Nickelodeon Holiday Money Saving Tips Contest for a $500 Walmart Gift Card!

I told you I might be giving away a $500 Walmart gift card didn’t I…….well, I wasn’t lying!!!!  Thanks to the fabulous Nickelodeon sponsor, you could win it by sharing your holiday money saving tips with me!!  I think everyone is strapped for cash this holiday season so I’m looking forward to hearing your tips and handing someone some holiday money to spend!!!

PLEASE NOTE…THIS IS A CONTEST, NOT A GIVEAWAY WHICH MEANS YOU WILL HAVE TO PUT SOME THOUGHT INTO YOUR ANSWER.

Not only is Nickelodeon famous for Nicktoons, Nick Jr., and Nick at Nite—They also have a sister site called Noggin that I am a HUGE fan of.  My little guy watches Noggin because the show is aimed at preschool-aged and early elementary-school-aged children.  Their website is very toddler friendly and I let my little guy on their frequently and I highly recommend both website and channel.

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me your BEST HOLIDAY MONEY SAVING TIP.  Best HOLIDAY money saving tip!!!  Please put some thought into your answer folks.

ONLY 2 TIPS PER PERSON PLEASE!!!

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How the winner will be chosen:

After all entries are carefully read, the judges will pick their favorite top 20 Holiday Money Saving Tips.  Those 20 entries will be put into a draw, where one winner will be randomly chosen.

In the event that there are identical tips given by different entrants that make the 20, it is at the judge’s discretion to choose which one gets thrown on the hopper.

This contest ends on December 15th and the winner will have 24hrs to contact me with their shipping address at lori at thecowboyshack dot com.

Contest and rules are subject to change if needed.

Other moms are giving away a $500 Walmart Gift Card too!  Go check them out and enter for more chances to win one!

Comments

  1. says

    Great contest! The way I save money for the holidays is by scouring the Internet before every purchase. I compare site discounts, shipping costs and available coupon codes to make my holiday dollars stretch as far as they can.

    Shannan Ps last blog post..Comment-phobia Challenge

  2. says

    Handmade is another good way to save money and give a wonderful gift. My most treasured presents have been toiled over by a friend or family member. The love they pour in makes it’s special to me and it’s frugal gift for them to give.

    fidgets last blog post..Flabbergasted

  3. says

    One of my favorite money saving gifts is a picture frame. I love the ones that have spots for 4 to 10 pictures. I usually do a theme like holidays, birthdays, or school pics. Whenever I give it as a gift people love it!! I can always find frames on sale.

  4. says

    Sign up for your local Freecycle group. You can start by going to http://www.freecycle.org/ and typing in your town and state. There are at least 3 in my area. When you join you can view messages from members giving away free items and also wanting free items. I have gotten an almost brand new stand mixer from a Freecycle member and my brother has gotten a leather couch and hot tub. “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” or so I’ve heard :) So, what one person might think is junk might be new or almost new and could make a great gift for someone on your holiday list.

    Wendy at Shopping Gemss last blog post..Free eBooks: Free Kids Travel Kit

  5. says

    Always find a coupon before shopping online. Whether you are buying greeting cards, a gift, decorations, or even travel, there is always a coupon available. Retailers are competing for every dollar and will have some amazing deals. You will find coupons for every major retailer online if you know where to look. If a coupon is not available when you are ready to shop wait a few days because this season retailers are putting out amazing sales every few days.

    You can sign up to receive our favorite retailer’s newsletter and get coupons from them directly through your email.

    Here are some very popular and worthwhile coupon sites to check out before you shop:

    http://www.retailmenot.com
    http://www.fatwallet.com
    http://www.dealcatcher.com
    http://www.couponcabin.com

    Wendy at Shopping Gems

    Follow me on Twitter

    Wendy at Shopping Gemss last blog post..EXCLUSIVE Shopping Alert from Lands End

  6. says

    Our children are all grown so and quite honestly, they prefer to purchase their own things. So, what we do is every month starting in January, we buy a $50.00 Visa gift card. Then at Christmas time, we have $100.00 worth of gift cards to give to each child plus we have enough money left over in gift cards to buy stocking stuffers for them like pajamas, toothbrushes, socks, etc. It works out great!

  7. Carol says

    We thought the best tip evolved out of economic necessity this year ……we sat our children down and told them we would be cutting back on the spending and gifts. We think that this tip is the best because it frees us from the expectations we know we cannot live up to this year, and it also causes our family to focus in on what is truly important….family. We plan on using almost all natural things to decorate the house, like greenery from our pine trees, pine cones, etc. We will choose carefully the things we want to spend money on. Therefore, my best tip is to be honest with your family, and your holiday just might be a totally different and wonderful back-to-basics holiday.

  8. wendy wallach says

    I find that if I look carefully, my local dollar store has some really nice things that can be used as gifts for co-workers, teachers, neighbors, etc. I find items like cute picture frames, cute mugs ( which I fill with holiday candy), scented candles, notepads and pens, desk accessories, etc. I can combine two or three items in a basket that I can also purchase there, tie it up with a cute ribbon or bow ( also purchased there) and..voila!! A really cute gift that doesn’t cost alot of money!!

  9. says

    We’re buying gift certificates for a favorite restaurant. They are offering 25% off, so we can save, save, save! We also make extensive lists and research online. Also, our kids are 6 and 3. They get spoiled rotten by aunts and grandparents, so we only get them one special gift. Yep, just one. Santa only does stockings and 3 gifts each for the kids.

    Ashlie- Mommycosms last blog post..My life, in bullets

  10. andrea says

    Great contest! My favorite way of shopping is online! Monday is the online version of black friday.. Between Mr rebates or something like that(live.com,ebates etc.) and using coupon codes I think you come out saving more. Happy shopping!

  11. Mama Snow says

    I honestly think the best way to save money during christmas is by being organized and prepared. Before going shopping have a list of all your gift receivers and a set amount you are willing to spend. Do not go over that amount. This will also help you not get too much of something. Sometimes when we find what we think is a good deal we get more then needed.

  12. Brenda Callahan says

    i have found in years past that when it comes to the “extra small token gifts” they add up to a lot of money! Once you factor in teachers, busdrivers, hairdressers etc, the list can just keep growing.
    What I do is buy a bottle of essential oil from healthfood store (personally love honeysuckle). One bottle of coordinating food coloring. Several boxes of Epsom Salt. Quart size Ziploc bags. and some sort of creative packaging. usually colorful netting with some ribbon.

    I pour the salts into various bags, adding small amount of coloring and small amount of fragrance. Shake them up and let them sit in the closed bag for day or so. Repackage into something pretty! Homemade relaxing bath salts! Everyone loves a little pampering, and the supply goes a long way for a very reasonable amount of money!

  13. Donna says

    Always shop for clearance items first. Sometimes stores give perfectly fine items away to make room for newer items. I’ve saved a fortune this way.

  14. Mama Snow says

    My last tip is always be looking for good deal, Not just on Black Friday. There are sometimes even better deals before this day. Have an idea before hand what you are thinking of buying. Watch and compare prices so that you know when the right deal comes.

  15. Joe says

    My best holiday money saving tip is to shop for the holidays year-round. For example, you can take advantage of after-Christimas sales – and buy at deep discounts for the following year. You can also buy at end-of-season sales. That way, by the following holiday, not only do you have most of your presents, but you’ve saved a fortune.

  16. says

    Well, my first idea is not new, but giving gifts you made yourself is the best way to save money and still give a gift. Of course, to avoid strange looks come Christmas morning, do your research. Think about what the person likes and make it. Don’t just knit washrags for everyone – honestly – no one wants a wash rag. If you think you can’t craft for someone, put together some cookie, soup or cocoa mix into a pretty jar and give them that for Christmas. It’s better than already prepared food because it lasts until they are ready to make it.

    My 2nd tip is to make your recipient list early. Those after Christmas sales are the PERFECT time to buy gifts for next Christmas. Just hide them well and don’t forget you have them!

    Erin Jepsons last blog post..Ta-Dah!

  17. says

    With all the small business out there, you can talk to the people that make the decisions…Always ask for a discounted price. The worst they can do is say no…but most of the time you will get something!!! Every penny counts!!!

  18. Jessica says

    When purchasing stuff online, I try to use a website or a credit card that gives rewards back. Getting even 1% or a cookie with a purchase means I have something on the side to give to an unexpected guest or money for a big gift.

  19. Tracey says

    I buy items off-season and after-season. Even though this means storing the items for a year, you can often get items that are good for anyone for 1/2 price.

  20. Tracey says

    I like making bath salt and bath fizzies instead of buying the gift sets at Wal-Mart. These are very inexpensive to make and for those people that you want to give just a little something to, this is a great gift. For the guys, a gift basket with homemade sweets is always a favorite!

  21. Kimberly says

    Reuse old holiday lights and decorations. Don’t buy any new ones until after the
    holidays – you can get them really cheap then.

  22. Kimberly says

    What’s more romantic than dining by
    candelight? And with the sun setting so early, it’s not something you have to wait up for.
    Tips for a great candlelight dinner: Do dress up, even a little. Plan it after you’ve already
    done holiday decorating (if that’s something you do) so your house looks extra-nice. The
    food matters less than the atmosphere: order pizza if it means you won’t be stressing
    about getting everything done right. Take your time: have a couple courses or find
    another way to spread out your dinner as you would at a restaurant.

  23. Robert says

    This is absolutely my favorite. Don’t tell my kids, but most of their gifts come from the
    clearance section. I can always find toys they will enjoy or clothes that fit them if I look
    hard enough. I leave the full-priced gifts for the grandparents.

  24. Robert says

    I know this might sound a bit harsh, but with my wife’s
    family, we’ve agreed to focus on the kids so the adults don’t buy gifts for each
    other. We only purchase gifts for the children. This has really saved us a great
    deal of money over the years. Most of us adults don’t need anything anyway.

  25. Reveille Patterson says

    My best money saving tip is to listen to those you buy presents for during the year. I try to pick up clues and gifts all year long and purchase the gift based on one of them saying that they really like this or that. I have a full year of listening then deciding what I can afford to spend, and making my purchase. I am assured that the gift will be something they really like and there is no pressure to spend more than I can afford to buy a gift they might not really like.

  26. D Kasper says

    Go outside to gather natural materials to create holiday decorations. Pinecone ornaments, twig reigndeer, real wreaths, etc.

  27. says

    First of all, I would like to say that I live a pretty cheap lifesyle in general. The holidays are no exception, it’s just that people don’t really know how cheap I am….
    I buy gifts that I find for nearly free all year long for the holidays and save them in my “gift closet.” I was done with Christmas gifts in August. If something comes up, I can grab something from there.
    With food, and we love food, I clip coupons like a 70-year old lady! I save them, and wait for a great sale! We also rarely ever eat out, only about 2 times a month, cooking at home saves a ton! Clothes go on clearance usually in their off-season, say winter jackets in summertime. Match that with an in-store coupon,(like the Children’s place,Kohl’s or Victorias’s secret for example.) and now that is a price I am willing to pay!
    I collect holiday decorations over the years, and of course, after the holiday. I find decorations, such as wreaths, door mats, dinnerware, anything.. you name it after the holiday, whatever it may be, and pay about 80-90% off it’s original price. The next year, it is like a gift to me to show off!
    Another thing I like to do is shop online. I find great discount codes for money off, free items with purchase, and free shipping. If you shop thru a “money-back website” like ebates, you get a check in the mail for a percentage of what you bought.
    Hope this helps!

    jennys last blog post..We will be back….

  28. Chrystal says

    Man oh man could I use this gift card!

    For my family and friends that I purchase for, I think careful planning is my biggest holiday tip. I do this in many ways throughout the year.

    I have a water bottle that I throw my spare change into throughout the year. This can easily add up to a good amount of money if you stay out of it. You can use this money to help purchase your Christmas gifts.

    I also have a savings account. Each payday, I stash maybe $20. Yes it’s not much, but I don’t miss it from my paychecks and it helps give me a nice little bit of spending money too.

    After Christmas each year, usually about a week or so, I will hit the stores that have the nice Christmas decorations. I can’t tell you how many gifts I need that are decorative Christmas items. These gifts are great for teachers, co-workers, Christmas gift exchanges, etc. You can buy things for up to 90% off! I wrap them in tissue and store them with the Christmas decorations so when I get my stuff out next year, I have at least ten Christmas decorative gifts already purchased. Man, that’s nice to find when I’m broke! lol

    I also will home make gifts for some people. I can make bath salts and candles and they are always a big hit! I love garage sales in the summer months! I will buy glass jars with lids for as little as 5 cents sometimes. I clean them thoroughly and store them in a storage box for when I get the chance to make bath salts or candles. I can buy lots of containers that are usually very nice or really cute for little or no money!

    Sometimes us mom’s need some small items to put…..well uh….you know where….(in case we have small readers….) :). I try to pick up these items throughout the year also. With three boys, I need small things to go in that “sock.” I find things like decks of cards, cool Hot Wheels cars, pocket knives, etc. and store them until just the right time. When the time approaches, all I will have to buy is candy to add to what I already have.

    I also watch sales ads very closely. I have a couple of close friends that I will purchase things for. Many times I can pickup something in August or September and just hold onto it until Christmas for them.

    For the large purchases for the children, I will hunt for the best deal. I watch store ads, search the net, look in stores when I’m shopping, etc.

    Black Friday is also another good way to save money if you have some large ticket items you need to buy. This year, none of the large ticket items I need are going to be discounted by much. Therefore, I have already purchased these items to avoid the madness and I’ll just deal with paying $10 more.

    We have also decided with my family for the adults to draw names each year. Now instead of purchasing seven large items for family, I just purchase one. The children still receive presents from everyone since they are the ones that it’s all about anyway. All the adults get something or a few things they really wanted, the adults have saved some money and everyone is happy!

    Hope these tips help everyone to make Christmas easier, but I really hope I win that $500 Walmart gift card!

    Thanks Lori!

  29. says

    Our kids are kind of deprived LOL! They hardly ever get the “hot” trendy toy of the moment for Christmas. The times we have bought in toys they end up being discarded or broken after a few uses. Instead I buy handmade or if we get traditional toys I use a coupon code online or look for very very good deals in stores! Target has lots of hidden deals.

    Dani’s last blog post..Tuesday Giveaways-More Holiday Swag!

  30. says

    My other tip is for stockings. We get a lot of dollar store stuff or load up on discounted things throughout the year. It is all about the presentation. Dollar Tree has nice baskets and containers to put together a gift basket tailored to your recipient.

  31. Rocky says

    Every year I make homemade Jerky, Popcorn candy snack, and White chocolate nut chunks. I have found out over the years that my family really enjoy getting Jerky. It is always a favorite here.

  32. Rocky says

    I also have a little secret. I but a lot of things wholesale throughout the year. This is a HUGE way to save money. The best that I have ever found.. Happy Thanksgiving…..

  33. Kathy says

    If you have to buy presents for school teachers, Sunday school teachers, co-workers that you are not good friends with and any one else that falls in that category, then the after Christmas sales are for you. You can save a lot of money by buying after Christmas for the next Christmas. People always like to get Christmas candles, picture frames and other Christmas items you can find after Christmas. That is how I save money and I’m able to give more people gifts than I would normally if I had to buy them at regular price. Hope this helps other people.

  34. sandy says

    The big tip I have is, if you have the room, have a shelf or a clset just for gift..or make a box and start shopping the day after Christmas with the sales…now some stuff you cannot get but you can get things to make baskets for teachers, etc. I have a list of what events are going on too so I know so and so is getting married, they will need a present for wedding and can make a neat basket of baking and fun stuff. I will not buy junk- period but have bought and made a CHristmas basket of fun stuff for family going to the beach over the holidays using items I got off summer clearance- stuff they may have forgotten about or not bought yet. I use coupons and creativity and buy a pasta dinner- like a huge pasta bowl, pata, sauce, dried cheeses, and wine and loaf of Itailian bread mix and a few wine glasses for a couple that have basically everything for a little night out ( can also put a homemade bread in there instead of fresh so it lasts longer and put some fancy napkins and other seasonings instead of the glasses..
    I make family night packs with bowlsfor popcorn- sometimes painting the names on of each person and a month long or three month at blockbuster online..that and microwave popcorn and some koolaid or mixes make it a fun family night. Think ahead and save money. There are things and offers for free items or shipping only through the year- think about the holidays, and if you spread it out, you will not have to go into debt and you will have lots of fun. Homemade gifts are awesome, but sometimes some are just not talented – you could make homemade bronie mixes, etc, or you could just make a booklet of gift certificates..babysitting, call me and you have dinner made- give me 2 days advance, etc…laundry, housecleaning, gardening, you name it..raking the leaves..shoveling the snow…thinking ahead saving money..Hey how about walking the dog? Get creative! Use whatever you have and go from there!

  35. says

    Great Contest! My hubby and I both work FT, so having the time, money and energy are important resources that we have to balance in order to keep our family that includes 5 kids happy and healthy. A typical Sunday afternoon in our house includes the whole family together in the kitchen, busily preparing the upcoming week’s “menu” of meals. A household favorite of ours is when we make a quadruple batch of a casserole,chili, or chowder. Casseroles,chilis,& chowders are nice, relatively easy dishes to prepare. On Sundays, after a family vote,we make four batches of a casserole, and a chowder or chili, and put the other three batches of each in the freezer. Then, the next time during the week when we need a quick main meal for the family, its so easy grab one of those batches and just heat it up in a snap! Its easy to change it up & add a little variety by adding a tossed side salad,fresh baked biscuits, etc.(this also makes it more eye appealing so the kids aren’t “staring” at the same old thing 4 days out of the week) Leftovers from that holiday turkey and ham are perfect (we have already planned a ham & scalloped potato casserole, corn chowder and turkey chili with our holiday leftovers) Doing this saves us alot of time & money & allows us to buy the ingredients in bulk, making each main dish cheaper than it would be ordinarily – and far cheaper & healthier than eating out or tossing a prepackaged meal in the microwave. Plus, this gives us great family time to socialize and work together, discussing & planning the recipe/menu,preparing the ingredients, cutting up veggies, etc. My kids really have an interest in helping and learning how to cook, too!Its been an all around success for us over 2 years now!

  36. says

    For only a few dollars I am able to hook up our laptop to the television using an S-video cable and another cable plugged into the headphone jack. (I bought the video cable for about $7 at Walmart and we already had the other one.) We can watch shows on our tv when we want and not pay for cable tv. Think about all the movies/tv programs that are available now through the network web sites, Hulu.com, YouTube which now shows full-length tv shows and many more. Significant savings!

    Karens last blog post..An unexpected surprise

  37. says

    Buy Christmas supplies you can use for years and years. Buy your gifts early (including Black Friday). Collect as many coupons (online or off) to buy gifts, groceries, etc. for your holiday get together.

    Davids last blog post..SYC Big November Contest

  38. Diane says

    Get as many family members as possible–immediate and extended–to agree to delay gift-giving until late January/early February (perhaps combine with Super Bowl weekend)and gather everyone to shop-til-you-drop at the fabulous clearance sales going on then. Around Christmas itself, instead of spending time on shopping, use that time to be together taking advantage of all the free events in your area such as concerts or pageants at the many churches that put them on or volunteering as a family unit at a shelter or mission or helping the elderly or other shut-ins to get out. Rather than getting caught up in the frenzy of shopping when so many others are trying to do the same thing, why not devote your time to what the season truly should be about–caring for others. Delay the mass gift-giving and save a ton of money and stress!

  39. says

    A great way to save money at Christmas time is to use Google’s free applications. (No, I do not work for Google, just heart all their free apps.)
    1. Use Google Search to search for gifts to get the best prices, to search for recipes, search for great travel deals, etc.
    2. Use Google Bookmarks to organize all the great deals you find while searching.
    3. Use Google Docs to plan your holiday meals and grocery lists. You can quickly share them in real time with all your guests (even if they live far away) and everyone can know what everyone else is bringing for the meals so there is less waste. You can also use Google Docs to create your party invitations or Christmas letters. And you can use Google Docs spreadsheet to manage your budget.
    4. Use Google Maps to plan your road trip.
    Using Google saves you lots of time and time is money, right?

    JoDitt Williamss last blog post..How Jeff & Jenn simplified their wedding planning using Google Docs

  40. Jeff Mayo says

    To save money on gifts I scour garage sales and thrift stores. You can find some great gifts there. You can get creative by buying a bunch of small gifts and baskets and making up personalized gift baskets. Another reason I like to shop at thrift stores is that one of the thrift stores we have in town uses their profits to help a women and children shelter so it is nice that my shopping there helps others in need.

  41. Lisa Perez says

    Lots of tips here, First an foremost shop early and by early I dont mean the month before. Start at the end of the year before and get things on clearance and save a ton. Most if not all stores have after holiday sales where you can get things up to 90% off. If they are toys/clothes or anything non perishable why not buy them and store them for the next season! I was able to stock up at target on toys @ 75% off last year! I havent bought a birthday present at all this year and have tons for christmas presents and toys for tots. Coupons coupons coupons! Get things all year again very cheaply or even free with coupons. Things like body washes, soaps, lotions, holiday perfume sets make great fillers for gift basket. Make home made gifts! Save any suitable condiment jars and fill with dry good for cookies,drink mixes etc. Or make ornaments who cant appreciate someones time at the holidays!

  42. says

    I always go for the “nostalgia” gift.

    I genuinely think about what I know about the person’s childhood, and I try to find something for them to connect with. Sometimes, it’s something I have (which would be free–that’s a great money saver).

    For example, my little brother was obsessed with one of the Strawberry Shortcake pets back in 1985. He carried it everywhere. So, I have been searching thrift stores/eBay, etc. trying to find this little Marza Panda with a party hat on. I’m convinced one is going to turn up eventually. It doesn’t have much value to others, so it will be inexpensive… but, the memories my brother has with that little toy are priceless.

    It’s important to weigh the value vs. the cost of a gift. Worth can be determined in many ways.

    Elle Bees last blog post.."I will give You thanks forever!" Psalm 30:12

  43. Laura L says

    My money saving tip for this year, is to buy a family gift. I have a family of 5, 2 parents and 3 children. This year because money is tight, I plan to buy a family gift. I am thinking of buying them a gift certificate to the local movie theater.

  44. Laura L says

    My 2nd tip is to give a coupon to be redeemed by the person receiving. Some good coupons would be for a home cooked meal, a dessert, free day spent cleaning for the person.

  45. donna s. says

    To save money we use pictures we have taken of our son through out the year, and my son and I make them into ornaments, cards, decorate picture frames. It saves a ton of money and our family love the pictures!

  46. donna s. says

    my 2nd tip is the adults in my family sometimes do a secret santa and we set a low limit on the price of the gift. It makes us have to be creative in what we are giving, and put a lot of thought into it.
    In the past I’ve given photo books that I’ve made of their children, other crafts I’ve made such as blankets, hats, or a music CD of songs I know they like.

  47. vicki andrew says

    two ways to save money, one way is to get rid of items you no longer use by selling them on Ebay, a lot easier to do than you might think. Not only can you generate extra cash but you can free up some space and get rid of clutter. Another way is to see if anyone already has what you might want, extra dishes, wrapping paper, boxes, holiday orrinament by checking or the freecycle site in your area you can offer good reusable items and ask for others in return

  48. Debra Taylor says

    We always start saving in January so we will have the cash by Christmas.We also make a list and a budget and stick to it.

  49. says

    Definitely searching the after Christmas specials can save a bundle, especially for decorations and such. With my kids it seems to be more about “quanity” that “quality”. So I get them one sorta nice gift then lots of little cheapie things they can enjoy opening. They seem to enjoy it!

    julies last blog post..Biscuits to Save the Day

  50. says

    Well, I’m not going to lie. I love to bargain shop! It is very unlikely that I will buy something if is not on sale or can’t get it at a discounted price with a coupon. Also, even if I’m into fashion… I refuse to spend more than $15 on a shirt. However, I rather buy my clothes from yard sales or thrift stores since you can still buy name brand things just like new without the big price tag. :)

    Hil’Leshas last blog post..Today Only: Free Shipping and 25% off at American Eagle

  51. Nadine L says

    I save by shopping all year long. Every clearance sale I find I buy something and put it away in my holiday closet. Walmart always has a clearance isle, I am forever finding throws and table clothes and toys for almost 75% off what they originally sold for. Every online deal I find ( amazon has great deals almost daily) I buy and put away. By the holidays I have 95% of my shopping done. Then after Christmas I het the Christmas clearance and pick up new decorations to use the next year for well below half price, so I always have new items to put out the following year.

  52. Cynthia C says

    This is so simple, but I’m telling you it really works. Decide how much you can spend for the week and put that much cash in your wallet. Spend only that cash – no credit cards allowed. It really forces you to think hard about each purchase. I’ve found that many times I pass up things that I normally would have purchased and discovered they weren’t necessary after all. Best of all – no credit card bills and no interest to pay.

  53. Kathy Scott says

    Enter contest that have the gifts you want as prizes.

    Congrats on your recipe win!!!! I voted for you several times.

  54. Denise says

    Stay home and out of the stores. This was the first year in a few years, that my father did not give us a yearly gift of money. I thought we were absolutely ruined. We make a very modest income for six people. Yet, here it is November and we’ve actually lived within our means for the first time since buying this house five years ago. I never thought it possible. I simply stopped thinking I had to get everything that came to mind at the store. I used to head to the store every other day and now its more like once a week. Stock up and then don’t let anything you buy or make go to waste. Stay out of the stores and switch everything you can to cheaper. Iced tea instead of soda for example.

  55. Patti Sherman says

    I garage sale and find a host of new items still in boxes. I have purchased clothing, dishware, new baby items, stuffed animals with price tags still on them and most recently, a wine tote with glasses, cheese board & knfe, linen napkins & wine charms(sells in stores for $65-bought for $5)..Great way to give what you ordinarily could not afford.

  56. kim B says

    Know the difference between a “want” and a “need”. You’ll save yourself lots of money that way.

  57. tracey johnson says

    i use pine cones and other nature items from my moms land to decorate the house. i also watch all ads to find the cheapest price.

  58. Heather S says

    I get ads emailed to me so I always know the lowest price for the items I need. If I buy online, I go to the coupon sites and see if there are online coupons or free shipping to save even more money. Thanks for the contest!

  59. mike anderson says

    You have to compare ads in the paper to make sure your getting the lowest price on the item you want. You can also use your cell phone while your shopping to compare prices online.

  60. Tonya Keener says

    Buy front door mats for everyone and use letter stencils to spray pain their last name on them. Do this for all friends and family instead of buying gifts.

  61. tawnda says

    shop early & shop around! Look for sales & clearance items throughout the year and stash your finds

  62. Brian says

    Shop online on Black Friday. The deals are great and most stores have free shipping. It saves on gas and stress, too. Spend the day shopping IN your PJ’s not out shopping FOR PJ’s.

  63. g. l. penrod says

    found that if i have a list of who i need to buy for a budget and take only cash with me i know it has to go that far an i am extra careful with it an always come home with some left

  64. says

    Let’s face it – most of us find ourselves strapped during the holidays. It just adds stress to the holidays which is something I try to avoid! I have found that picking things up throughout the year has been an enormous help. Often something catches my eye and a particular person comes to mind. I like choosing special, meaningful gifts for each person on my list each year. If that gift presents itself in January then I snatch it up and store it away on a shelf in a closet. I keep a list of people I buy for and then I add that purchase beside their name. At a glance, I am able to see who I still need to shop for. The money saving aspect is that I have the entire year to find the best deals and I don’t have to fight the crowd on Black Friday! It’s also much easier on the wallet, parting with just a little bit at a time instead of buying everything at once!

    Karins last blog post..Layered Mocha Cheesecake

  65. Roger Keeney says

    To save I use many methods, compare, shop in publications, enter sweepstakes, and most of all walk to store and buy only what I can carry home, average 1.5 miles.

  66. says

    For the holiday portraits that cost hundreds of dollars just to send some pictures to your family in a Christmas card, don’t do it. Set up a solid colored sheet on an empty wall. Use tape if you want, it works. Dress up the kiddos or family if you want (you can use a timer, most digital cameras have this) and snap away! If you go to an online store that has a photo center (Walmart, Walgreens, somewhere like that), they usually have really cute holiday photo cards. I get mine at Walgreens because they’re super close. I pay $20 for 15 photo cards that I pick and set up myself with my own images and lots of card options from them. They come with envelopes and they’re ready in an hour when you submit the order online. It saves me so much money and I do this for EVERY holiday. It sends a greeting as well as a current picture of my daughter to everyone we need to for so much cheaper. Professional photos are nice, but I can buy a small package just for me. Happy Holidays everyone!!

    Marcia

    Marcias last blog post..Tired

  67. says

    The kids get to go shopping at a dollar store (one that is everything for $1). They make up their list of Grandparents, parents, each other, aunts and uncles. It usually is about 11 people each. They go in with their list and each get their own shopping cart and can pick anything they want..because its only a dollar each. Part of the fun of getting one of their gifts is to see what funny thing they may pick. Once my father (Grandpa) got Gold Bond powder! But they are proud of their purchase, feel like they have control over what they have choosen and it saves us big money when you are talking 5 children being able to buy gifts for other family. I wish the dollar stores marketed it and had little Santa Elves to greet the kids! What fun.

    Sandy Jenneys last blog post..Black Friday Shopping …Organized

  68. Cathie says

    I shop year round. When I have some extra money and I see something I know someone I love will love I buy it on sale and hide it away. I also do sweeps like this one and also put those special things I win away. By Christmas time I have maybe one or 2 gifts and some stocking stuffers to buy. Sometimes I even get a surprise. Like this year I forgot something I’d bought for one of my daughter in laws while looking for something else in my closet and was able to mark her off my list LOL

  69. Reva Skie says

    I shop online, use a shopping code, and go thru a rewards site. I save cash, earn cash and take care of something I needed to buy anyway.

  70. James says

    Try to use coupons and look for sales. The best thing is if you find something on sale and you have a coupon for that product.

  71. Sarah Small says

    Our family is on a very limited income so I have had to learn how to be very saving conscientious in order to pruchase gifts for our entire family and my techniques allow us to buy for extended family and our friends as well. I use common sense tips most people do but I also have tips outside the box so to say and one is to use your frequent flier miles to purchase gifts and some of those gifts are pretty unique so my holiday money saving tip is

    That if you travel a decent amount for business or even for leisure, use the miles/points you accrued to give gifts. You can redeem them for magazines, gifts cards, certificates to restaurants, and obviously free airfare or hotel stays if you have more miles/points than you know what to do with. Check your airline and see what your reward and frequent flier miles can get you. If you travel during the holiday season, your miles can also sometimes get you free hotel nights or car rentals.

    adamnsarahsmall@yahoo.com

  72. Sarah Small says

    MAKE PERSONAL GIFTS or RE-GIFT

    I have learned that the best gifts are those gifts that you make personally for someone. Bake cookies, make a collage in Photoshop and frame it, make a scrapbook, write a sonnet, make a calendar, gift baskets, etc.

    All of us have those gifts we’ve been given we never used or touch so re-gift them by creating gift baskets for family and friends. It costs almost nothing to re-gift. Sounds cheap but we are out to save money,right…smile.

    adamnsarahsmall@yahoo.com

  73. says

    Instead of regular Christmas cards, use Christmas postcards. You can still do your message on the back, a pretty picture (still can do family holiday pictures) on the front, and the cost of mailing is cheaper.

    Ambers last blog post..Happy Thanksgiving

  74. Adam Small says

    As a man, we seem to notice how much we spend traveling when it comes to hotel stays so last year I learned about Couch Surfers and that is how we often travel economically and not have to pay for hotel costs. I have used it not only to travel domestically but international on many, many occassions and have enjoyed it. Because I am military and my wife is with me, safety is important and I can say Couch Surfer is safe as she has always been with me traveling. For example this holiday season we will be in Italy and the cheapest room rate was 98 Euros (not USD…lol) per night. We already have a Couch Surfer we will be staying with for the grand cost of NOTHING but we will ensure our hosts gets a good tip, good dinner, etc. just because the gesture is nice. We also are Couch Surfers and save others money by offering our couch to those who plan to travel in our city and need a place to stay. Great way to meet friends from all over in addition to saving tons of money for the holidays.

    medic_whiskey@yahoo.com

  75. Adam Small says

    This is my favorite tip. We have so many people to buy cards for that we send e-cards and also e-video messages in place of our Christmas letters. The only cost is our time. No cards to buy and no postage. We once tried making our cards which was cheaper than buying but e-cards and e-video is 100% free which is a bigger saving! We all love FREE right? and friends and family love them. E-cards and e-videos stand out because with a lot of cards coming through the mail, most people are to busy to really look at them all.

    medic_whiskey@yahoo.com

  76. says

    Make one of the gifts for kids a savings bond. Good for people that live far away or don’t know what to get. My dad gets these for the kids.
    They will never be worth less that what you paid for them and you will not be taxed on savings bonds nor its interest, and it could be a great way to pay for college.

    Ambers last blog post..Happy Thanksgiving

  77. Stacey Brown says

    Before I go shopping, I look for coupons online. I plan my route of travel for stores to save gas. I always watch the sale ads and prices compare on the internet.

  78. michael goff says

    Shop online with free shipping specials and use deal sites. Buy after christmas to get cheap returns and clearanced items that didn’t sell.

  79. says

    You can go to the dollar store and make up cute gift baskets with items from that store. You could do a girl gift basket of nail polish, hair things, brushes, and bath stuff. You could do a craft basket with scissors, construction paper, glue sticks,crayons, and coloring books. You could do a basket with little kids books and maybe a stuffed animal to go with it.

    Shilo Beedys last blog post..Chefdruck Musings Contest

  80. says

    Now my way of saving is also a way to really keep the holiday spirit.
    we pick a project. now that could be adopting a famiy for the holidays. or buying live stock for a community. It always turns out to be a little less than what we all would have spent on each other and it in some cases can be tax deductable. one year we bought toys for our church to give out to those that have no means of getting toys for their kids. we got to wrap them and watch them be given out. it was a awesome xmas.

  81. sarah says

    to save in the holidays, i like to bake homemade goods such a cookies, brownies, and cupcakes. i pack them up in reusable tupperware or cookie tins and then wrap them up in colorful pages pulled out from a magazine or even the sunday comic strips! it is so much fun to put it together, very frugal and the recipients love receiving something different, unique and made with love.

  82. says

    Use freecycle.org to find fresh produce that people have in their backyards and can’t use. Can them and give as gifts. Quite a few people on my local freecycle are doing just that and they even got the jars from other members to. You can also find other great things such as yarn, cloth and other items to make gifts too.

    Noreens last blog post..Vote Daily for my Girls’ Video and Win!!

  83. Lmay says

    I shop throughout the year and stock up during specialty stores’ annual sales (Bath and Body Works and Victoria’s Secrets, e.g.). Then I take my purchases and create customized gift baskets (Michaels and other craft stores will have good sales on these throughout the year as well) or get fabric from thrift stores to make sachets and gift bags.

  84. says

    I have a huge family, which includes 5 daughter in laws. All year long I collect up free samples of everything from pot holders to shampoo, perfumes and books. There are freebies all over the web and Walmart has several all the time. Then I make up baskets for them for Christmas. The girls just love getting their baskets since they never know what I’ve found over the year! Plus lots of these samples are really nice fragrances or hair care products that they couldn’t normally buy. When they get into them there is always much swapping , trading and bartering going on! Plus- its always fun to throw them a curve—like the newly wed who will get Luv samples this year! LOL
    Thanks to Nickelodeon and Walmart for sponsering this great giveaway!

  85. says

    For the past few years, my hubby and I have recorded our family get togethers, birthdays, funny moments, etc. For Christmas this year, we are editing our footage from the past 3 years and making keepsake DVD’s for the entire family instead of buying gifts for each individual person. The DVD’s are really cheap to buy in a bundle and all that’s really taken up here is our time and thought into this christmas project we decided to do together! My husband edits the footage, and I rearrange the music for each clip and transistion them together.

    Not only is this an incredibly easy way to save money this year, but it is a fun project that has brought my husband and I closer together for the holidays…looking back at all the great times we’ve had with family really has put things into perspective for us this year and we are having so much fun making our little Keepsake movies for everyone to have for generations to come!

    And that is how we are saving money this holiday saeason! Thank you so much for the opportunity!

    Kristys last blog post..Tis The Season!

  86. Shar D says

    I always shop the sales and use coupons on sale items. Its like a double savings. End January and end July are the best sales of the year.

  87. Ronda Garnett says

    I love the holidays even more since our family (on both sides)decided to stop buying presents…it has been a great stress reliever besides saving everyone’s budget. Now we all, as the saying goes “Remember the reason for the Season” (and it’s not shopping :) )

  88. Tania Edwards says

    Get some friends and buy in bulk….you can find game and DVD bundles and seperate them amung yourselves as well as the holiday staples: Food, papre products, wrapping paper, tags & bows, etc.

  89. Jamie Bradbury says

    Definately Black Friday online sales..see what your looking for easy convience..if shipping is free save gas traveling to shop..2nd of all you may what to consider in buying energy-saving christmas lights this year..something to check into..good luck all! Happy Holidays

  90. Jeni says

    I buy gift set after christmas and break them down and give them to teachers next year.and buy for my kids when they have sales and save them for next year

  91. Kimberly says

    Now that my family is all adults, we do the gift exchange part of Christmas 2 weeks later (mid-January). It removes some of the stress, lets us focus in family and having fun during the season, and we save a ton of money by being able to take advantage of after-holiday sales!

  92. Kimberly says

    We pool resources as much as we can, with friends and family. For example, to make up gift basket assortments for teachers and mailmen and such, friends and I will each buy a multi-pack and then we split them up and we all share – then we end up with a great variety of items, we pay less per unit, and we don’t get stuck with a bunch of leftover items. We do the same for holiday entertaining (food and beverage) costs – we buy in bulk and divide up the items.

  93. Kasey says

    This year, in January we looked at how much we had spent and we really analyzed it – how could we have spent less on gifts, food, entertaining, all of it. We set ourselves a reasonable budget (about 40% than we spent last year – we went way overboard without realizing it) and divided it by 10 – we could have saved it in cash, which was the original plan, but we ended up putting it into Smarty Pig – it was painless, the money just went into our account every month and we earned a great interest rate. And cashing out you can get a bonus if you cash out with a gift card to a particular store.

    We are keeping all of our holiday spending within what we decided last year would be reasonable, so we know what we are spending and we aren’t going over. And we earned “extra” money by saving it smartly.

  94. Jacob says

    Instead of sending greeting cards you can send post cards. They are less expensive. And you can buy blank postcards and make your own design. Grandma & Grandpa would love to get a Christmas card with a picture drawn by their grandchild.

  95. Jacob says

    If you really like to send out actual Christmas cards, you should buy a bunch after Christmas. They will be priced great and will be just as useful next year.

  96. says

    The best thing that I do to save money during the holidays is to limit gift-giving. With my siblings, our gift to each other is that we don’t get each other gifts – simply gifts for the kids that fall under a set price range.

  97. linda says

    I stockpile. I buy 4 Sunday papers every single week and sort coupons. I visit grocery web sites and find the loss leaders that the area grocery stores are promoting for that week. (A loss leader is an item that is marked at a low low sale price to lure you into the store). I see if I have any coupons that match that loss leader and go out and buy as many as I can get my hands on. If its an item that I use a lot, I order more coupons and buy as many as possible. If you do this week after week, within a couple of months, you will not need to run out to the store to buy your items at regular retail. You will already have it stockpiled at a pretty low price. You might even get the item for free…If there is a great sale going on, I can buy a cart full of groceries for pennies on the dollar….

  98. says

    For stocking stuffers – we collect our loose change throughout the year and ONLY use that money for stockings. those little gifts can add up quickly if there isn’t a limit set from the beginning. it is also tons of fun for the kids to be part of the fun by helping to cash in the change. (our kids are 4 & 2). Also, it’s a bit like automatic budgeting because we don’t have to dip into anything special – it’s just been accumulating around the house all year!

    Larens last blog post..We Won!!!

  99. Kate says

    When there is a great high value coupon for a product I always use and love to stock up on in the Sunday paper I go to eBay and buy a lot of 20 or so of them for about a $1 or $2 with shipping included. Then when the item is on sale I can really stock up by combining the coupon and sale price savings. I save a small fortune doing this.

  100. Sheri F says

    Whenever you are about to make an impulse purchase make yourself wait 24 hours to think it over and make sure it’s something you really want to spend the money on.

  101. Lindley says

    My holiday savings plan has several money-saving features but one of my favorites is that I enter a lot of giveaways for prizes that I think my friends, co-workers, in-laws, etc. would enjoy! (A Walmart gift card however, would be ALL mine!)

    Thanks!

  102. Lindley says

    We have a large family so all the adults have agreed to only BUY presents for the kids. For the adults, each separate family makes a creative home decor gift with items unique to where we live (since we are spread all over the country- we do pinecone centerpieces, etc. for Colorado and my California sister does seashell wall hangings, etc.). Then we exchange with a different family each year. It saves on gifts and holiday decor for next year!

  103. Melissa says

    Save money by starting early and jumping on sales as soon as they arise throughout the year. By the time Christmas comes, you’ll already be set!

  104. Lisa says

    # 1 holiday tip is saving all those nonperishable items that you received throughout the year and use them as stocking stuffers. Saves lots of money!

  105. Lisa says

    We decorate with natural items throughout the holidays. Pine Cones, nuts, holly and mistletoe are always in abundance and save lots of money.

  106. Mike says

    This might sound generic, but use your head and think things thru. How much can I afford this year. Will the person even like what I found so cheap, if not are you really saving money. If you can take the heat, well Black Friday is a great time to score some bargins. And if you can make sure you can payoff your credit card in full each month, then by all means use it. There are some great reward cards out there. Use the credit card in November and December and get yourself a nice reward in January or February. This is a very hetic time of year, slow down enjoy yourself and the sounds and smells of the season and don’t forget to remember the reason for the season. Merry Christmas

  107. Mike says

    Another great way to save money this season is something that has been going on in large famlies for a long time……simply draw names to cut down on the number of gifts you need to buy. Think about it, would you rather have five $10 gifts you might never use or one $25 gift that makes your eyes light up. Do the math and have a great holiday season…….Merry Christmas

  108. says

    Our kids get 3 gifts for Christmas (same as Jesus). This causes them to be very choosy when writing up their Christmas lists! I must admit it’s tough on me, but also makes me think very carefully about what we want to give them, so we don’t fall into the trap so many people do of buying a gift just because it’s on sale or it looks good.

    Wendys last blog post..What? No Presents?

  109. Connie says

    Send emails with pictures this year instead of the holiday newsletter. You can still share all of your information with friends and family without the hefty price tag.

  110. Chris says

    My money saving tip is to search google or yahoo for coupon codes. I found a free shipping and 30% off your entire order for kohls. Now combine that with clearance prices and you have a merry christmas!

  111. Kristy V. says

    Save money and trees when sending holiday cards. At most photo card websites you can also get photo card postcards. They are cheaper to order and will cost less in postage since you will only need a postcard stamp. They will also save paper by eliminating the need for an envelope!

  112. Kristy V. says

    Save money on wrapping paper and gift boxes. Instead of buying gift boxes, use the boxes you receive samples in (WalMart sample boxes are great for this) or boxes that products you buy come in. To save money on wrapping paper, and to save paper, use paper grocery bags and wrap the gift in it, print side in, then use stamps or stickers to decorate the paper. After everything is opened recycle the paper.

  113. sally wess says

    i try to buy 1 nice gift and make the rest- i buy wrap at end of season and store it for the next year.

  114. says

    We’ve always made gifts and this year I’m making snowman soup mugs. They have a special poem and you add hot chocolate mix, peppermint sticks, marshmellows and they get to keep the mug. Also going for the cake in a mug treat. I shop through out the year for presents also.

  115. margaret herrin says

    I put the cash that I want to spend on each friend/family member into separate envelopes with their names on it. As I purchase gifts for that person, the money to pay comes from the envelope with their name on it, and the change goes back in. The item and amount spent is noted on the front with a running total spent.

  116. says

    I work from home so a couple of months before Christmas, I stash my checks and then when I’m ready to shop, I cash them and that’s all I use. It keeps me from using my credit cards and keeps me on a budget without “really” being on a budget. Plus, it helps me feel like I’m contributing by using my “own” money for the gifts!

    Stephanie Elliot aka Manic Mommys last blog post..THANKFUL …

  117. says

    I do my Christmas shopping through UPromise. I find the items I want, browse the prices, and am often able to order most from a single store, saving on shipping. Then, before I buy I search online for a coupon code to save more money. So not only am I bargain shopping and using a coupon but I am also saving for my daughters’ college educations!

    JLHalsted(at)hotmail(dot)com

    Jodys last blog post..Goodie Bag Winners

  118. Mamamy says

    Save time & $$$ wrap A present in a present (for example, a hat in a matching scarf, jewelry in a wooden box, cookies in a reusable tin or cookie jar, barbecue grill utensils or picnic supplies in a tablecloth, kitchen gifts in towels or all-purpose cloths).

    Thanks alot!!!
    mamamy26@gmail.com

  119. Donnie says

    We try to save money by giving folks gifts that they actually need so they can save money in their day to day routine, and we spend a lot of time playing board games over the holiday and enjoying each other rather than enjoying stuff we don’t need. We are much more about the memories than the merchandise!

  120. Vanessa C. says

    My best tip is shopping for holiday decorations AFTER Christmas is over! In the past I have gotten expensive and gorgeous items for up to 80% off. I hit every big store early the day after that carries decorations (Home Depot, Wal Mart, Target, etc) and buy them up. I have reuseable crates downstairs and there they sit until after Thanksgiving. It’s all brand new and I save alot of money this way!

  121. Jamaise says

    I have discovered over the years that buying gifts that are quality, & useful is more economical than buying toys that will break or become boring after a short while. I stay away from most battery operated toys, as those are usually the ones that end up in the bottom of the toy box. If they don’t then the cost of batteries will add up. We try and buy things that will be around for a while & serve a purpose.
    For extended family, and we have a big one, we do a gift exchange. It’s always fun when we have our family dinner and do the exchange – lots of good memories, without the pressure to buy for everyone.
    And the biggest most important money saver is doing things to fill the season with the magic that is Christmas. The act of doing that makes memories – making ornaments, baking, buying a gift for someone less fortunate, picking out a tree, reading Twas the Night Before Christmas. Traditions I guess.
    Oh and entering contests for really amazing prizes. I can’t imagine how much fun that would be ~ quite the money saver!!
    Good luck & Merry Christmas.

  122. valerie mabrey says

    My best money saving tip for the holidays is to wrap each thing so it looks like more. Like crayons separate than coloring books and such as that. The other part of this if you have older kids is write a few nice notes about what makes your kids special and wrap them up too.

  123. Tanya Wilson says

    The best way to decorate & shop inexpensively for the holidays is to plan months in advance. We have a big family and we love to shop around at Garage sales, flea markets,auctions, etc. They’re usually done in the summer/ warmer weather months. We always find a ton of Christmas items. Many things are still wrapped & brand new in package. I have found alot of gifts this way. My best find to date was a Koday 8 MP digital camera, new in box for $30, I was so psyched and my daughter loves that thing!Also, if you shop after Christmas for the next Christmas you can often find decorations, cards, and wrapping paper for up to 75-90% off. I’ve even hit up my local Rite Aid and found Xmas items marked 90% off.Still, even if you didn’t plan ahead, holiday decorating can be beautiful and cheap, you just have to use what you have in front of you with a bit of ingenuity and imagination!

  124. Vickie Couturier says

    I shop all year long,yard sales,clearance sales,an put it away until needed,we have a large family so this saves me a lot of money when the holidays arrive an I dont have to run everywhere wasting gas looking for stuff,I can spend the time at home,thanks

  125. Nicole says

    I always look for sales and clearance items. I will shop around different stores and compare prices as well.

  126. Vickie Couturier says

    I bought a few items at the dollar tree,my son a tie an it plays christmas music,an things for my grandsons an I to make their mom a gift which they are so proud of,paint an canvas an picture frame so that a 3 dollar gift,an we put their handprints on it an it is nice an their mom will love it an it cost pennies an will make her holiday great

  127. kris hickey says

    I buy Christmas presents all year long at clearance sales. Saves me bundles but I do have to have room to stash stuff.

  128. Gloria Brown says

    This August (or was it Sept) I found a pear tree that had been abandoned. I harvested it three times and made batches of pear jelly. It only cost me for the jars the first round and pectin (which was on clearance for $0.10) Now that’s the only jelly my 4 yo wants on her PBJ. Hopefully I’ll still have some leftover for gifts!

  129. Gloria Brown says

    I know it’s not exactly a holiday saving tip but ours happened at this time of year so it’s on my mind. Our thermostat was seriously old (say mid 70’s) We replaced it with a new one (not totally programable) but we saved $100 that first month which paid for the thermostat and installation. So now every month our bill is half of what it had been!

  130. says

    Ahead of the holidays, make a list of all the people you want to buy for. Then make a list of all the things these people like to do. What do they enjoy? Do they have any hobbies? What do they like to eat? Where do they like to shop? Are there any items you discovered this year that you’d like to introduce to someone else? What are they in need of. Once you have answered these questions it will likely open up a world of gift ideas you haven’t even thought of and then you can shop for things you wouldn’t ordinarily think of and pick up many of them really inexpensively! For example one of my sisters is an organizing freak. I would have never thought to get her anything to contribute to this but I found a P-Touch for 10 bucks and it ordinarily sells for 60! A bargain and a neat gift.

    Theresas last blog post..$15.00 giftcard to Subway Giveaway

  131. says

    One thing I do that is inexpensive and always brings oooo’s and ah’s is ice luminaries.

    I fill large, round water balloons with water. Put them outside if cold enough or in freezer. Make sure there is air flow along the bottom so will freeze completely.

    After frozen, take balloon off of ‘ice ball’ … run steady stream of hot tap water through ball until it makes a nice cylinder shape. (do this quickly so Ice Ball does not shrink too much.)

    Then place votive candle in or under ice globe and light. Line the driveway or walk way up to your house.

    They are beautiful with such shine and shimmer…and very inexpensive to make.

    You can also use 5 Gallon Ice Cream tubs and place an empty orange juice can in center (weighted down with rocks or something heavy). Freeze.

    Remove oj container and place votive in it’s place and light.

    I prefer the shape of the ball but the tub is a little easier.

    Try it… you’ll love it.

  132. Marissa says

    We only buy one gift for each boy and they also get a stocking. With the rest of the family we only buy for the kids. This saves so much money since there are so many adults!

  133. carol says

    Use giftcarss you have now to trade for a different one someone would like and use that as a gift or use the giftcards you do have and use them for gifts. Just try to use whatever you have now.

  134. says

    This holiday seems to be really tight for everyone. I know that I’m really hoping to win one of these $500 giftcards so that I can get some gifts for my family. However, when our first child was a baby we decided that we would teach our children to focus on the real meaning of Christmas and not so much on the gifts. Each child gets a gift from Mom and Dad, a gift from Santa, an exchange gift with each other, and stocking stuffers. We’re hoping that since we started this tradition when they were young we’d save money all through the years. And I also find that I put a lot more thought, research and preparation into their gifts to make sure they’re just right.

    Sharlas last blog post..

  135. Jenn says

    I always do my holiday shopping with eBates.com. This site links to over 900 merchants and offers cash back for my purchases. Every few months I receive a check! Around the holidays most stores offer free shipping and some don’t charge tax! Plus, I save time, gas, and the headache of dealing with mall parking and long lines. I also refer my friends and family to help them save money- and by doing so, eBates gives a credit to both of us! Can’t beat that!

  136. says

    It’s that wonderful time of the year
    filled with joy, love and good cheer.
    But it can be a real bummer
    unless you shopped in the summer
    and now you’re almost out of time
    and your wallet’s as empty as mine.
    Don’t let it get you down
    try this tip that I’ve found.
    Get together with your friends
    and start a new trend.
    Do a Christmas toy swap
    where the fun never stops.
    There will be something to find
    that will thrill your little minds.

    Sharlas last blog post..

  137. says

    I love to put up things on Ebay for some extra money during the Holidays! It’s a great way to bring in some extra cash for yourself when needed and put a smile on someone else’s face with the item you sold! It all works out and everyone can be happy.

    Doreens last blog post..Peek giveaway!

  138. Julie Terry says

    My best Money Saving tip for the Holidays is to start shopping before the holidays. Start shopping for next year after the holidays this year, you will find amazing deals this way. I shop all year long for the holidays,looking for clearance toys and items. I will give you a great example, last year after the holidays, I purchased for my daughter the little Mommy doll that swims for $10 at Wal*Mart, this year she is selling for over $30.So I say shop early and stay away from all of this mad dash holiday shopping.

  139. says

    Another money saving tip is to use only what you have on you that you want to spend. Don’t look outside of that and use your credit cards on something you know you can’t afford. You’ll just end up putting yourself in debt or more in debt if you already are!

    Doreens last blog post..Peek giveaway!

  140. says

    One great way to decorate for the holidays on a budget is to swap your stuff with a friend. You both get some “new” swag and don’t have to spend a dime!! Then the next year pick a new friend to swap!!

  141. says

    When we give gifts to extended family, our suggestion is one per family and preferably homemade. This works well for us since some people have 5 kids!! Plus the sentimental value makes Christmas really special.

  142. lynn b says

    I always believe if people just draw names at christmas this would save on a lots of money!One really nice gift is always better than a nuber of cheapies!

  143. CTalley says

    I stock up on meat when there’s a good sale. I come home and cook it up in various ways, then freeze it. It makes those hectic days alittle easier when you know you’ve got dinner already “started”!

  144. CTalley says

    I also like to Christmas shop thorought out the year instead of all at the end of the year like most people. It allows more time to be spent with my family, which is what the holidays are supposed to be about, right? :) Thanks for the great contest!

  145. says

    I always look for the Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales and search for coupons on top of that.

    Some of the best deals are found after the holidays so I start stocking up on things at that time too.

    I do have one tip that in a round about way saves money. Purchasing a real tree every year got pricey for us so we bought an artificial tree. But I missed the “real” smell, so each year when we pack up our tree we place pine air fresheners in with it and the next year when we put it up it smells like a real tree.

    Jennifers last blog post..Swell Foop Review

  146. says

    My favorite way to save money during the holidays is to re-purpose and re-use. For example, instead of buying a brand new outfit for each holiday party I’m invited to, I use my accessories and buy cheap, simple new accessories when I need to, to spruce up my two black dresses. Depending on what I already have, I can get a whole new look for each party for between $10 and $50 total, rather than buying a whole new outfit for each.

    Amis last blog post..Question Me Good – Pt. 15

  147. says

    We make homemade decorations for our tree using Crayola modeling clay (I love that stuff), origami, pine cones, you name it. If it can be cut, glittered, folded, or painted, we use it. You can find things in your house, outdoors, or the clearance section of the local craft store.

  148. Merrilee says

    Turn old happy meal toys, especially figurines, into ornaments by screwing a tiny eye hook to the top & tying some ribbon through the eye to let it hang. We did this when we had a bunch of Disney characters from old happy meals. The kids still love them, years later!

  149. Merrilee says

    Email the family newsletter or Christmas card-save on stamps & cost of printing/making the cards. Cut snowflakes out of paper, laminate them, & hang them on the tree or decorate the windows with them.

  150. says

    I have a few holiday money tips, but I’m sure some of them have been taken. Here are a few I do…
    *Buy a tree permit and go cut it yourself (if available). It makes for a good tradition and family time.
    *Use homemade gifts for neighbors and family. I have been making photo calendars for the mom’s for a few years and that is something that means a great deal to them and they can enjoy it all year.
    *Only shop with a list and make sure you have a dollar amount for each person.

    Emily

    Emily Albrechts last blog post..December club

  151. J says

    Give your time instead of things this year!! Whatever you do well offer that as a service to others…you have seen the “coupon books” that children do…adults can do them as well!! Offer babysitting service, housecleaning, haircuts, fresh baked loaf of bread…you get the picture!! No money, just time–really which one would you prefer!!

  152. cari king says

    I am always so thirsty at work. Instead of buying drinks at the vending machine or taking items from home I take advantage of the offices free supply of hot cocoa, flavored coffees, hot cider….I can keep a drink on hand all day and it doesn’t cost me a cent.

  153. Connie Toce says

    My money saving tip is to keep to the basic’s of giving toys. Remember the good old toys, dolls, matchbox cars, blocks, crayons and coloring books. Children like the cheapest things the best. Even an empty box they love. As for adult giving, don’t. Everyone just give presents to the kids. Christmas is for the children any ways.

  154. Kimberly says

    My money saving tip would be to collected items throughout the year that are in the clearance section then combine many of the little items to make huge Christmas baskets. I like making family baskets that has alittle something for eachone. I get the baskets at second hand stores and paint them. Very low cost gifts.

  155. Debbie Criss says

    Don’t use your credit cards. Send more than the mimum. Send a 12th of your mortage payment paying on principal, this will cut your mortage instead of making 12 payments you will be making 13. Please enter me, thank you

  156. Sarah Burris says

    I celebrate Hannukah and what I do to save money for the Holiday is watch for the deals. A lot of things I buy for my 5 children for Hannukah are sold at my local CVS. I am able to buy Menorahs, candles, Dreidels, Gelt, Hannukah decorations and many more things. At the end of the year when they mark down all the holiday items at 70% off, this includes the Hannuakah items. This is when I really do most of my purchases and then I have most of what I need for the next Hannukah. Thanks for the Great Giveaway.

    Sarah B
    allenandsally(at)hotmail(dot)com

  157. Becky Mize says

    My money saving tip has helped me save soooo much money and it is so easy to do.

    Whenever you are buying anything ask these 3 questions:

    1. Can I afford this?
    2. Will I use this?
    3. Do I really need this?

    This tip has saved me quite a bit of money this year. Try it it really works.

  158. Jana M says

    REUSE!! Reuse wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags, and bows. It is very easy to store these things where they will be kept looking nice!

  159. says

    We use the envelope system and budget for Christmas all year long. On Thanksgiving I divee out all of the money into envelopes for each person I have to buy for. Once little Mikey’s envelope is empty, little Mikey gets no more gifts. It’s a great way for self control. No debit card allowed.

    Paula Greshams last blog post..Girl’s Night Out

  160. says

    We save money by drawing names among the adults in our family so then we only have to buy one gift (hey, everyone needs ONE gift, right?). This year I’ve also saved money by decorating with greens which I purchased at our local petting zoo–2 bundles for $12 and they went ALL over my house. Plus, the money went to a good cause.

    Shelly W.s last blog post..Cool Christmas Giveaway

  161. Christy Goodwin says

    We make goodies the Saturday and Sunday before Christmas. We then place them in dollar baskets bought from the dollar store and give them to everyone. It is much cheaper than trying to buy people stuff they really don’t want anyways.

  162. Barbara says

    For my co workers I buy holiday mugs from dollar tree, some tissue paper and sugar and sugar free candy.I fill the cups and give them as gifts.

  163. Jennifer A says

    My tip is I hit the clearance after Christmas for lawn decoration. Light up deer can be costly.

  164. says

    I start as early as possible and look for the sales. I sit down with the kids lists, the Black Friday ads and my notebook and compare all the stores that carry the item. I check and see who has it the cheapest and note that on my list. My Mom and I then plan our “attack” for shopping the Black Friday sales. We always get the kids done usually by going to only two or three stores…and we don’t go at 5am.

    I also hit the after Christmas sales for ornaments, decorations and various things for teachers gifts the next year. Makes it a lot easier.

    Jessis last blog post..Weekly Winners 11/30/08 – 12/06/08

  165. says

    At the holidays, we all want to give to those that need it most – but often that conflicts with the already tight budget for our own family gifts, etc.

    This year my boys and I (my husband is currently deployed) are saving money by eating soup. I have made a number of different kinds of soup that usually provide up to three meals for us. We usually eat it the night I make it and then I freeze the other portions (I even used leftover Thanksgiving turkey for one of them!) So, whenever I pull out a soup for dinner we put $5 in a jar to save for a Charity of our choice. My kids are making the connection of ’sacrificing’ in order to bless others…

    And in the meantime, I have learned some really great soup recipes! =)

    amandas last blog post..God Bless America!

  166. says

    Every year we play a holiday game on Christmas Eve. All of our family members brings a wrapped gift under $20 and bring it to dinner. After dinner we play the right/left Christmas game. My mother-in-law reads a story and every time we hear the word left we pass the gift to the left, when we hear the word right, we pass the gift to the right. When the story is over, we keep the gift that we are holding. We unwrap it to see what we got.

    This is a fun game and everyone gets a present. This really saves us a lot of money. We only buy one adult gift instead of tons of adult gifts.

  167. says

    One way I’m saving money this year is by preparing ahead–I’ve been buying cooking ingredients ahead while they were on sale–especially things like butter, chocolate chips, etc. This doubles as holiday goodies, and also for homemade gifts for a few people on my list.

    Charlenes last blog post..$5 CVS Challenge

  168. says

    My best shopping tip is actually a routing. Start shopping early for everything, like the day after Christmas when things go on sale. Never buy anything at full price (that’s a year round rule.) Make sure you buy any gift bags you can find. Towards Christmas put everyone’s gifts in the gift bags and you’re ready to go. No fuss on last minute shopping, no fuss and time on wrapping. The bags are reusable so they not only save you work but they help the environment.

    valmgs last blog post..Be home by dark

  169. says

    The seond way I’m saving money this holiday season is by being much more thoughtful in my gift choice. I’d rather give someone a bag full of toiletries that I know they can use (and which will incidentally help their budget in the weeks to come) than to give a status gift that sits on a shelf. Don’t get me wrong, I love to be the one to give that “just that special thing” but I’m realistic about my budget–probalby just not gonna happen!

    I’ve also learned to resist the whole gotta-have-everything-new by way of holiday decorating. I either already have it, can make it, or can buy it at the dollar store. Or I’m not gonna have it. Sigh. And a month from now when I’m looking at our credit card bills, I’ll be so glad!

    Charlenes last blog post..$5 CVS Challenge

  170. says

    My tip is part of a routine. Start shopping the day after Christmas, when things go on sale. Never pay full price for anything, a year round rule. Be sure to stock up on gift bags. Don;t forget all of the little chatchkies for teachers and bus drivers and what not. Things like candles, mugs, etc will keep well until the following year and cost pennies on the dollar if you buy them right after Christmas. When the holiday nears, wrap up the sale gifts in the gift bags. The gift bags save you on all that time and trouble wrapping and they’re good for the environment and are reusable.

    valmgs last blog post..Be home by dark

  171. says

    Instead of going out and buying expensive gifts for my family (immediate and extended), this year I am making all gifts hand made and/or I am gifting my time. I’m giving the kiddos things that I’ve sewn, stuffed animals, games, art accessories. I’m giving the adults (my parents, the siblings, etc) gift certificates for my time, my SIL and brother I am offering to do a family photo and photos of the kids, and for my parents I’m giving them prints of photos I’ve taken and gift certificates to get a big family portrait taken when we’re all together again.
    I’m saving money AND giving from the heart :-)

    Mandis last blog post..Birthversarymas!

  172. says

    I also like to get our holiday decorations AFTER the holidays, when they’re on wicked sale. Saves TONS of money, just costs me being patient all year to use them ;-)

    Mandis last blog post..Birthversarymas!

  173. says

    I buy my Christmas cards after Christmas and send them out the following year. You can find deals like 100 cards for $1 if you look after the holiday season! I also make cookies and wrap them up in pretty colored plastic wrap to give to people as presents instead of buying all my presents. Definitely helps out and people really appreciate receiving something that looks cute and tastes delicious rather than something they’ll probably end up re-gifting or throwing away.

  174. nbhealthy says

    Give love, time,and sharing.
    Give traditions, cookies,and caring…

    Give joy, laughter, and song
    Material things don’t belong…

    Giving gifts from the heart.
    is an easy way to start….

    Remember the real reason.
    For the Christmas season!

  175. Candace says

    A few things that I do to save money on gifts:

    Make things! I make jams and jellies in the summertime and then cover the lids with pretty holiday fabric and a bow.

    I also make lots of cookies and candies to give out. This is nice because I can cater to each persons tastes/needs. There are lots of recipes for diabetic people. I love this because my MIL and aunt aren’t stuck getting fruit while everyone else has candy and cookies.

    This year I am making jewelry for my sisters and bookmarks (ribbon and beads) ro my child’s teachers- way cheaper than a $20 candle.

    The main thing that has helped me though is realizing that I don’t have to buy for every person I know and those that I do buy for don’t have to get large expensive gifts. Homemade gifts are more thoughtful and appreciated anyway, IMO.

  176. Sarah McGiven says

    Instead of sending out Christmas cards, post it on your blog. This will save a ton of money on the actual card and postage. Everyone I would send a Christmas card to looks at my blog so this is a great way for me to save money this year.

  177. says

    Making a family and friends cookbook. I did this about four years ago and it was a BIG hit and only ended up costing about 20.00 per book…not bad folks !!
    I called or emailed family members and our closiest friends. Told them I was making a cookbook, wanted thier best recipes…two or three each person. I gave them a deadline for the recipes to be turned in and then I got busy making the books…myself. I typed each recipe, put a related food picture on each page, printed the pages, put them in sleeve covers and put the pages into a 3-ring binder with a beautiful coverpage. These were the best gift I ever gave…everyone loved them, and it’s something that will be in the family forever !!

  178. Tanya Moyer says

    My husband has a large staff that he likes to give something to every year. We decided a few years ago that I would bake a loaf of pumpkin bread for each one and then be on the lookout for a gorgeous, yet inexpensive ornament to go with the bread. We always find good deals on ornaments right around Thanksgiving, so we are able to give a nice gift fairly inexpensively. Now, all his employees look forward to the pumpkin bread each year! Great giveaway – thanks for offering!
    ~Tanya
    the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

  179. Tanya Moyer says

    Right after Christmas each year, I stock up on wrapping paper, bows, etc. (usually at 50-75% off). The good part is that I still am putting away my Christmas decorations around this time, so I can store it all at the same time, and be ready to go the next year when I pull everything out of storage! Great giveaway – thanks for offering!
    ~Tanya
    the4moyers(at)msn(dot)com

  180. Elizabeth Ross says

    Hi, I started making cashew peanut brittle drizzled in chocolate a few years ago as Christmas gifts, I had never given a homemade gift before but needed to save money, well the brittle is so great everyone looks forward to getting another batch each Christmas.
    I even buy the cashews in big batches at Walmart..saves money lol
    happy holidays
    Betty

  181. Kristine says

    Well this year we really had to buckle down and save money due to my husband being laid off. First thing we did was start carpooling to work. One more thing is MAKE SURE TO PACK A LUNCH! I can’t believe how mucy money we were spending on lunch every month. We limited to only buying lunch on Friday’s. It is soooo much cheaper to pack your own salad with some left over chicked breast from the night before then to go pick up a 12 dollar chicken salad from applebees!

  182. says

    My most frugal holiday tip is to use your creativity to your advantage when gift-giving. I am an avid scrapbooker and have decided to make albums for many friends this year, both digital and paper. For the digital, I waited until I got FREE BOOKS from photography websites and used those (Oprah recently had a coupon for a free photobook which came in very handy!). I bought paper scrapbooks from a friend at her Creative Memories Consultant cost and made some GORGEOUS albums. I am happier than ever before with the presents we are giving this year and am convinced that my friends and family will enjoy these gifts for years to come!!

    Kimberlys last blog post..Christmas 2008

  183. says

    Another holiday saving tip – to wrap presents become as creative as possible with paper and see how far you can take recycling :) Use comics from the newspaper, or expand your horizons to see what kind of wrapping paper you can find in everyday items. For your teachers, use your children’s artwork from school (those crayon doodling papers that come home every day!) and give the teacher a smile. For the fashionist, use an old garment you might have been ready to throw away – cut into strips and use as the bow. For the computer guru use old computer printouts that didn’t make the cut, like website printouts that take up two pages and you only used the first page. For the kids, have a contest to see who can come up with the wackiest combination of paper! Have fun, not stress, over the holidays!!

    Kimberlys last blog post..Christmas 2008

  184. Karen says

    We are saving this holiday season by giving away handmade gifts. Dollies?, hats and mittens made from scraps of material. Baked goods for friends and handprint themed gifts of the grands for the grandparents.

  185. Karen says

    We did a gift exchange among the adults so that we only had to buy one gift each. This way the adults get a chance to get a gift but not have to spent a lot.

  186. says

    I guess what I believe is that you make a list, and pretty much stick with it. Make every purchase count, don’t buy trinkets and knick knacks. I don’t need them so I don’t tend to buy them. In other words, only buy what you think they need or want, and buy only that.

    My SIL and I were shopping in Costco, and I was asking her questions. She asked if they had one near me, and I said, yes, but I don’t go into to stores like that because I might want to spend my money. If I don’t go in, I won’t spend it.

    Dianas last blog post..Win Sauce …and A Microwave from Bertolli

  187. says

    My best money saving tip is to be honest. Be honest with your children, your family, your co-workers, your friends but most importantly yourself. Let everyone know what you can and cannot do. They will understand. You then won’t have to worry about buying things you can’t afford. You have to live after the holidays.

    Velma Greenes last blog post..18 Most BizarreCustom Coffins

  188. charlene says

    Sign up for email lists at all your regular stores. Everyone has big sales coming, if they haven’t already started. I have a super pricey baby boutique nearby that is having a 50% off sale. I got a pair of See Kai Run shoes for $15. I never would have paid the regular price for those. charlenegale at yahoo dot com

  189. charlene says

    The simplest way to save money is to really shop year round and stay away from the stores during December. There is so much temptation during the holidays and I can never stick to my budget so I just stay away.

  190. says

    I start my shopping for Christmas on December 26th and stay with it through January – especially for any decorations, wrapping paper, bows and such for the next year like new tree garland or outside lights – those things tend to be on a higher mark up right away. Last year I bought the new candy canes for the walkway at 25 cents each (90% off) and they are selling for $2.50 each right now. I also watch for gift baskets during that time for emergency gifts. I have a few bath baskets right now that had been $20 baskets that I paid $2 each for and they are full of awesome fragrances and such. After that I try to make as many gifts as I can and watch the sales for all the baking needs beginning in September after the summer heat. I try VERRRRRY hard not to go into any store during December! I do usually go to Home Depot the day after Thanksgiving for toys, uh I mean tools for hubby!

    Tamy ~ 3 Sides of Crazys last blog post..~ 1000th Post Giveaway ~

  191. J Jones says

    My wife asked some of her family and friends for their favorite family recipes. Then she did one of those create a cookbook things. I think each one cost 20.00 and they were all family and friend recipes. It was a big hit.

  192. says

    One word: GOODWILL. They have a great website and stores in virtually every town. Big towns will have nicer ones usually; often you can find clothing with the tags still on!

    Jens last blog post..Giveaways

  193. says

    Food for stocking stuffers. I have five girls, and most of their stockings are full of food. I can stretch a big bag of Hershey’s kisses a L-O-N-G way! :)

  194. says

    My tip is sorta unusual. Every year we tlak about this and we need to do it. There is nothing better then AFTER CHRISTMAS deals.

    Why not take the holidays back to family and skip the gifts for the actual holiday, whatever it may be that you celebrate, and just play games, eat food, watch football, and hang out.

    Then the whole family packs it up a few days after christmas and hits up all the major stores for their awesome deals. Twice the stuff, half the cost, HUGE celebration and exchange on Jan 1st to bring in the new year.

    trisha
    momdot.com

    Trishas last blog post..Three Cups of Tea and Afghan Kites

  195. says

    Price matching! And walmart is really awesome about doing it, too. Basically if another store has something on sale, I take their ad to walmart and they will sell me the item for the other store’s price – or better. Considering it takes me 45 minutes to even get to walmart, and over an hour and a half to get anywhere else..this trick saves money AND time.

    Coles last blog post..Vitamin D Found To Fight Placental Infection

  196. Linda says

    When I find an item I want to buy I look online to see what store is offering it at the lowest price, than I check to see if that store is also offering any other discounts I can use to purchase the item.

  197. Dawn VanStrate says

    We are really strapped this year for cash, like most of us these days. To save money we reused old cards and out new insides in them, took some that weren’t in real good condition and made a family project out of making ornaments for the tree. Sharing the time together and seeing all the ideas for making ornaments brought us closer together.
    If you are into crafts, why not look and see what you haven’t used during the year(that you meant to do but never got to it) and make gifts from them, handmade scrapbooks can be made from paper bags, or just construction paper. let them inser the pics. make clay items, or decorate an old bulb that has lost its glam.you would be surprised what you’ll find.

  198. says

    Make a list! Sit down and decide how much you want to spend on each person and then make a list of gifts that equate to that amount. Next put the list next to your money! Yeap, right next to your favorite form of payment that way it is always with you when you are shopping. When shopping stick to your list. Don’t improve, don’t adjust, just stick to the list, afterall when you were writing your list it was good enough. So, before you hand your form of payment to the cashier, double check your list to make sure your purchases are on it. If they aren’t have them remove them from your purchase before you hand over payment. I have saved over $400 this year alone uding this method. It works! Additionally, say out of the stores if you aren’t working on purchsaing from your list. Because we know that we can’t spend money in the stores if we aren’t in the stores.

    Deanes last blog post..Nickelodean sponsors $500 Walmart GC Giveaways

  199. Tammy Marshall says

    What my dh and I are doing to save money this holiday season is EBay. We are cleaning out our closets and garage and selling junk (or treasures, whichever you prefer to call them) on ebay. Then with the money we make from our sells we in turn buy unique Christmas gifts for our 6 kids from ebay! May not work for some people who love the holiday crowds at department stores, but it works for us! Many holiday blessing to you and yours!

  200. marie says

    I shop ahead of time through out the year–I have the list of gifts I need to buy and check them off when I find the deals. I’ve also found that shopping online saves $$ because you are not spending money on gas to get there. I live one hour from the mall. No extra money spend on special drinks, etc. You can find coupons and FREE shipping all the time.

  201. says

    As some others have suggested I like making baked goods to give away as gifts. But, who really wants to spend an entire day baking 4 different types of cookies or candies? I like to have a cookie exchange party. Each person makes 4 dozen cookies to bring to the party (1 to share at the party and 3 to trade). Everyone socializes and tries the different cookies and then each person decides which ones they would like to take home. Then you go home with 3 different kinds of cookies! Or you could bake more than one kind and take more home in trade. It sounds daunting to make 4 dozen cookies but really one batch often yields 2-4 dozen. And if you tell your guests to package their cookies in tins or boxes, your gifts are already wrapped!

    Taras last blog post..So much to say but not enough time!

  202. says

    I start shopping the day after Christmas.

    For gifts for the upcoming year, as well as holiday decorations, wrap, ribbon and tags.

    Throughout the year, I keep a running list (in a Word document) of who I’m buying for, and possible gift ideas. Once I buy their gift, I draw a line through their name and the gift, but leave it on the list. This way, I don’t end up forgetting that I already bought my niece something, when I’m out buying for my nephews. Or anyone else.

    If I find what I want to buy someone (off my list) on sale, I buy it. Otherwise, I wait. Usually a coupon or discount code comes up at some point in the year and I can get it at a reduced price. I rarely pay full price for anything.

    Tracyes last blog post..I need 3 days of uninterrupted sleep.

  203. twinkle says

    I shop all year round but its for items that I can use to make gifts. Like quilting material, wreaths to make up for the new couple. Lawn decorations for summer snd fall. Jars, candle making supplies. Part of all my gifts come from the heart. The kids always make an wooden ornament for the aunts and uncles. So they are busy the same time I am and they are so proud of the ornament. On the back, it has their age and a little school photo. Then we make a cookie plates for the elderly neighbors so they know they are loved too.

  204. says

    I usually look to give a gift that is for the whole family. I usually find a nice, large holiday bowl and fill it with microwave popcorn packets, juice, soda, or hot chocolate packets, and a gift card to Blockbuster. This way I save the money I would have spent on individual gifts and I also give them a gift of time together as a family.

    Megs last blog post..Afterthoughts

  205. Linda Iverson says

    Making gifts can be fun and rewarding. If you have to buy most of your gifts, research them on the internet, and make sure the stores will price match.

  206. vaish says

    My sisters and I all have children around the same age and they all want video game systems. But they can’t decide which one they want(my daughter wants a wii and my son wants a ps3). Since they are expensive we decided that we would all purchase different ones (wii, ps3, and xbox) and rotate them every month or so. That way the kids are happy and they won’t get bored as eaasily either.

  207. says

    To save money during the holidays, a few select friends and I agree to ‘celebrate’ Christmas during another random month throughout the year. Think, Christmas in July, only pick your own month! This way we still have fun picking and receiving gifts later on, but that’s one less on our list to stress about right now!

    Jades last blog post..E-mail age for sure

  208. Dawn VanStrate says

    Since this is a time for family…ask each person to write their favorite family memory….collect them from each person,scan and print them into books and give them to each person…..it will be a gift that keeps on giving through the year. You can laugh together at the memories. It is a very inexpensinve gift..

  209. says

    One year we were very short on cash and I bought a double photo frame and put a picture of the kids in one side and wrote a poem about the recipient and what they meant to my family and put it in the adjoining frame. It was a huge hit and was very inexpensive.

    Michelles last blog post..Bakerella

  210. says

    Ironically, I’m having surgery soon so this has forced me to get everything done before this week – where as in years past you could find me rushing around right up til Christmas Eve checking things off my list! I’ve saved the most money by making photo calendars online at Costco.com for family. I usually order them from a local store for twice the price and I was able to make the cutest personalized photo calendars for grandparents, family in Europe and Aunts and Uncles for half the price, including the shipping!

    And, I’m making pumpkin bread instead of cookies because a) it’s cheaper and b) I have tons of left over cans of pumpkin from Thanksgiving!

    Carries last blog post..Appliance Therapy

  211. Heather says

    I have a gift closet that I keep stocked with toys and gifts year around. I watch for deals on great gifts for all ages like fleece blankets and timeless toys (tinker toys, legos, dolls)and buy them when the prices are low.

  212. Shonda says

    I save money by shopping all the after Christmas sales for paper, cards, lights and decorations for the next year. I’d never pay full price for any of that stuff, and it’s fun get good deals!

  213. says

    My tip is to not let people’s expectations of a gift drive you to buy them a gift. Allow yourself the freedom to give time and meaning instead of something costly. Most of us have more than enough. By giving less, what we give becomes more meaningful. Create your own coupons/certificates to hand out for things such as a date night (even for your daughters and sons!), a special trip–zoo, museum, Mcdonald’s playland; a batch of cookies to bake together; etc, where the gift is the TIME, not the money spent.

  214. says

    Here’s a frugal and creative tip: this year, I created my christmas card using digital scrapbook supplies (which I downloaded for free). I made it a 4×6 size, so I could have it printed for cheap (snapfish for 9 cents each, and Walmart also has great prices) and then mailed them out like a postcard. So, cheaper stamp and no envelope! Most cards are generic and say very little, so I like to make mine meaningful and special.

    Jen Beggss last blog post..No Suguar Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

  215. says

    Wow, I usually begin shopping and planning early so I can purchase when things go on sale. Of course, with kids you run the risk of them changing their minds! lol

    The other thing I do is shop at places with lower price points ~ places like Tuesday Morning, Big Lot’s, Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s.

    I also make things which can save money but it can also add up quickly if you are not careful.

    The most important thing I do is make a list, make a budget, and stick to it!

    Thanks for this great giveaway Lori!

    Alyson, the 3 P’s Mamas last blog post..Looking for a Good Family Movie? Try DELGO!

  216. says

    To save money this holiday we bought a gently used item from craigslist for my Dad. We saved over 50% on this cool tech gadget that we could not have afforded otherwise.

    Lyndsis last blog post..Giveaway

  217. Rachel says

    This year we splurged and bought a Christmas tree, not a success in my mission towards frugality. However, when we arrived at the tree lot I noticed a sign above a stack of boughs that said “Free.” My favorite! So, I have Christmas boughs decorating our house. It smells wonderful and it was free. The tip? Check your local Christmas tree lot for free boughs.

  218. says

    My family’s favorite way to save money at Christmas is actually to buy fewer toys for the kids! We get each child two or three toys, but since they want to unwrap lots of presents we buy Pop Tarts, their favorite sugared cereals (which we never buy otherwise), and other treats to wrap up. They love it!

    Cindys last blog post..Education Review: Spears Art Studio

  219. Cindy G. says

    My money saving tip is to give gifts of time. Babysit for friends with kids, take elderly people out on errands or shopping, take the garbage out for neighbors, etc.

    Happy Holidays!

  220. lynn b says

    We always hit the after Christmas sales and stock up for the next year!This really worked out this year since we are so broke this year1

  221. lynn b says

    We always hit the after Christmas sales and stock up for the next year!This really worked out this year since we are so broke this year!

  222. says

    First off thank you so much for this opportunity!! You are going to really bless someone this Christmas and I thank you for the chance!

    For my holiday money saving tip: if you have young kids grandparents love pictures of them. Take some pictures of them, they don’t even need to be professional, then go get a nice frame and you have a beautiful gift for the cost of a frame that you can buy for under $10 and then a few pennies for developing. My mom and Dustin’s mom have been begging me for pix of the boys so I am going to print out a bunch of wallet size snap shots of all the grandkids in the family and put them in a nice wallet size photo album (I bought those at Michaels in the $1 bin) and then they can show off the kids to all their friends:) You don’t even have to have kids, parents and grandparents love pictures of you too!
    Sara
    marriedrosesatyahoodotcom

    Sara Roses last blog post.."While You Were Sleeping".

  223. says

    Hi Lori,
    For my second money saving tip:
    Buy in bulk at Costco or your local club store. They have a great buy on Starbucks gift cards you can get 5 $20 cards for $80! iTunes gift cards, I think it’s like the same kind of deal, basically one free. Movie tickets are really cheap – 2 tix for $14 a great gift for some of the cousin. This week they have coupons at the door for those family members who are wine lovers, plus a bottle of wine is always a good hostess gift. The possibilities are endless at those club stores – I love Costco!!
    Merry Christmas and good luck to everyone in the contest!
    Sara
    marriedrosesatyahoodotcom

    Sara Roses last blog post.."While You Were Sleeping".

  224. says

    Hi Lori,
    For my second money saving tip:
    I would suggest buying in bulk at Costco (or your local club store). They have a great buy on Starbucks gift cards – 5 $20 cards for $80! iTunes gift cards, I think it’s like the same kind of deal, basically one free. Movie tickets are really cheap – 2 tix for $14 a great gift for those hard to shop for family and friends.
    This week they have coupons at the door for those family members who are wine lovers, plus a bottle of wine is always a good hostess gift. The possiblities are endless at those club stores – I love Costco!!
    Merry Christmas!
    Sara
    marriedrosesatyahoodotcom

    Sara Roses last blog post.."While You Were Sleeping".

  225. Julieh says

    I always check online coupon code sites before I purchase anything online. 99% of the time, there is a discount or free shipping offer that saves me $$.

  226. says

    We shop on craigslist and visit thrift stores. Our kids wanted a Nintendo Wii for Christmas and we found a gently used one with two games and 2 remotes for $140. The system was only a year old. The only thing that needed replacing was the wrist straps and I purchased them for $1 from Nintendo’s website.

    Lauries last blog post..Who needs a Walmart gift card worth $500?

  227. Kevin Elliott says

    This may sound crazy, but my favorite tip is to actually use candles to provide lighting in my house. I’ve found it cuts down my bill substantially. Most of the time, I don’t need the blinding lights that use so much energy.

  228. Barbara McCrea says

    Make all meals and snacks from scratch instead of purchasing ready made items, that will save a lot of money in itself, but also use the small mini light sets, they use so much less electricity than the c bulbs

  229. says

    The best gift I have ever given was one that cost me nothing but time and a few scraps of paper and recycling a jar.
    I cut 365 strips of paper, one for each day of the year, and I wrote something different on each one. On the outside of the jar I had it decorated and wrote I love you because and on each strip said something like you are kind or you are a great dad or whatever and then some I did little coupons- one free massage, one night off from chores, make favorite meal, etc that could be redeemed whenever the recipient chose.
    It did take a lot of thought but it really blessed me as well as the recipient because I was reminded all over again how special they were to me and for a year- they had daily reminders that they were special and loved.

    Dddivas last blog post..The Christmas Letter I don’t send out.

  230. Tricia says

    Start shopping early! I begin my Christmas shopping as much as a year ahead, but when you can keep an eye out for good bargains, and are not so overwhelmed when Christmas rolls around.

  231. Tricia says

    Shop online. You can get better prices and more variety sometimes, plus if you type “coupon code” into your search engine, you will get a list. Simply locate one that works for your needs, for the site that you are using, then type it into your shopping bag or at checkout. You can save percentages, a certain amount off, or get free shipping.

  232. brandy says

    money saving tip 1. I would say to make gifts, I love making blankets, or little holiday decoartions, or GOODIES!!! who doesn’t like goodies!

    tip 2. I shop online you can get free shipping and combine all your purchases to get that, or wait for the sale… I have a link on my blog for free national shipping at many many stores… Plus you save gas, and the temptation to buy more stuff in the store…

  233. Kelly says

    My tip is what were doing this year instead of buying everyone on our list a expensive gifts.

    Have a family get together/present party instead of buying each individual gifts. Each adult person will spend $10 on 2 gifts one $5 gift suitable for a child and one $5 gift suitable for an adult. Following the family dinner we will all play games and let everyone reach into the special Santa sack (one adult one child) and pull out their gift. :)

    This will be saving all the family money this year plus I think it will help in putting family sharing back into the Holiday. We will enjoy a good meal good company and lots of fun all for a little price. :)

    :) Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! :)

  234. Donna Holmberg says

    I make home-made cookies as Christmas gifts for my neighbors as a way to share friendship and save money. I buy every flavor of quick-bread mix I can find, then make cookies with them and give each family a selection of cookies on decorator platters I buy at the dollar store. Here’s what you need for a batch of cookies:

    1 quick-bread mix (Betty Crocker, Pilsbury, etc. NOT JIFFY MIX)
    1 stick butter or margarine
    1 egg
    1/2 cup sugar in a shallow plate

    Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

    Melt the butter in microwave proof mixing bowl on 50% heat for 90 seconds (the do additional 10 second intervals as neede to melt the entire stick). Pour in the quick bread mix and stir, then add in the egg and mix well.

    Place parchment paper, wax paper, or a silicon baking mat on the bottom of a cookie sheet. Place 1-inch balls of doug about 3-inches apart on the sheet. Press the bottom of a flat-bottomed glass into the sugar and use the sugared glass to flatten the cookie dough ball to about 1/8 inch thick. You might need to slightly dampen the bottom of the glass for the first cookie, but you won’t have to do it again after the first cookie is done. Dip the glass back into the sugar before flattening each new cookie.

    Bake the cookies for EXACTLY 8 minutes in the pre-heated oven (it MUST be pre-heated for this to work right), then take them out and lay the paper on a cooling rack (or on a heat-proof counter space) to cool. The cookies may not look like they’re browned, but they don’t need to be brown to be done. If taken out on time, the cookies come out crunchy on the edges and nice and chewy in the centers – if you want them completely crunchy leave them in for another minute…BUT NO MORE.

    These are the quickest, easiest, most delicious cookies; and the quick bread mixes keep for a long time so you can buy them on sale and keep them on hand or until you’re ready to do your holiday baking.

    OPTIONS: For greater variety, I often mix two different flavored boxes (i.e. banana nut and spice bread). You can also add chopped nuts or chopped dried fruits for extra flavor and additional texture. You can even turn one cookie over, put a thin layer of frosting on it, then lay another cookie on top for sandwich cookies – with bottoms of the cookies together and the filling in between. Another option is to cut a shape out of the center of every other cookie (while they’re warm) then sandwich them together with jam, peanut butter or frosting with the cutout cookie on top so the filling shows through.

  235. Isaac A. says

    I buy my gifts after Christmas is over, stores have many things for 50% to 75 %, so I stock up, put tons of stuff in the closet and wait until next Christmas to give them out.

  236. Karen McCaghren says

    Keep your Christmas list in mind as you shop yard sales throughout the year. Many items can be found still in the original unopened boxes or wrapping for pennies on the dollar. It is so true that “one man’s trash is another’s treasure.”

  237. Shannon says

    My holiday tip is this: Cut cable services for December. You’re probably booked with holiday gatherings and shopping for the month anyway. And if you don’t miss it and forget to sign up again, you save more! Or you can let the customer service rep talk you into keeping service…with a discount. Any which way, you win!

  238. Christie says

    If you’re a fanatical holiday decorator with lots of lights, consider replacing them a few strands at a time with the new LED lights. They cost a lot less to burn so you can still have “ooooohhh pretty” without the “ouch” electric bill.

  239. HomeBizLiz says

    I am saving money this year by baking and sewing many of my gifts. Make big batches of cookies, chocolate covered pretzels and candy, then seperate them out. You can buy great containers for little at Goodwill, especially on the 50% off Saturday. Fill with a little material, put the goodies in and tie it up with a ribbon.
    Merry Christmas!

  240. HomeBizLiz says

    We have a new house this year and I always put up a tree in every room. So I had to add some trees this year. I used the trees I had, and came up with decorations that I already had too. In the kitchen I used my antique kitchen utensils and cookie cutters. I made 2 wreaths for the windows above the kitchen sink with cookie cutters too. In the “man” room, I put tools, Pez containers (my son is a collector) and sports related items (balls, helmets, etc.)
    Have fun and use your imagination! I didn’t spend any money at all!

  241. says

    My Christmas Budget Tune:

    I’m making a list, checking it twice, going to list the kids in the family with a price, this Santa Claus is on a tight budget.

    I see the clearance isles, check all the ads on Sundays, I like to make gift baskets and throw in some iTune cards… OH!

    You better watch out, you better not bout, you better not cry I’m telling you why, this Santa gives with love and creativity!

    Andrea Cooks last blog post..More Blog Contest Fun

  242. says

    Here is a gift giving money saving tip that helps teach my youngest about the gift of giving and helps to spread Christmas cheer to other children!

    Through the month of December, whenever my toddler and I go to a play date or play group, we take a ‘hostess’ gift. I want to teach my toddler the joy of gift giving, the true reason behind Christmas.

    Some may consider this tacky re-gifting. But, I think it is earth friendly and it teaches valuable lessons of sharing!

    I pick a book from our shelves, put a book plate sticker and write the date and both of the children’s names. My little toddler LOVES to put a sticker ribbon on the cover. When we arrive at the door, my toddler walks right in to the little cherub who lives there and then gives the book to her little friend and says, “Merwee Quissmas.”
    Cost: Zero
    Experience: Priceless
    Smiles: Countless

    Andrea Cooks last blog post..More Blog Contest Fun

  243. Michelle P. says

    For family and friends that live nearby, this year I’m going to make a large pot of soup and take a bowl of it over to them (enough to feed the whole family of course) and give them the gift of a night off of dinner-duty. Soup is a cheap meal to make, and I know any mom would appreciate a night off of making dinner! Just make sure to take it over BEFORE Christmas, so the recipients can really appreciate it during the busy Christmas season. And if they can’t use it that night for dinner, you can let them know that they can freeze it and use it another night when it would be more convenient.

  244. Michelle P. says

    I found out about a cool website this year where you can send out free personalized photo postcards, postage paid and everything! The website is http://www.hippopost.com. You can only send out a certain amount per day, but with planning, you can send out your Christmas cards for free and even have your family picture on the front! That’s what we did this year to help save money, because even the postage is free (they put a small advertisement on the back & they’re the ones that pay for it). Enjoy!

  245. Gail says

    My best holiday money-saving tip is to skip the drive-thru when shopping around. When I know that I’ll be out for a few hours, I take along a cooler filled with water, sodas, snacks or sandwiches. This helps me avoid stopping by McDonald’s or other fast-food place to pick up a drink or snack. I can save a $1-$5, which could buy a nice holiday gift for someone!

  246. Dan Riley says

    It’s not as critical as a few weeks ago, but riding my Harley gets me about 50 MPG and is way more fun than a Prius…

  247. Sandy Tritt says

    I watch all the sales and clearance. I try to buy gifts earlier in the year when I can get them a lot cheaper (clearance). Whenever possible I make gifts.

  248. says

    I’ve got a great tip for saving money this holiday season. It’s one most of us are already doing. Read blogs and enter contests. There are a lot of giveaways on blogs. Make sure you enter them and see if you win. I’ve won a few times this year and saved the prizes for Christmas gifts. Make sure you keep reading those blogs.

  249. Heather F. says

    Take your kids shopping with you for all the presents, but their own. This way your in and out without the ability to look around and take your time.

  250. says

    Since my husband and I are just students we have been learning a lot about going green and saving money. We read that even when appliances are turned off but still plugged into the outlet they still use energy and run the meeter. We have taken out all the appliances we are not using and turned down the heater just a few degrees at night and have changed out bills from $197 and $98 to $98 and $18. A good way to save while celebrating the holidays.

    Courtneys last blog post..Holidays

  251. says

    Another money saving practice we have done in our family is to shop at thrift stores. I know its not new products but it saved us over $100. Instead of buying a play kitchen brand new we bought one for $4 and cleaned it up ourselves.

    Courtneys last blog post..Holidays

  252. Teresa C says

    Well, I’m trying to teach my kids the value of a non-material holiday. Not that I’m not encouraging no gifts, but I’d like them to know that the gift of themselves or their services are highly valued. This includes things like just helping their grandmother without having to be bribed by money. Or helping out at the food bank, which is what we did for Thanksgiving and will do for Christmas. I believe this is the true spirit of many of the winter holidays.

  253. Teresa C says

    Well, I’m trying to teach my kids the value of a non-material holiday. Not that I’m encouraging no gifts at all, but I’d like them to know that the gift of themselves or their services are highly valued. This includes things like just helping their grandmother without having to be bribed by money. Or helping out at the food bank, which is what we did for Thanksgiving and will do for Christmas. I believe this is the true spirit of many of the winter holidays.

  254. Rebecca Peters says

    I buy for the next year after christmas when all the christmas stuff is on clearance. It saves me alot of money on wrapping paper and decorations

  255. Christina E says

    I freeze my credit cards in ice and that way if I see something I want I have to go home and wait till the card thaws and by that time I decide it is not worth the hassle or the money.

  256. Kelly says

    My tip is what were doing this year instead of buying everyone on our list a expensive gifts.

    Have a family get together/present party instead of buying each individual gifts. Each adult person will spend $10 on 2 gifts one $5 gift suitable for a child and one $5 gift suitable for an adult.(if more then 2 kids in the same household buy an additional $5 gift for each) Following the family dinner we will all play games and let everyone reach into the special Santa sack (one adult one child) and pull out their gift. :)

    This will be saving all the family money this year plus I think it will help in putting family sharing back into the Holiday. We will enjoy a good meal good company and lots of fun all for a little price. :)

    :) Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! :)

  257. Carla Pullum says

    I like to shop Walmart after Christmas clearance. Last year I got beauty baskets for $3.00 and now able to give them out to teachers and other for this Christmas!
    Carla
    cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

  258. R Hicks says

    one tip that our family uses is to draw names out of a hat when giving presents. It works and saves everyone a lot of money and frustration.

    ardy22 at earthlink.net

  259. R Hicks says

    Another good money saving tip is to buy from your local thrift bakerys. They always have good stuff at discounts. Just buy it close to the time you are giving it!

    ardy22 at earthlink.net

  260. Sue Farrell says

    Find out what time your favorite grocer marks down the fresh meat that is nearing it’s “sell-by” date and plan your shopping trips around that since meats tend to be the most expensive part of the grocery list.

  261. Brenda D. says

    One money saving tip that really helped me this year was to start buying presents for people in July and just buy a few presents each month. By spacing it out and looking for things on sale it wasn’t a blast to our checking account in December. Also we choose names for our big family gatherings!! I could sure use this card to start saving in January!
    Thanks!

  262. Pamela Hansen says

    i owuld advise that at the end of this season purchase things for next year while they are 50-75 % off i get a tree every 3 years and then my old one i give to a needy family or charity

  263. kathy pease says

    i buy gifts on ebay you can find some awesome deals and you dont have to wait in lines or even leave the comfort of your own home :)

  264. Eileen says

    Some of our family members have requested not to receive gifts, but for money to be donated to a charity. When giving to the charity Samaritan’s Purse money can be allocated for specific gifts such as a well, goat, chicks, blankets, medicine, soccer balls, etc. They then send a gift card to whomever you choose saying what item(s) were donated in their name. I think it’s a great way to bless those in need.

  265. Julie K says

    My tip involves grocery shopping which is getting more expensive every week. Keep an eye out on websites that give links to free samples and free coupons from major companies. I have been sent some amazing freebies! Right now in my purse I have coupons for free hot dogs, free frozen dinners, free oatmeal, and even free dog treats. You actually CAN get something for nothing!

  266. Jaque says

    I am an avid coupon shopper. I save the coupons until the item goes on sale at a store that doubles coupon value. This has saved so much money through the years…and, as a single mom of two beautiful children, every penny counts!

    Thank you for this super giveaway. :-)

  267. Hesper F says

    I shop on “black Friday” to get super deals for christmas presents. I then shop the 2-5 days after Christmas to get holiday decorations at 50% off or more!

  268. Kathy D says

    I like to babysit for friends that can cut my hair, fix something in my house or do things for me… win win for everyone////

  269. says

    My holiday money-saving tip:
    Give your service as a gift for those you love. Everyone has talents so offer it as a gift to those who would appreciate it. My mom recently moved into a new house and hates to decorate but loves a decorated house (not Christmas decorations but everyday stuff like pictures, sconces, etc.) so I’m spending an entire afternoon and evening with her to decorate her kitchen and living room. I love to do this stuff so I’m giving her my gift of time and service. We both win- she will cook a delightful dinner for me and we will get to spend precious time together.

    Think of your talents and what you could offer. Many people would never ask you to do those things because it might seem rude but your offer may be just what they wanted for Christmas.

    Angie Hopkinss last blog post..CVS Poll

  270. says

    Decorate with paper snowflakes. There are many, many free patterns for downloading on the Internet. Use plain or fancy paper, whatever you have on hand. There are so many ways to use them- hang with fishing line from chandeliers, hang in your windows, tape to mirrors, hang on your tree, and my favorite is to wrap gifts in plain brown paper and overlap lots of snowflakes over the brown paper. Very simple but elegant. Lots and lots of snowflakes makes a great Christmas theme. Easy and cheap!

    Angie Hopkinss last blog post..CVS Poll

  271. Suzanne says

    Last year we had a “recycled” Christmas. We reused wrapping paper and bows. We bought garage sale finds and remade them for gifts. Remade frames, shelves, etc… I found a stash of tangled 70s necklaces and bought them for a dollar. Remade them into some fashionable bracelets and gave them with homemade treats. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that so many really loved them. (All the ladies want to know if there are going to be bracelets this year.) Honestly it felt so cool to see how all of the gifts were received. It was a fun change of pace, a challenge and very rewarding. This year we went crazy canning pie fillings from free fruit we either had growing or someone gave us …peach, apple, blueberry and we are giving those with a homemade pie filling mix out for gifts put in remade decorated baskets we had gleaned for pennies at garage sales or second hand stores. Then they can have their choice of homemade pie at their convenience that look just as fancy as you would buy in some mail order magazine….If I do say so myself we make great pie filling. :-D

  272. says

    Save money this holiday season by reusing toys. Use hand me downs, ebay purchases, and consignment finds (in good condition of course). It costs less and is earth friendly!

    jill jacobss last blog post..Elf Yourself!

  273. lori richardson says

    We make as many gifts as we can. Much more personal and filled with love! For those you don’t make for, stay organized. Shop throughout the year and make lists and budgets that you stick to.

    We have the kids make ornaments for our tree each year as well. Cheaper and more personal for us.

  274. Shay says

    Since every year it seems like we have a new addition to the already big group of nieces and nephews, my sisters and I have decided that homemade gifts are better anyway so we get together once a year and have a huge Christmas craft day. We make gifts for each child, save a grundle of money, and make memories in the process. It has become a tradition we look forward to every year, as do the children.

  275. Trisha says

    we have the best tree i ever had because we got it at 90% off at the after xmas sale last yr! its the best money i ever saved!! i buy all holiday items after and have fun packing it for the next yr!

  276. says

    I like to do a little shopping here and there throughout the year. When there is a sale and I see something that one of my friends or family members might enjoy, I buy it and save it. Around Christmas I take those “gifts” that I’ve been collecting and saving throughout the year and it takes the weight off of Christmas shopping. I am not stressed about time or going to busy shopping malls (although I still inevitably have a gift or two to purchase). Since I distribute my purchases throughout the year and I buy on sale I end up saving a lot of money

  277. Auriette says

    I’ll start shopping for Christmas 2009 on December 26, 2008. I have a “Gift Closet” where I store what I buy throughout the year. I can get great deals through closeouts, clearance, and sales, which enables me to give better gifts for less money. It also spreads out the Christmas bills throughout the year, so there’s not one big hit in December (or January, when the credit card bills arrive).

  278. PollyS says

    My best tip about saving money is to simply stay out of stores as much as possible. IF you must go shopping, go with a plan and a budget…and stick to it!
    Also, we save a lot of money by limiting our gift purchases. We mostly buy for the kids and our parents. Not many others. And you know what? They don’t mind. Really, who needs another Yankee candle or BBW bath wash?
    Thanks for this chance to win.

  279. Bonnie says

    Enter sweepstakes all year long, win all your Christmas gifts, if you win this $500 wait till the day after Christmas sales,you would be able to really up the value of the $500 and save the items to give next Christmas.

  280. Ann Marie Walker says

    My Best money saving tip would be to comparison shop. Places like Walmart will price match. That way you save money on gas from running all different places and you know you got the best price. You also arent tempted as much because your just in one store, not 10 different ones.

  281. Michael says

    Use CASH for NEEDS vs. plastic for wants. Sounds simple until you try it. Note: real cowboys don’t use plastic :)

  282. Kathy S says

    My best money saving tip is to remember what my parents taught me. They were “depression era kids” and knew the difference between “want” and “need.” There was a saying during the depression, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” This has never failed me, and when we were raising our kids, I really never had any money..we lived paycheck to paycheck, and I was glad that both my husband and I knew by instinct how to save money. Never shop hungry, make a shopping list, and don’t do any impulsive buying. Use coupons, and plan your meals. My kids are grown and much to my dismay, are very much the yuppie spendthrifts, but they do earn good money, but it goes against all the values that they were raised with. We are comfortable now, but still very frugal. We shop sales, watch consumption of electricity at home, and always check the newspaper and online ads for a bargain. I’m so glad that in these economic times, even though we do have a good savings to cushion us in this, our retirement, we also have the sense not to squander frivolously.

  283. david barcelou says

    The best way I have noticed to save money is to not spend any of my one dollar bills and
    change. I save about 150-250 dollars a month that way.

  284. vicki andrew says

    I have been cleaning out my closets and making some extra cash at the same time by selling items on EBAY. I also use freecycle to get and giveaway good reusable items. Better to recycle than to have to buy something new

  285. JOHN BROWN says

    BUY ONLINE IS THE BEST TIP EVER;FAST EASY AND MOST OF THE TIME YOU WILL GET FREE SHIPPIN ON MOST THINGS, WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE THESE DAYS EVERY PENNY COUNTS JUST AFAID THAT THE WORST IS YET TO COME FOR US ALL

  286. BRIAN E. says

    Holiday Tip: Consider turning on your Christmas tree / outdoor lights ONLY on Christmas Eve-Christmas night & New Year’s Eve-New Year’s night INSTEAD of turning them on every night from mid November until January !!!! Save money on your utility bill, and actually celebrate the individual Holi-DAY !!!

  287. BRIAN E. says

    Holiday Tip: Do the children in your life a favor, instead of more video games / console, buy them all books instead for Christmas…it will save you money, and ultimately, a good book will be a more treasured memory than a grey plastic box.

  288. A Casson says

    My Best money saving tip involves buying gas at the gas pump. You can get medium grade(Plus) gasoline for about $2.60 cheaper if you fill 1/2 your tank with Premium grade(Super) and 1/2 your tank with Low grade(Regular)which will make (Medium grade)-Plus if you do so. It may take a minute longer to do this but if you’re saving near $3 I’d say better the money in your pocket than in the Oil companies pocket!
    This was told on a news media show I listen to so I’m assuming its accurate and true. Thank you. skyxsky27(at)gmail.com

  289. Debbie B says

    I’ve found that many chain stores have better prices online than in the store due to the fact that they are all separate businesses and even thought they carry the same products -the prices aren’t necessarily the same. I learned this the hard way by buying an item for $58 in the store and came home to see that it was $39.50 online – I called to see if there was a mistake and was told that each store sets its own prices and they may not be the same as online. A significant savings that will more than cover any shipping costs. So Check online first – saves you time and headache checking out at the store! Your time is priceless.

  290. Elizabeth says

    Buy next year’s Christmas presents during the Spring when cold weather clothing, etc are on sale.

  291. says

    My very best tip would be to shop on Black Friday. Get all the ads on Thanksgiving. Write down the gifts you plan on getting people and make a list for each store that has what you need. You will find some fabulous savings!

  292. Kristyn Martin says

    My best money saving tip is coupons!! You may only save a dollar here and there, but it really adds up!

  293. Tiffany says

    I start shopping for Christmas the week after Christmas. I shop throughout the year for items on sale. It keeps me from getting overwhelmed during the holidays.

  294. Tiffany says

    I do a lot of online shopping (saving on gas and and aspirin for the headaches shopping at the mall always give me this time of year) I always look for online deals, coupons, and free shipping codes. I get great deals without ever having to leave the comfort of my own house.

  295. says

    I bought $1 pre-printed calendars from Target and have used left over scraps from my scrapbook stash and photos I did not use from throughout the year. I made four calendars and each of them turned out really cute and unique.

  296. Rene says

    I always start shopping early in the year. Even the week after Christmas. This is when I get great buys on toys for birthdays throughout the year. Also, I always go to consignment sales with good deals such as mothers of multiples. This is where I get most of my gifts and clothes. I am able to buy entire wardrobes for my kids up through size 16 for 50 dollars. They also only sell clothes that aren’t stained etc.

  297. Stacia Langston says

    Don’t give gifts just to give a gift. If you don’t know the person well enough to know what they can really use, or a child who won’t play with a toy, it’s better to give a simple gift card, maybe along with a plate of goodies and note.
    Merry Christmas1
    Stacia
    langston6 at juno.com

  298. Terry C says

    Shop sales and the clearance racks for great savings on gifts before Christmas. Shop the after Christmas sales for bargains on decorations and possibly gifts for next year. You can get so much more for your money that way.

  299. Sharon S says

    A great money saving tip is to shop for next years presents the day after Christmas where most items are 50% or more off. Like make up gift sets, perfume sets, Christmas decor ect. It saves loads of money and saves your insanity from shopping during the holiday season

  300. Donna Holmberg says

    I’m in my 40’s and my parents are in their late 60’s, so instead of buying gifts for my parents at Christmas, each year they get a booklet of gift certificates full of coupons for free services from me (i.e. – one free oven cleaning, one shower/bathroom cleaning, one kitchen floor cleaning/waxing, one full-house vacuum, and one free full-house carpet shampooing, etc.). They hate asking for help for things like this that they have difficulty doing, but luckily they don’t have any problem using the coupons that were given to them as a gift – it takes the charity angle out of the situation and puts them at ease, allowing me to help this without them feeling guilty for needing help. It’s a great way to help out the seniors in your life, and it’s a gift that doesn’t take any money out of your pocket either.

  301. jayne says

    Coupons are my BEST money saving tip. You will really be surprised at how much you can really save using them!! Thank you!

  302. Soraya says

    My best holiday saving tip is to plan ahead. I start with a budget of all that I want to do and then whittle it down to a manageable level of what I truly can afford. Some of the best memories we make during the holidays are free or nearly free activities. We do a Christmas puzzle in our dining room all through the season. We drive around to see the lights with a thermos of hot cocoa. We watch Christmas movies under blankets by the light of the tree, we bake the cheaper cookies that don’t require a lot of pricy ingredients like nuts. This year we’re making gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies. No chocolate or nuts to buy at the grocery store. We go to a free living Christmas tree music fest at a church nearby, we make a special trip with our kids to buy a toys for tots toy to donate. This year we skipped our fancy Christmas dresses for last years pj’s and robe. It made a Norman Rockwell type Christmas card and was just as charming as fancy dresses would have been. I’m making many more gifts because I planned ahead and used my time wisely. One of the wisest and most frugal parts of our Christmas season is that we are not overscheduled. We don’t have many parties to go to or events that overwhelm our children. We do a lot of stuff at home and my kids have time to be bored so our low key events seem like the best thing in the world, rather then something we have to top year after year.

  303. Pauline M says

    My best tip for myself is making a list and sticking to it. I have a habit of spluging and spoiling my kids and I’ve learned the hard way that it’s easy to plunge into debt. Stick to your list and look for the sales. Remember, with the economy the way it is, it’s best to be patient. If it’s not on sale today, it will probably be on sale tomorrow!

  304. Angie says

    My tip: Use the internet to its fullest potential. Search for and research your major purchases first to see where you can get a good deal. Don

  305. says

    Don’t forget to take full advantage of sites such as Ebates. I am pretty frugal so I dont spend a lot, but I do as much Christmas shopping online as possible. I have earned enough thru ebates to pay a few small household bills after Christmas, when money will be TIGHT here (b/c my husband goes an extra week w/o a paycheck over Christmas)..in addition, ebates frequently has coupons to save % off or get free shipping etc. Watch for double-days when you earn double cashback! Every little bit helps!

  306. says

    We get into the spirit of Christmas with our Santa’s elves (children of the toymakers who come to watch the kids behavior). I pick up little gifts throughout the year and the elves bring small gifts that often give us something to do. For instance, they are leaving the book Gingerbread Baby with a gingerbread man cookie making kit this weekend. I also print out the ABC Family 25 days of Christmas programming schedule and we spend many evenings watching a short Christmas show together as a family, and we fill in other inexpensive activities on the other nights when the shows aren’t ones for my kids. Spending a whole month doing special festive things together is a lot of fun for the family!

  307. Betty C says

    Start shopping the day after Christmas. Holiday themed items are deeply discounted and merchants are looking to get rid of excess merchandise before it gets inventoried for tax purposes.
    Shop online as much as possible. It saves time, gas and avoids the temptations that show up when you see an item right in front of you.
    Look for online discount codes for extra savings.

  308. tracey johnson says

    i shop all year long for sales. like target cleances most of their toys january and july. get to know your stores and see when they do most of their markdowns. i also check all ads and make lists on the cheapest prices. we also use nature items for decorations such as pine cones and alpples. merry christmas every one. miketra@sbcglobal.net

  309. Stephanie H. says

    Consider buying your children or family something they can use all year long such as a membership to your local YMCA or a soccer camp or gymnastics lessons. This is not only more healthy for you and your family than just sitting around playing video games or watching DVDs. It’s something that they can use for many months without getting bored and you might have considered doing this anyway, but can now dedicate the money to it during Christmas rather than saving up during the year.

  310. says

    My best tip would be to teach your children to value old fashion hard work instead of commercialized Fads. Have them make their own christmas cards and tree decorations. If you have a Gift exchange amongst adult, have it a NO BUY rule… you have to make it with your own hands!

    I’m sure that’s not the kind of tip your looking for especially in this day and age!

    Also, I make a list of whom I need to buy for IN JANUARY, then throughout the year I buy items on clearance and/or with coupons. Stick to the list. Do not impulse buy! My wallet does not know what retail means because I refuse to purchase gifts at retail. I’m not a scrooge…really. It’s just that when your bring home pay is less than 1,000 per month you stretch where and when you can.

    Same goes for decorations, those that we don’t make, we purchase AFTER the holidays and put them away for the following year.

    Stockpile items with coupons so you are buying them at about 90% OFF. Purchasing a case of ketchup, mayo, beans, whatever… will keep you from paying full price throughout the rest of the year! One time I bought 9 PALLETS of toilet paper (15 four packs to a pallet) because I had a coupon that made them free. We gave 1 pallet to the food pantry, divided 1 pallet up among friends & family and the rest we kept. It last 2 years!

    Thanks
    Tammy OHagan
    tammyohagan ~~~ AT ~~~ westco ~~~ DOT ~~~ net

  311. Andi says

    My best holiday money saving tip is to NOT EAT OUT. Seriously. Pack a lunch for work. Skip the fast food or the dinner out. Eat at home. It is way healthier and WAY cheaper. Add up all those lunches and quick runs through the drive-thru and you would be *amazed* at how fast it adds up.

  312. Kathleen Lewis says

    For the past 7 years we’ve been decorating my 8 ft silk ficus tree. We don’t buy a new tree every year and we buy ornaments at 75% off after the holidays. So over the years our tree looks great and it’s saved us 100’s of dollars.

  313. Stephanie H. says

    A great holiday tip is to make free memories with your children. It’s worth much more than any toy or present and they’ll remember those events like going to the live nativity at a local church or having a mini “picnic” of hot cocoa and cookies (from home) at a free Christmas light display. These are not only free, but so much fun to cultivate your relationship as a family and make lasting memories!

  314. AmandaK says

    The way we save is to make a grocery budget the day before we go grocery shopping. And we only get the essentials. If we can save on food, that means we have more money for bills and other expenses.

  315. Michelle M says

    One of my best holiday money saving tips is to buy photo collage frames from (you guessed it walmart) they have really good deals on these, and then catalog my digital camera for photos, they can be enduring, funny, or just plain wonderful. Then create a different collage for family and friends, it is a gift that keeps giving.

  316. Michelle M says

    Another money saving thing that we do around the holidays, is write poems then print them on beautiful paper and frame them, and give those as presents as well.

  317. CJ Foster says

    My best money saving tip is to go on line and search for free shipping and coupon codes for major store websites. Slickdeals is one such website as is couponcabin. I make sure
    to purchase through upromise so that credits go toward college
    loan payoff.

  318. Carol says

    Every year, I shop on Election Day and Veteran’s Day. The shopping rush hasn’t started yet so the stores are usually well stocked and not crowded. Plus, there are usually great sales going on and I save gas by only hitting the malls twice.

  319. P. Harmon says

    I have saved all the kids holiday art from past years from school. I take that and current holiday art, and hang it in collections around the house, entry way, stairway, hall, etc…its really quite charming. The kids are delighted to see I have saved their creations from the past. After that, we make a ton of paper snowflakes, hang them by thread from the ceiling, and put up our lovely hand-me-down tree from Grannie, and there is no room left for any fancy, expensive decorations.

  320. Adrian Lamont says

    Always check onlie for promo codes before you make your purchases, they can save you money.

  321. Marla says

    Do you have college students on your list? How about filling a reusable shopping bag (some are already christmas red & green) with some of the free or almost free goodies that you got from couponing and shopping the drug stores? Most of the reusable grocery bags are priced around $.99 and can be filled with homebaked goods, lotions, soaps, laundry detergent and the every day household items that really seem to add up. Use some of your stockpile to bring Christmas cheer and help the environment while you’re at it!!

  322. Brandy says

    This is my other holiday money-saving tip, and it has served me very well! I make an exact list of everything I want to get everyone. I then do very extensive research to start finding the best deals. I use different coupon websites (Brad

  323. Carol says

    Our family makes photo ornaments by laminating our favorite pictures, punching a hole in the top and hanging them on the tree with pretty pieces of ribbon. We’ve been doing this for 18 years and have a beautiful (and inexpensive) family history on our tree each year.

  324. sito says

    Shop the week after Christmas for next year’s cards, wrapping paper and decorations. You’ll get great bargains, usually at least half off. And, if you have Christmas get-togethers after Christmas day, you can purchase the gifts for those people and pay less.

  325. sito says

    Make a list of who you need to buy gifts for and a price range you want to spend on them. Stick to that price range, no matter how gorgeous that sweater is that she would just love. Check prices on line and in flyers before you go shopping so you have an idea of how much you should be spending. Avoid buying ready-made gift sets. You can make your own for less. Make Christmas ornaments or decorations instead of buying things for gift exchanges. There are lots of books and sites that have good ideas and instructions for some really pretty hand-made items, so you don’t need to be particularly crafty.

  326. Beverly M says

    I start next years Christmas shopping right after the Holidays are over. This is when you can get some great deals. Lots of things will be 50% off, or more and that’s the time to stock up on toys, wrapping paper, bows, decorations, cards, etc. for the following year. Thanks for having a great contest and Happy Holidays to all!

  327. Suanne Giddings says

    In addition to the usual coupon clipping, buying on sale, price matching, making a list, etc. I have found that I save a lot of money by using cold hard cash for purchases. If you don

  328. Donna K says

    I shop online during sales. I go through a portal like ebates to get cash back. Then before checkout I search for coupons for more money off or free shipping.

  329. says

    Really? You wanna know how I saved money this holiday? I entered so many contests everytime I saw one I entered. I won a flip and a couple other things. That is how I have saved money and I suggest others do the same.

  330. says

    I make a lot of my gifts, like my favorite personal spice mix, hot chocolate mixes etc…
    I also try to do as many handmade kid crafts as we can.
    What I can’t make we try to buy by using Etsy or local artisans or shopping the mega sales and trying to buy before the December crunch.

    Rachels last blog post..Weekly Winners

  331. says

    I’ve been a single mom for so long I know all about cutting costs!

    I shop at thrift stores. Yes, even for gifts. It sounds bad at first but let me explain.

    On one of my recent trips, I found the CUTEST little painted wooden birdcage. It had that antique, rustic look to it and it would be PERFECT in my mom’s new house as a plant holder.

    Aprils last blog post..

  332. Julia Carter says

    Think about what they people on your list REALLY want, don’t buy them two or three things that they might like, get them something practical and useful, you’ll save money and they will love their gift!

  333. Julia Carter says

    Think about what they people on your list REALLY want, don’t buy them two or three things that they might like, get them something practical and useful, you’ll save money and they will love their gift!!!

  334. Julia Carter says

    Think about what they people on your list REALLY want, don’t buy them two or three things that they might like, get them something practical !and useful, you’ll save money and they will love their gift!

  335. says

    I saved money by buying gifts this year rather than givng gifts cards. I went to a Kolh’s jewelry sale and picked up three necklaces, a bracklet and two rings for the five girls. I paid $75 and the total before savings was $420. It was an 60% plus an added 20% at the check out for a total of 80%.

    Pamela/Blondiewritess last blog post..Playing In The Rain

  336. Ann says

    I am on the hunt all year long. I love the clearance sections! I go to TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls often. I have found some really great gifts at great prices. I also like going to the stores that offer a coupon for an added discount. I shop our second hand shops and have found some really awesome deals on new or look like new items…you just have to go often.
    Last year I gave my hubby a coupon book with coupons for a backrub, a foot massage, a facial and more…now I’m embarrased :)

  337. Joan moore says

    1)I shop online to compare prices! I let my keyboard do the driving.
    2)I take advantage of free shipping or ship to the store.

  338. Mindy Ranck says

    I didn’t have a lot of money for X-mas this year, so I have been bargain shopping & using coupons for groceries. What I saved out of my budget for groceries, I have been using for gifts, and I also had coupons for glade candles & ended up getting them free. I made up a bunch of baskets of Glade air fresheners, Glade 2 in 1 candles, Glade Plug-ins, refills, and many other Glade products that I didn’t pay a cent for and they are nice gifts that didn’t hurt my budget at all! I also used prescription coupons and transferred my prescriptions around and used the $25 & $30 gift cards towards Itunes gift cards for my kids & other small gifts such as candy, ornaments, etc.

  339. Kristi says

    Taking advice from our pastor’s sermon, we actually are beginning to give away gifts that we currently have that we extremely value. For instance, we just had a gift exchange for my husband’s job and one of the items that we gave was a book that my husband values very much. It’s one of his favorites and he decided to give it away and let the person who got it know why he chose to give such a gift. Instead of spending any extra money, we simply took something of value to us and shared it with another. Simple, frugal, and meaningful and saves us money and time, but lets us know that we are giving from what we value.

  340. Roxann says

    Make a list of what and who you are buying gifts for. When you are out shopping stick to that list no matter how tempting it may be to buy something else that is on sale in addition to what you are already buying. This is a great deal for the recipient but a bad deal for your budget.

  341. says

    Tip number one: Shop sales through out the year and make gifts homemade. The simplest of gifts mean so much! Plus, you may even learn something new by it! It also truly comes from the heart, and means so much. You can even buy something at the store and dress it up a little and add you own touch to it. Be creative. Have fun.
    Tip number 2: Make felt decorations for the tree. Deck your house out in all homemade. It adds a homey feel to the house to me. You can also let your kids help with making decorations. But if your not the crafty type you can always reuse decorations from previous years. A cheap center piece for your table could be a few (3?) red candles with some greenery around them. Have fun. Make it simple. Make memories. (and remember to have the camera handy!)

    Hannahs last blog post..Bloggy News

  342. says

    I would say a BIG money saver tip is before you go shopping, grocery or presents, you have a list and ONLY GET WHAT IS ON IT!

    I make up a menu plan and corresponding grocery list for the WHOLE week before I go to the store. I go once a week. I have a budget of $190 for 11 people, 6 of them adults and we buy mostly organics. I use $190 cash. It is a great way to make sure you stay in that budget!
    So set an amount, make a list before you leave, use cash, get only what is on your list and SAVE!
    Miss Amanda

    Miss Amandas last blog post..A Crash Course on Spiritual Warfare Giveaway Everyday!

  343. Heather C says

    Always put a spending-moratorium on buying things for yourself the entire month preceding Christmas. There is no need to buy something, then ruin everything when you open up a gift box and see the exact same thing staring back at you Christmas morning!!

  344. Heather C says

    Stuff stockings with fruit and rolled up parchment paper, each a coupon for something fun to do during the year, like make a cake for no reason, learn a song together, act out a silly play, etc. Your kids will love it…and sometimes even the older folks will love it, too.

  345. Janet says

    I use sd matches from local stores and coupons to save money:) ty 4 the awesome giveaway and entry!:)