Always having to watch your money as a Stay at Home Mom is one of the hardest parts of staying home. Now add Christmas to the mix of money uncertainty and you have a downright flood of anxiety! So how can you save money for Christmas when money is already tight?
In my experience, every little bit counts. And the sooner in the year you start, the better off you will be come the Holiday Season.
So let me share with you some of the ways that I have saved money for Christmas over the last 12 years as a SAHM.
Your “Save for Christmas” Piggy Bank
Before we start with the tips and tricks to save money for Christmas, I want you all to have a designated place where you can physically put this saved up money. If you cannot see it, then how will you know where it is? Whether it is a PayPal account or an envelope in your sock drawer marked “Christmas Money”, you need a place for it. This will help you account for ALL of the money you have saved over the year. Then, when you save some money or get money back, you put it into that “Save for Christmas” Piggy Bank.
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USE WEBSITES AND APPS TO SAVE MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS
One of the best and easiest ways to save for Christmas is with apps and websites. Checkout my list of apps and what they can do for you here!
Whether it is clothing or cleaning supplies that you are buying throughout the year, you can search for deals, get cash back, or find coupons with today’s technology.
There are quite a few websites and apps out there that can help you find good deals and save money for Christmas. Some examples are BradsDeals, DOSH, Ebates, SwagBucks, and ShopSavvy but there are many more. Don’t miss out on these money making apps and sites! They are a life saver when you are trying to save for Christmas! Again, if you want to read more, check out my detailed post on what each app or website has to offer here.
Now for the IMPORTANT part! Put ANY money you get back or save, (even if you don’t see it and it is only $0.50) into your Save for Christmas Piggy Bank.
DECREASE MONTHLY PAYMENTS
Find ways to decrease the amount you pay on your monthly bills. There are ways to save on energy and water bills such as turning off the lights and water when you are not using them. But to make a bigger dent in your bills, you need to call people.
Call around to insurance companies to see if you can get a lower rate. Contact energy providers to get lower rates. Talk to hospitals and doctors offices about how you can lower your bills. Calling about these bills can make a huge impact on your savings from month to month.
Also, find alternatives to cable that are cheaper such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, or Amazon Prime. Right now you can try Amazon Prime for free for 30 days! If you sign up right before Chirstmas, you could get tons of free shipping through the holiday season!!
Click here to sign up for your Free 30 Day Trial of Amazon Prime today! Before Christmas is over!
DIY TO SAVE MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS
DIY can be a SAHM’s best friend. And I am not just talking about crafting or painting a table. I am talking about saving on labor anywhere you can. If you have a faucet that needs to be changed out, a bathroom that needs tile, a drain that needs to be unclogged, then get online and look up how to do it. There are so many videos on YouTube that teach you how to do anything you need to be done. You will save hundreds of dollars by doing the labor yourself, so try it yourself before you call someone to do it for you.
In the end, if you can do it yourself, then you have saved at least a $100 by not calling someone else, so put that money in your Piggy Bank.
HAND-ME-DOWNS SAVE MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS
I realize when you have your first child that the thought of putting them in handed down clothing may not be what you wanted for them. But you will soon come to find that babies and toddlers grow so fast that they wear their clothing for little to no time at all. Most of the used clothing is still in great condition.
My daughter and I used to “shop” the handed down clothes from her cousins and she loved every minute of it. If you don’t have family that can give you clothing, you can always set up clothing swaps with friends or neighbors. And if you really want, you can use sites like eBay, Rehashed Clothes, and Swap.com where you can get clothing that others post online for a great low price.
Don’t forget to put whatever you save from the hand me downs in your Save for Christmas Piggy Bank.
SELL ONLINE TO SAVE MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS
So now that you have checked out some of the websites to swap or buy your child’s clothing, why not start selling some clothes yourself? All of those outfits your child never even wore could go on Ebay for a good price. You could totally make a few dollars here and there with your used clothing. You may not make a ton, but we are looking to save little bits all year.
Other things you can sell are old electronics, toys, and books.
And when you do that, you will wind up with a small amount of money that you can put in your Piggy Bank!
FREE PLACES SAVE MONEY
Find free or cheap things to do with your kids. When finances are tight, it can seem like you can’t go anywhere or do anything. But that is simply not true. There are so many things to do inside and outside for little to no money. You can sign up to get my Ultimate list of free things to do with your kids here!
By doing free activities throughout the year, you can save money for Christmas year round! Try to remember to add up how much you save each time you decide on a free activity over a paid one. Then, put it in your Save for Christmas Piggy Bank.
PASSES SAVE MONEY
Go places with people who have passes or memberships to the places you want to go. Establishments that require memberships or passes may also have dates that allow their members to bring a guest. Possibly for a cheaper price or no price at all. These places can include Swim and Tennis Clubs, Amusement Parks, Nature Centers, and many more.
Another idea is to split the cost of passes with another family. If they buy a pass to the amusement park and take your family for the discount price, then you will buy the passes to the nature center and take their family for the discounted price. When we all work together, we can save money!
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GIFTS SAVE MONEY…WHAT?!!
Asking for gifts from your parents and in-laws is what I am talking about here. Around Christmas when your parents or your in-laws are asking what everyone in your family wants. Try asking for one big gift, like a children’s museum pass or amusement park passes. The beauty of this is that it is free for you whenever you use it, but provides loads of things for you to do all year! These passes may also get you discounts on other things such as food or gift shop purchases while you are in that membership’s location.
If you had planned to purchase a pass somewhere but someone else got it for you, that is money saved for Christmas!! ChaChing! Put it in your Piggy Bank!
Need a new end table? How about a dresser? Many of the pieces I have in my house have been handed down to me from family or friends. Make sure to ask around if anyone is getting rid of any furniture before you decide to pay the big bucks for something new. A piece of furniture that you disliked at your mother’s house could turn out to be your favorite furniture piece in your own house after a little paint makeover.
Make it over.
Chalk paint is the most user-friendly way I have found to change up handed down furniture for cheap. But if you are up for it you could always try your hand at re-staining or even re-upholstering if that is what you want. (remember…DIY!!!) The picture of the grey table is a table I got from a neighbor and repainted with chalk paint. I think it turned out great and really matches my decor.
If you had planned to spend hundreds on a peice of furniture and instead get it for free!!! Wow! Save for Christmas just got easier! Put the difference in your Piggy Bank!
GET THRIFTY TO SAVE MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS
Thrift stores can be great for things like the perfect costume for a school play or Halloween party, which is what I use them for a lot of the time. I also find a lot of things to use to organize my house. Just yesterday I bought some kind of office rack for a dollar that I am going to use to store my serving platters. It will make my kitchen more organized and I only spent a dollar!
I know many people who find more there. They find furniture to make over and even picture frames that just need a new picture. The sky is the limit if you can use your imagination, so visit your local thrift store and see what treasures you can find. Then, with the money you save by thrift shopping, you can add to your Piggy Bank!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT STORE CAN SAVE MONEY
Department stores and specialty stores are great when you have the money! But when you are trying to live on a budget, those prices may get in the way of your financial goals. But don’t fret! There is no reason to give up your dreams of redoing your house or buying some new clothes. You just have to get creative.
There are always stores like Home Goods, TJ Maxx, and Marshalls if you really like name brands.
But if you don’t care about that, then Walmart and the Dollar Store could be your best bets. If you want to do a collage wall in your family room, you can find some great black frames in any size at either one of these stores. They may not be wood, but nobody will know but you, I promise. Do you need a new cami? Walmart sells camis for around $2. If you are just wearing it under things, that could be a perfectly great buy! Remember to add your savings to your Piggy Bank so you can save for Christmas!
PLANT A GARDEN TO SAVE MONEY
Plant a Garden. Do you love tomato sauce, salsa, or just vegetables in general? Why not grow your own veggies instead of buying them? Canning or freezing vegetables you grow or sauces that you have made from your garden is a great way to save money.
Added Bonus: Your kids will learn about gardening and maybe even try some new vegetables! Plus it is a free thing to do with the kids!
SHOP SALES TO SAVE MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS
Shop Clearance and Off Season Sales. When my son was little I went to Target and found that they had shorts on sale for a little over a dollar. It was the end of summer and they were clearing inventory. I was so excited that I stocked up on shorts of every size! There are plenty of times when I find great deals on items that are being clearanced out at the end of the season. Just be sure that you are only buying what you need and not everything you want! Or you could defeat the purpose of shopping clearance in the first place! Which is to save money for Christmas of course!
If the price on the item you buy was marked down by 5 dollars, then put that 5 dollars into your Piggy Bank!
EATING MORE MEALS AT HOME CAN SAVE MONEY
If you stop eating out, you can save money for Christmas pretty quickly! The meal that you just paid $30 for at a restaurant can easily be made at home for $15 or less. I realize that part of that restaurant price goes toward the fact that you don’t have to make the food and you are getting out of the house.
But if that is the case, then try these tricks.
- When you go out to a fancy dinner, don’t take the kids. Make it a special night for you and your significant other where you are not having to pay for child meals that are overpriced and probably won’t be eaten.
- On days that you do go out to eat with the whole family, make sure that it is at a restaurant that is affordable. Also, only go places where you know the kids will actually eat the food.
- Another great tip is to check out which restaurants in your area have a “kids eat free night”. I know O’Charley’s has that promotion now and again.
If you need some healthy budget meals, you can check out this site (Healthy Wealthy Skinny), for 50 awesome recipe ideas!
And if you save money on food in any way…cooking at home, finding deals…then put part of that money aside to save for Christmas!
STOP THE EXPENSIVE PERSONAL PAMPERING TO SAVE
This is the one that is hardest for me! Most women love to shop or get there hair and nails done. Getting a massage would be awesome after a long week with the kids. But on a budget, these extra pamperings are hard to come by. Although, with a little creativity, you can still get the things you love.
Instead of paying your favorite masseuse to massage you, you may find out that your significant other gives an excellent massage. You also may find that you are great at giving yourself a mani/pedi. When you look in the mirror and see your natural hair color and non-facialed skin, just remember that you are doing it all to save for Christmas and make it wonderful for your kids! Take that money you save from not doing the professional pamering, and put it in your save for christmas piggy bank!
Overall, the main goal is to realize that you can have the Christmas you want with a little bit of saving all year. Heck, you may even find out that you don’t need it all for Christmas and you have enough to take a family vacation! You can Save for Christmas all year just by putting a little bit of thought into where and how you are spending.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Check out my Christmas Gift Guide for kids 8-12!
As a stay at home mom myself, I have found ways to keep myself sane while loving what I do …be with my kids! For this reason, I decided to become a professional organizer to help moms like you run your home more efficiently. Join me to learn ways to declutter, get organized, and manage your home better as a mom. Things I love…feeling motivated, Harry Potter, being outside, and digging deeper into my life and my family’s life in order to make it better. I have a background in biology and am also a freelance writer.