Last year I went a little overboard on the holidays. I bought a new Christmas tree and fully decorated my house. I went to at least seven holiday parties, and hosted two of my own, and I bought Christmas presents for everyone from family to coworkers. I ended up spending over $500. This year, I plan to keep the fun but save some of the cash and I've already come up with ways to cut my costs in half. Here is how I'm keeping my holiday spending under $250.
Host a Potluck Holiday Dinner
My friends and I like to get together around Christmas for a large dinner party. Last year I hosted the party and covered the cost of dinner. I ended up spending about $100 on all the food and wine. This year we've decided to host a potluck holiday dinner. The dish I'm bringing will cost $20 to make, a savings of $80 compared to last year. And since everyone is bringing their favorite holiday food, we'll have a ton of variety and a great time.
Last year for Christmas, I bought several strands of outdoor and indoor lights, purchased some new ornaments for my Christmas tree and bought a few décor pieces to place around my house. My home is still sparsely decorated and I ended up spending over $100 on decorations. I had planned to buy more this year, but instead my niece and I are making our own decorations together. For example, I cut snowflakes out of plain white paper and she decorates them with glitter and markers. Not only is a practically free way to decorate, but I'm getting a chance to spend more time with my family during the holidays.
I've also decided to make a lot of Christmas gifts this year. I taught myself a few knitting techniques and have knitted scarves, hats, and cup cozies for a few friends. For those gifts I spent about $5.00 each on yarn and knitting supplies. I'm making a scrapbook for my parents using old family photos. I spent $25 on supplies for that gift. For my coworkers, I'm putting together jars of homemade coco mix. Since I'm using mason jars I've saved throughout the year, I'm only spending about $2.00 on each recipe, or about $20 total. Last year I spent $300 on Christmas gifts, this year I've only spent $95, without trimming my list.
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