How to Have a Wonderful and Frugal Christmas

A frugal Christmas on a tight budget is not fun… but some of us have no other options.  It’s a time for giving, but what are you supposed to do when you’ve got so little to give?

How to have a Wonderful and frugal Christmas

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Frugal gifts for your family

Stocking stuffer ideas

  • My daughter likes cute cupcake liners and sprinkles for baking
  • Snacks that they love, and mommy never usually buys
  • Dollar store items that are useful like pencil cases, cute notepads
  • Fancy toothbrushes with their favorite characters

Gifts for your spouse

My husband and I always just cook together and enjoy a meal at home as our gift to each other.  We like it better that way because:

  • We’re always exhausted (especially around the holidays) and too lazy to get dressed up
  • It’s cheaper! (I honestly don’t discriminate between a $5 or $55 bottle of wine.)
  • We spend the time together in the kitchen, talking, listening to music, laughing and enjoying some quality time.

Kids’ Christmas gift tips

Something I’ve started doing is to buy just 3 gifts for each of them.  One from mom and dad, one from Santa, and one from their sibling.  I tell my kids to come up with a wish list.  Then they narrow it down to their top three.  They still get what they want from their list, without so much extra, unnecessary stuff.

how to get great christmas gifts for kids

Frugal Christmas gifts for friends and family

Homemade gifts are always a great option

  • Last year, I sewed blankets for each one of my nieces and nephews and my friend’s kids using extra fabric that I already had.  I started early so I didn’t have to rush.  It turned out to be something really special because I had to consider each child’s personality before picking the fabric and size.

Related post: How to Get Great Christmas Gifts for Kids

    • Another low-cost semi-homemade gift is making hand-painted Ceramic Christmas Ornaments.  My kids painted these gave one to each of their teachers for Christmas last year.  I think they appreciated the thoughtfulness.

Save money on gifts

cookies how to have a wonderful and frugal christmas

  • Baked goods are always a nice gift during the holidays.  Instead of the fancy treats using expensive ingredients, I make delicious chocolate chip cookies…. from the tub of cookie dough.  It costs me, hmm… about $7.00 to make dozens of cookies.  I give these out to my colleagues and my kids give them out to their friends, too.  Nobody has ever been upset at me for not baking them from scratch.
  • Secret Santa!  Within our immediate family, we just get gifts for the kids (my nieces and nephews).  The adults will do a Secret Santa for each other.  One great and frugal Christmas gift idea I’ve just learned about is the $5 Meal Plan.  They send you weekly meal plans and money-saving grocery tips every week!

Frugal Tips for holiday parties

Plan ahead!

You know those White Elephant gifts will be required at your holiday parties.  If you see something cute and on clearance or at the dollar store, just get 10 of them.  You can always return what you didn’t use.  You’ll save more doing that then buying something at the last-minute.

frugal christmas gift how to have a wonderful and frugal christmas

Make budget-friendly dishes

If you’re bringing a dish to share to your next holiday party, choose something that is affordable and feeds a crowd.  Some frugal Christmas dishes are:

  • Pasta dishes
  • Cupcakes
  • Casseroles
  • Soups
  • Stews

I hope you are able to you some of these ideas to save money this Christmas.  What are some other ways that you enjoy Christmas on a tight budget?


2 thoughts

  1. Thank you for this great post. These are some fantastic ideas. In addition to minimizing the crazy bills that the Season can incur, I believe that Christmas really ought to move away from the commercial blitz it has become. Home and hand-made gifts provide us an opportunity to really add the ‘personal touch’ and imbue our giving with the Spirit – rather than the bottom line for mega corporations. 🙂

    1. Hi! I agree that homemade gifts are the best! We definitely need to emphasize the giving spirit of Christmas, rather than the commercial greediness. Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays!

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