The holidays are supposed to be the most joyous time of the year. For many people, however, they can also be the most stressful. Family gatherings can be a headache, eating all that delicious food can lead to weight gain, and most years, we have so much of our money allotted towards gifts that we can’t even consider spending anything on Christmas decorations.
Luckily, a festive home doesn’t have to mean spending hundreds of dollars. With a little creativity and some know-how, it is easy to keep the holidays bright during these tough economic times. Here are five easy tips to help save money on Christmas decorations and have some fun at the same time:
1. Shop All Year, Starting the Day After Christmas
On the day after Christmas, many people feel burnt out on holiday cheer. But not only will going out shopping help burn off some of the calories from those Christmas cookies, it can help save a lot of money on decorations for next year. After the holidays, stores go into clearance mode, slashing prices on leftover Christmas decorations and accessories 50% or more. Sleep in and miss the sales? Don’t worry. While most stores don’t begin stocking their holiday supply until after Halloween, discount Christmas decorations can be found at various online shops all throughout the year.
2. Check Out Yard Sales
A great place to look for Christmas decorations is yard sales, especially if the sale is being held because the family is about to relocate. When people move, they usually want to leave non-essential items behind to save on packing time. This includes things like Christmas decorations. Yard sale prices are about as cheap as they come, so it is worth it to take the time to hunt around for the decorations you want.
3. Make Decorations Yourself
The most enjoyable solution to the high price of holiday decorations is to create them yourself at home with items that are affordable or even free. Pine cones or pine needles collected from the woods can be used to make a beautiful wreath. Soda cans can be cut in two, painted in holiday colors, and used as decorative candle holders. Mini candy canes or other holiday treats can be placed inside of glass jars and wrapped with ribbon to add color to a centerpiece or kitchen counter. Not only will these ideas save money, but they are a wonderful way to get children involved in the holiday decorating process.
4. Trade Decorations with Friends or Family to Change it up
If last year’s decorations have become boring but are still in good shape, see if a friend or family member might want to trade. It’s like getting a brand new set of decorations without the heavy price tag.
5. Go Artificial (The Tree, That Is)
A real tree costs a family an average of $46, which adds up to $460 after ten years, not including the cost of decorations. The average price for an artificial tree is less than $80, meaning that in only two years it will have paid for itself, as well as a few brand new ornaments.
Lucy Schwartz is a freelance author and DIY expert who admires Collections.