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On both Talk of the Town and The Sami Cone Show this month, I’m talking about how to save money at Christmas without compromising your celebration.
Think about it: we spend a lot of money on everything from presents to food and travel. My hope is that you let the experiences occupy your mind this season and not stress over your budget.
That being said, there is a certain amount we can do right now to help our bottom line and some things we can start doing for next year. Here are some of my favorite tips:
How to Save Money at Christmas without Compromising Your Celebration
Gift Cards for Family Dining
Buy gift cards as gifts and keep the bonus cards for going out to eat in the new year. Most restaurants offer a $10 bonus card when you buy $50, or $20 when you buy $100. This gives you an automatic 20% off your next meal!
Subscriptions as Gifts
Speaking of subscriptions, consider gifting a favorite magazine, meal plan service, etc. It can be for 1 month, 3 months, or an entire year. This saves you from having to ship items too.
I personally love a meal service like Hello Fresh (we have 3 meal-prep kits delivered a week). You could send someone meals for just a week or send a gift card so they can decide. There are also subscription services for everything from wine and coffee to crafts and books. Here are just a few options:
- Hello Fresh: right now, get 14 free meals with your purchase, plus free shipping!
- Beans & Sparks Kids Book Club: Get your first book for only $3.99
- Firstleaf Wine Club: receive first 6 bottles for only $29.95 shipped with this monthly subscription service
Draw Names for Group Gifts
Do a secret Santa for family and work gatherings. This allows you to buy one gift instead of a dozen. Make sure to send out a questionnaire people can fill out to let everyone know about their “favorites”.
Pick a Family Experience
In lieu of gifts, choose an experience or trip you can do as a family, small group, etc. You already know we love visiting places like Disney World or Dollywood. We also love going on Disney Cruises.
Re-Do a Room
Instead of a bunch of smaller gifts, consider a home project that can be paid for over several months, like updating a kids’ room or creating a family game space.
Shop and Cook in Bulk
Shop in bulk and make the same dish to use for multiple gatherings. Wait for items to go BOGO free at the grocery store, then make it at once and freeze until you’re ready. (This even works for homemade cookie dough!).
Start a Christmas Fund
Consider setting up a Christmas fund and contribute to it every month so you’re not surprised at the end of the year. I do this through Ascend Federal Credit Union, but you can ask your financial institution if they have a similar savings program.
Watch my full TV segment here:
This segment originally appeared on the December 2021 episode of The Sami Cone Show.