later in life, after loosing out quite a lot. Online shopping has become the trend nowadays, and I agree, if your country has better options where it’s better to shop online than going to the malls or shops, nothing could be better. It does take a lot of time parking, and the crowd get to me too. I also feel, online shopping is one of the best ways to save and shop, especially when you have the deals and discounts going on.

      You’re right about the gift part, and nowadays you can get more creative with things too- isn’t it? Yes indeed, free shipping is what actually turns out to be a great money saver too, provided you are timely in sending out your gifts.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

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