How to Save $500 before Christmas (without calling your cable company)
Are you tired of reading posts about saving money for Christmas and the first thing they suggest is calling your cable company? Me too! Yes, you could call them and negotiate your price. But I’d rather share some other more fun ways to save money this holiday season. BUT let me warn you that I would NOT recommend saving all this money just to spend it on toys your kids don’t need. You know crap that ends up in the bottom of the toy bin by January 1st! I would however suggest spending it on quality toys your child would truly love, giving to others this holiday season, buying some wonderful wine for a dinner party or even paying down debt.
If you have read my earlier posts, you probably know that my husband I became debt-free about a year and a half ago. (read our story here). We spent a good couple years barely getting by and then another couple years paying off debt with gazelle-like intensity. That being said, our Christmases have always had us walking a fine line between enjoying the season and being frugal.
I wanted to share with you some legitimate and pretty easy ways to quickly save $500 before this Christmas. Yes, you CAN do it! I promise. Here are my top five ideas on how:
1. Sell, Sell, Sell ($150)
I have often bought my children wonderful used toys for Christmas. If you have a great toy your child no longer needs, clothes they’ve grown out of, furniture taking up space….. sell them. It could be a treadmill you despise but would be awesome for a person looking to start the new year off healthier. Facebook buy, sell, trade groups work wonderful to get some cold hard cash in your pocket. You could meet your buyer in a neutral place or have the item set on our porch for them to pick up (they put the money in an envelope under the mat – I have never had anyone steal). Get creative and really think outside the box on what you could part with. You can easily make $150 just by selling your excess (and enjoy less clutter before the holidays).
2. Borrow Formal Outfits ($100)
You only need one nice dress. I promise! For weddings and holiday parties, I will borrow dresses, shoes and jewelry from friends. You could also borrow a Christmas dress for your daughter or black shoes for your son. One of the easiest ways to cut your budget is to cut out clothing expenses. BUT if you break it, you buy it. Be a good friend and replace anything you accidentally damage. I always return a borrowed item to someone exactly as I received it or I compensate them for it.
3. DIY 2 Gifts ($50)
Making just two gift for others instead of buying them could easily save you $25 a gift or more. I always like to think that someone gifting a handmade piece isn’t being cheap. They are sharing their time and love with you to give you something truly special. Cookie kits in a jar, knitted scarves, even handmade cards make wonderful gifts.
One of my favorite DIY projects are these DIY CHRISTMAS TREES for little ones. They are made of felt and anyone can do it without a single crafting bone in their body. Visit my post to learn how!
4. Buy Your Groceries Online and Pick-Up ($100)
I am BIG fan of buying groceries online and picking them up at the store. My favorite place right now is Walmart but a lot of local groceries offer the same service. When ordering online, it makes it easy to stay in budget while avoiding buying things you already have or don’t need. I have noticed a considerable decrease in my grocery spending by shopping like this weekly. And the employee literally load them in your the car for you. If you live in a place with a brutal winter or have small kids, this is life changer… literally.
5. Don’t Buy Toiletries ($50)
I guarantee many of you have little bottles of shampoo from hotels, half-empty bottles of lotion, and razors galore (maybe not your favorite razor but a razor). Take just one month off from buying toiletries with the exceptions of toilet paper and laundry soap. I actually cut dryer sheets in half to extend the box before and now I don’t even use them. If you run out of paper towel, use rags. Do without your favorite shampoo and use up your samples. I guarantee if you think creatively you can save $50+ just on toiletries this month.
I also make my own cleaner from a simple vinegar/water solution. When I do buy paper towel, I buy select-a-size so I can use the smaller sheets whenever possible. I reuse Ziploc baggies when I can. I keep a BIG towel in the kitchen for spills that would require a whole roll of paper towels. And I tip over the bottles so I can get those last drops at the bottom. It’s just one month!
Are you ready to SAVE BIG before this Christmas? Try anyone of these and let me know what you think!
What creative ways have you saved for Christmas in the past?