It’s the most magical and wonderful time of the year! And… often the most expense time of year! To help you fellow moms, we’ve put together three thrifty tips for the holidays :: how to save throughout the year, how to save during the holidays, and how to save right after Christmas.
1) SAVE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
For your first thrifty tip this season, start saving as soon as the new year begins. If you opt for cash savings, you can do what we did as kids growing up! Between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve, the whole family would take a good-sized cardboard box that was left over from Christmas (about 12x12x12 or so), wrap it up in leftover Christmas paper, cut a slot in the top, then label the front with “Christmas Savings”. [We also would decorate a box by cutting out construction paper to put a turkey on the front at Thanksgiving and call it our “Thankful Box”. Each weekend, we’d all write what we were thankful for that week on a slip of paper and put it in the box. On Thanksgiving Day, we’d open that box and read out all our blessings from the year!]
If you want to go the electronic savings route, many credit unions and banks offer holiday savings accounts, like L&N FCU’s Christmas Savings account, where you can make deposits all year-round and then make withdrawals whenever you’re ready to start that holiday shopping! You’ll earn a little interest, and you’ll know exactly how much you can spend without all the stress.
I grew up in a family of five kids, so my mom got REALLY good and stretching every dollar. One thing I took from her that I do this day with my teen is buy gifts throughout the year and hide them (if you can last to December without being too excited to gift them early!) somewhere safe. My mom had a closet she kept locked upstairs that she stashed gifts in all year. With only having one kid, we just hide everything in our lift-top coffee table, and she’s always been good about never looking.
Another great idea is to find cash-back/gift cards-back shopping offers throughout the year from rebates apps to use for your holiday shopping. A friend of mine JUST turned me onto Ibotta, and now I have to try it for all the grocery shopping we do! You can cash out after you earn $20 and get it sent to your PayPal account or redeem for gift cards (maybe you’ll even treat yourself to Starbucks a couple times a year…). Lisa from our team recommends Fetch, which I had never heard of before. She says she loves it, because it takes almost no effort (music to our ears!). You get points for literally any receipt you scan and then just transfer your points into gift cards. It’s not a lot, but it all adds up!!+
2) SAVE DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Black Friday happens online and earlier than ever before, which is awesome and less stressful. We are Walmart+ members, so we got early access to online Black Friday deals and free shipping. I sent my teenager the link, gave her a budget, and we got stuff delivered within a couple days (all before Thanksgiving!). See what your favorite stores offer, and take full advantage of whatever you can to make your life easier.
Also, check for places like Best Buy that offer their own internal Holiday Price Match Guarantee, where they’ll give you the difference back if their price drops after you bought an item during the holidays. My husband surprised me by telling me he was getting the new MacBook Air I’d been wanting for over a year and took me to Best Buy. On this note, here’s another savings tip when getting electronics for holiday gifts – look for places that offer you trade-in value for your old electronics. We did all of this with my MacBook. We got the 2023 one on a sale the first week of November, traded in my 2020 one for half the value of the new one, and then got an extra $50 in store credit when they dropped the price even more the next week!
Remember that you don’t always have to get brand new for the younger kids either. Sell outgrown clothes, shoes, and toys to places like Once Upon a Child and then buy “new” items for the kids with the money you make! I did all through my daughter’s early years, and I saved a ton by doing so. If you’ve been around for a while, you know the mamas on our team are huge proponents of thrifting! It’s great for the environment, the local economy, and your wallet.
3) SAVE RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS
Our final thrifty tip is to save by shopping RIGHT after Christmas. You can give cash or gift cards on Christmas morning and take the family shopping the day after Christmas for huge discounts and clearance prices. [Kroger frequently offers 4x Fuel Points on gift card purchases, so you can save even more after all that holiday driving!] When we got a little older, my mom started doing this for us. We’d open a couple smaller physical gifts and then we’d decide where we wanted to go shopping during all the sales the next day – it was always a hit with us kids!