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How to Save Money on Holiday Decorations and Gifts

You can have festive holiday celebrations without dipping into savings or running up a credit card balance. Use these holiday-planning ideas to jump-start your creativity and see where your imagination takes you.

  • Easter: Warm spring weather, newborn bunnies, and freshly cut tulips. If only those store-bought springtime goodies, such as Easter baskets for the kids and decorations for the home, weren’t so expensive. But with a little creativity, you can enjoy the season frugally.

    For instance, you can make your own inexpensive Easter baskets. Use wicker baskets, which last year after year, or be creative with your choice of container.

  • Halloween: Halloween costumes don’t have to scare the living daylights out of your budget. You can make all kinds of inexpensive costumes from things found around the house or at thrift stores. Use your imagination!

  • Hanukkah and Christmas: Holiday giving and frugal living don’t have to be polar opposites if you follow these easy ideas:

    • Make your own wrapping paper out of brown paper grocery bags. Cut open the paper bags and spread them flat, with the plain insides of the bags facing up. Cut some sponges into simple holiday shapes (snowmen, trees, stars), dip them into red, green, blue, or white paint, and then sponge-paint randomly over the open paper bags. Tied with inexpensive brown twine, this makes a rustic and beautiful gift-wrapping.

    • If you like the variety and sparkle of store-bought paper, shop for it after the holidays, when it’s half off or more, and save it for the next holiday season.

    • Limit your number of decorations. A few strategically placed decorations can have a dramatic effect.

    • Set a limit on how much to spend on each person you’re buying for. Shop early. Shop online. Purchase gifts on clearance throughout the year.

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