6 Ways to Save During the Holidays

The holiday season often brings joy, laughter, happiness, and credit card debt. There’s no denying that it’s the most expensive time of the year. Between gift-giving, holiday parties, and work celebrations, there’s not much room left for saving. Unless you’re giving homemade presents, there isn’t a way to get around the spending. However, there are things you can do to make sure you are spending the least amount possible. The CGS Team is sharing 6 simple ways to save some extra money during the holidays.

Ways to save during the holidays…

#1: Suggest a Gift Swap

One of the best ways to save money on buying gifts is to limit the number of gifts you have to buy! If you have a large family or a nice sized group of girlfriends, suggest something outside of the norm like Secret Santa or White Elephant. Offer to organize it (not only does that make it easy for others to agree to participate, it allows you to set the rules – like a lower price limit). You can arrange the gift-giving to happen during a happy hour with your friends, or on Christmas day with your family.

#2: Shop Early and in Bulk

This is a two-way winner. Not only does shopping early allow you to take advantage of the sales, it allows you to beat the last-minute crowds. The earlier you start shopping for your gifts, the more time you have to earn or save money after the gifts have been purchased. Also, buying in bulk can be a huge money-saver.

If you have been invited to a few holiday parties or work functions, buy a case of wine instead of a bottle for each event.  Stocking stuffers are also great goodies to buy in bulk. You can also use stocking stuffers to create gift bags, as opposed to spending on one large gift.

#3: Plan and Time Each Store

This is more for yourself than anything else. The longer you spend in a store, the more tempted you are to buy items for yourself! Try to plan your gifts ahead of time, that way you know which stores you need to visit to buy those gifts. If possible, avoid picking gifts that are found in your favorite stores.

This can help ease the temptation to shop for yourself. Lastly, set a time limit for each store. Stores know how to take your attention away from the task at hand by throwing sales and door-buster deals in your face. Set the timer on your phone and get in and get out. The less time you have to browse, the less money you are likely to spend.

#4: Shop Online in Time

Avoid the crowds all together by getting your gifts online. Just about every retailer offers free shipping during the holiday season, however to take advantage you have to time it right. Usually if your purchase is made by December 18th, you will receive your items just in time for Christmas. Albeit, you may have to stay up all night on Christmas Eve wrapping your gifts, but that’s a small price to pay.

#5: Throw a Holiday Potluck

Are you infamous for throwing parties during the holiday season? If so, put a different swing on it this year by hosting a holiday potluck! Instead of you having to shell out cash for the decorations, drinks, and food, assign an item for each of your guests to bring. There’s no shame in suggesting a holiday potluck, plus it allows everyone to participate instead of just attending! Check out the How to Throw a Dinner Party on a Budget for some more potluck party saving ideas!

#6: For Every Gift You Buy, Put $25 Away

This is a new strategy to try. Before you freak out about the $25 number, make it a realistic number for you. If you can only afford to put away $5 or $10 for each gift, that’s perfectly fine. The whole purpose of this activity is to allow you to have some money left over once the holidays are gone.

If you often use credit cards to buy your gifts and holiday items, having that extra savings (as small as it may be) can be used to put a little extra onto your next credit card payment.  If you use cash or debit card for shopping, this extra savings can provide a small cushion until your next paycheck.


The holidays may seem like ages away, but now is the time to start planning and budgeting for them! If you don’t know how you can afford your gifts, or you aren’t sure where you can cut back to purchase holiday items, consider a CGS Personalized Budget Plan. Do you have any tips for saving money during the holiday season? What gift-giving strategies do you use? How do you budget for each gift? Let’s get a holiday savings discussion started! Leave a comment below to share.

-The CGS Team



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