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Apr 26 2018
4 months ago
1:52 PM MDT

What to do NOW to Save Money at Christmas

Apr 26, 2018 @ 1:52 PM MDT
Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.

Have a holly jolly… Spring?

I guarantee this upcoming holiday season hasn’t even crossed your mind – and that’s okay. We’re here to show you how to save money on your Christmas hauls before you even prepare to deck your halls!

Check for leftover Christmas decor.

theshold holiday decor from blinq hip2save

You’ll come across cute finds at crazy discounted prices from the previous holiday at Blinq.com, with many products coming from Wondershop and Threshold. You can also search Christmas Tree Shops for clearance holiday goods!

Some clever items to search for:
  • Holiday decor and entertaining essentials, whether it’s to deck your own halls or to bring as hostess gifts.
  • Greeting cards and wrapping paper, because why overpay for something that’s going to be thrown away.
  • Ornaments and tree skirts, especially if you had a few ornaments break during the previous holiday season.
  • Festive outfits and accessories, so your wardrobe is ready to go as soon as the party invites come in!

Start making a list, and check it twice all throughout the year!

ways to save at christmas making lists hip2save

Planning ahead for the holiday helps you set your budget, keeps spending in check, and ensures you’re minimally stressed when the holidays arrive. We even made a gift list printable to help get you started!

Making a list of who you’re buying for now helps you gauge your gift budget. It also helps you track any hints that your gift list recipients may drop for gift ideas. Armed with this knowledge, you can buy throughout the year to get the best price, ensure they’re getting something they actually want, and sit back & relax during November and December!

It’s also smart to keep this as an on-going list so you can remember any special moments that make someone extra deserving of a gift (such as your delivery man who hid your packages from plain sight while you were on vacation, or your hairdresser who managed to squeeze you in for emergency appointments). I’m not talking big gifts here, just something to show you appreciate them around the holidays.

Hip Tip: Be sure and sign up for Hip2Save Hot Text Alerts so you know about all the hottest deals!


Get ahead on making gifts that take time.

ways to save at christmas homemade vanilla extract hip2save

You’ve got about 7 months until it’s prime gift shopping season, so why not get a head start on some VERY thoughtful gifts now? Try your hand at a big batch of homemade vanilla extract. It’ll take about 2 months to cure, though many people say the longer it ages, the better it tastes! A six ounce bottle of real vanilla extract at the store can be around $10-$15, whereas a homemade version can be made for around $6!

Make larger bottles as individual hostess gifts or to include in baking themed gift baskets. Smaller ones are perfect for stocking stuffers or even place settings. Be sure to keep some for yourself for your own holiday cooking!

Hip Tip: More money saving tips for how to do Christmas on a basically zero budget!


Take some time to perfect your DIY skills.

If you plan on making DIY gifts come Christmas time, it’s a good idea to attempt them now so you can perfect your craft for the pieces you end up gifting. Your recipients will love these thoughtful gifts, and you’ll avoid mega stress by working ahead!

Plus, you can watch for sales on supplies since you aren’t strapped for time! Michaels craft store frequently has 50% off sales and coupons!

And (if you didn’t already know) our very own Lina is the QUEEN of DIYs! Here are some cute DIY ideas perfect for holiday gifting:

Hip Tip: Check out all Lina’s amazing DIY ideas for more gift inspiration, along with this DIY gift list from Buzzfeed, or these cute Brit + Co DIY kits!


Get gifts on clearance.

easter clearance baskets at target hip2save

Knowing the sales cycles and trends will be your friend. Certain items go on sale at different times of the year, and seasonal items are obviously at their lowest at the very end of their respective season. This can be SUPER helpful when stocking your gift closet!

Planning on making themed baskets as gifts? Pick up Easter leftovers like baskets and grass-like filling (just avoid anything too Easter-looking) at a steep clearance. Heading for warmer weather after the holidays? Pick up summer must-haves like towels, beachwear, and sunscreen for a steal once September hits.

Gift baskets are a great way to put together an inexpensive gift, especially if you start now and watch for clearance items all year long. They’re also great for stocking stuffers! Refer to your list of all the people you need to buy gifts for and keep an eye out for deals that fit the recipient. And don’t worry about those pesky clearance stickers – we have some tips for removing price tag stickers here.


What’s even better than clearance? FREEBIES!

ways to save for christmas freebies and samples hip2saveWe LOVE freebies at Hip2Save. Check out the Freebies page to start signing up for them now since certain brands can take several weeks (even months) to be delivered. They make great stocking stuffers and can be used as extra filler in gift baskets!

Some freebie ideas:

Hip Tip: For the best chance of being targeted on each Sample Day at PinchMe.com, complete your Member Profile including any bonus questions, make sure your email address is verified in advance, complete any outstanding feedback, and add past samples to your Wish List.


Try out fun and new ways to budget.

ways to save for christmas money jar challenge hip2save

It’s no secret that it’s WAY less stressful to head into the holidays with your spending cash ready to go, rather than maxing out credit cards in order to fulfill everyone’s wish list. Start budgeting by determining how much you’ll need at Christmas time, and set a savings goal each week to meet that amount.

Not sure how you’ll keep that budget? Give a new money-saving tactic a try, like money jar challenges, the envelope budget method (a favorite among Hip2Savers!), or unique and ridiculously easy changes to your lifestyle that yield additional savings!

Don’t forget to involve the kids, though. You can teach them smart ways to save money while making it fun in the process. Financial guru Dave Ramsey created Financial Peace Junior, a kit full of tools, resources, and advice specifically designed to help parents teach their children about the sometimes intimidating topic of budgeting.

Hip Tip: Automate the process with budgeting apps that help you get control over your finances and savings. I downloaded Digit in February and saved over $550 by doing absolutely nothing!


Bonus! Earn extra cash on your own schedule.

Save up by taking Pinecone Research surveys that pay $3 for each one you complete – and you can literally complete them while you’re relaxing or watching TV.

If you’re looking for something a little more lucrative, earn up to $22 an hour by teaching English with VIPKid. Our readers love their experience with this flexible, work-from-home job!

With a little planning now, your wallet will thank you come the ho-ho-holidays! 🎅🏻


Written by Emily for Hip2Save. Emily lives in Buffalo, NY where she spends her time drinking lots of coffee, scouring the internet for deals, and tackling DIY projects. She’s a big believer in self-care and living the fullest life possible, all while saving money of course.

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