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Christmas is fun and one of my favorites! But it’s also one of the most expensive ones especially if you’re not careful. This doesn’t mean to say, however, that you can’t have a fun Christmas if you’re on a budget.

A frugal Christmas is totally doable. It takes a lot of effort but if done properly, you’ll never look at Christmas the same way again. So without further ado, here are tips on how to have a fun frugal Christmas you’ll never forget!

Know your priorities

When you hear the word “Christmas”, what are the first things that come to your mind?

If it’s gifts and shopping, then you’re definitely going to have a hard time with your finances! Learn to re-prioritize and think of Christmas as a way to spend more time with friends and families instead of buying new things. Not only will this save you money but you’ll also be giving the people you love the best gift of all – a fun time with you.

You don’t need to give people “material” stuff and new things to celebrate Christmas. In fact, experiences, time, and DIY gifts from you are waaay better than any expensive thing you can buy.

Sure, you’ll have to spend on Christmas one way or another but you can find ways to make it cheaper than usual. Be more practical and focus more on what matters.

Create frugal Christmas traditions

Remember how you spent your Christmas while growing up. Does your family have family traditions? You can pass it down or create new ones.

Christmas traditions can be:

  • Working at a toy drive
  • Baking foods
  • Trying out new recipes with friends and families
  • Pot luck
  • Cutting your own Christmas tree (instead of buying a plastic one)
  • And so on!

Be more practical and think of frugal Christmas traditions that will help strengthen your bond with the people you love.

Make gift-giving fun

Let’s face it, gifts can take a huge toll on your bank account. To help you save, why not put a twist on gift-giving? You can try setting a limit for all gifts or create rules where gifts have to be purchased from the dollar store. You can even level it up and say that gifts should be wrapped in newspapers.

Chances are, your friends and family are also looking for ways to save money.

Set a budget and stick to it

You’ve probably heard this hundred of times but for a frugal Christmas, it’s important to determine how much you are willing to spend. One thing I do to make sure I stick to my set budget is to keep my calculator app open on my phone while shopping. This way, I know how much I’ll be paying at the counter and ensure that my spending should be within my set limit. Also, avoid using your credit card AT ALL COSTS.

By late October or November, start planning for gifts and list things down. Buy your gifts in advance on ONE shopping trip. This will help you avoid impulse buying.

Save more by buying online and getting an Amazon Prime account (with free 30 days trial). Order all the gifts you have on your list. You won’t have to pay for shipping! Once you’re done, you can cancel your prime account.

As for food items, take advantage of the low prices before holiday prices take effect. List the things you can purchase in November, then go shopping one last time a week or two before Christmas.

Create your own gifts

One way to save money on Christmas is to make your own gifts. You can try making soap, knitting hats or scarves, handcraft wooden decors, or anything at all. If you’re not crafty, you can find tons of easy DIY tutorials online for all sorts of things.

Make things in batches and have gifts for everyone on your list. Oh, and don’t forget some homemade baked goods, jams, or jellies for the perfect hostess gift.

Try these DIY gifts.

Make your own decors

Why not do a DIY and make your own decors? It can be a fun way to spend time with your friends and family. These are usually cheaper. You can also upcycle what you used last year. And the best part? Most of the materials you need are found around the house. It’s a great way to declutter and recycle stuff.

Here are a few ideas.

Make a list

Make a list of the people you’re going to buy for, check it twice and stick to it! It’s easy to feel guilty on Christmas for not giving everyone you know a present. I’ve been dealing with this for years. But creating a list helped me finally put an end to my misery.

You don’t have to buy something for every person you know – your hairdresser, your coworker, or your neighbor. Stick to giving gifts to a few people who are special to you (well unless you have the budget but we’re talking about a frugal Christmas).

If you absolutely must, you can bake a batch of cookies to give.

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