For a lot of us, the holidays are all about traditions — the food, the decorations, the parties and the gifts.
But this time of year can be expensive. As U.S. News reports, the National Retail Federation predicts we’ll spend $805 per person this holiday season.
So how do we cut back? Well, U.S. News has a few suggestions to help us save money while still enjoying our favorite holiday experiences.
1. Turn a Party into a Potluck
A lot of us host big parties over the holidays, whether it’s an annual family celebration or a gathering of friends. This means buying appetizers, desserts, drinks and more.
Cut back on your party costs by going potluck instead. Ask everyone to bring a dish to share, and enjoy entertaining without overspending.
2. Buy Discounted Gift Cards
A lot of us purchase gift cards to give as presents or as stocking stuffers.
If you’re paying full price, you’re doing it wrong. Start buying discounted gift cards — it’s one of the rare cases where you literally get more than you pay for!
3. Send Fewer Greeting Cards
How many greeting cards do you send out during the holiday season? Could you cut that number in half?
Even eliminating 10% of your holiday cards means saving cash on both cards and postage.
Send holiday cards only to your relatives and closest friends, and wish everyone else a happy holiday on Facebook.
4. Keep Your Decorations Simple
If your outdoor holiday decorations resemble Clark Griswold’s, you’re probably paying too much on both your lights and your electric bill!
Keep things simple this year. Instead of buying new gear for your holiday display, use what you already have and avoid pieces that light up, move or otherwise require electricity.
Same goes for your indoor decorations. Don’t spend money on new ornaments, garlands or other holiday gear. Chances are, you can decorate your entire home with what’s already stored in your closet or attic.
These are just a few of the 11 different suggestions U.S. News offers. Take some time to read the full list, and then let us know how you plan to keep your holiday costs down without losing what’s important.
Want to learn more? Read the full story at U.S. News.
Your Turn: How do you plan to save money this holiday season?
Nicole Dieker is a freelance writer focusing on personal finance and personal stories. Her work has appeared in The Billfold, The Toast, Yearbook Office, The Write Life and Boing Boing.