Decorating for Christmas is one of my favorite things to do. I love all the beautiful decorations, lights, greenery, and more. But all of this can come at a very steep price; it can be hard to stay with your Christmas budget! Since my whole focus on this website is teaching you how to budget, it only seems natural that we discuss how you can decorate your home beautifully, AND still save money on Christmas decorations without going over budget. Believe me, it IS possible!
Before I get into my money-saving tips, I’ll say I have become really savvy on having more money during the holidays in the first place. Several years ago, my family adopted the three-gift rule, and since we aren’t spending hundreds (or thousands) on “extra” gifts, we do have a little set aside in our budget so I can shop for what we need after the holidays. I also use apps like Swagbucks to earn extra cash for purchases during this time of year.
The absolute best advice I have is to shop in advance. Don’t wait until the season arrives to shop because prices will be at their most expensive. Instead, check out your local stores in the days after Christmas because many of the items will be steeply discounted.
Keep in mind, however, this also means your selection could be very limited! Don’t feel obligated to buy decorations just because they are on sale! Store the items for the following year. Things I buy every year are gift bags, wrapping paper, wrapping tape, and Christmas lights.
I like to save money for Christmas all year long, so it makes it easy to pick up items for next year when the money is already saved.
I have a rule with my Christmas decorating: I buy what I love. If I don’t love it, I’m not spending my money on it. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s only twenty-five cents. You do not need to turn your house into a Christmas paradise overnight! As a result, it has taken me years to accumulate my most loved and best looking Christmas decorations.
But you know what? It doesn’t make me sad it’s taken so long. Instead, it makes me appreciate each item more. I have a memory or triumph attached to each. It has made my holidays more meaningful.
Let go of the feeling that you have to have everything perfect from the start and you can enjoy small wins for decades as you build your decor!
Most people tend to shop at the exact same stores for their Christmas decorations. They may go to Wal-Mart, Hallmark, or craft stores. Many of these stores charge high prices for their ornaments and decorations because that is where people go to buy them!
Consider checking out locally owned stores or the dollar store. Keep an eye out for things that are not necessarily Christmas themed, but could be re-purposed for Christmas such as doll-sized items (for ornaments) or items that could be personalized or decorated.
Check out thrift stores, antique stores, yard sales, and garage sales. Estate sales and moving sales can also be great opportunities for decorations because the sellers are often desperate to sell and most people don’t think to look for those items there!
Now I’m not saying you need to set out to make all of your decorations from scratch, but there are many cute and SIMPLE ideas on Pinterest for making some simple decorations. You can make Christmas flower arrangements from flowers purchased at the dollar store. You can modify magnets or doll-sized toys into ornaments. That’s only a few examples.
More of what I’m saying is not to count yourself out. There are plenty of crafts out there that require little actual “craftiness.” Usually, it might just be some glue and ribbon.
I love this idea of using old flannel shirts as Christmas ornaments. What a clever idea!
You might look at this section and be confused. Isn’t the whole point of this article about how you NEED decorations? Think about what you might have in good supply. For example, use the Christmas cards you receive to decorate your home. If you Google it, there are TONS of ideas of how to use those Christmas cards to decorate your home.
Don’t just set them in a pile on your counter, use them! It will remind you of all the people who took the time to think of you during the holiday season. Plus, you’ll always get more the following year. Soon you could have them in every window, or every windowsill, or in every doorway!
Later on, you can always cut the pretty pictures off of the cards and repurpose them as decorations, make your own cards, or other crafts.
I hope you found some inspirational ideas to save money on Christmas decorations this season! Don’t worry, you don’t need to go broke being festive!