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Holiday > Frugal For The Holidays


Money In WalletThe holiday season can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be that way. The true joy of the holidays comes when families get together, and these family events don't have to break the bank. Below are some frugal holiday ideas that make the most out of time families spend together.

Frugal Holiday Ideas

Dessert Parties
It can be very expensive to cook a grand holiday meal. It can be expensive even when every member of the family chips in to bring certain dishes. Instead of a big meal, try having a dessert party. Everyone can make one decadent dessert to bring for a late evening party. The family gets to spend time together and enjoy delicious, inexpensive treats.

Ornament Exchange
Buying gifts for all family members can be quite expensive. Try something new this year. Let everyone draw names, so each person only has to buy one gift. Then, decide that the only gifts that can be purchased are Christmas tree ornaments that hold a special meaning. The search for finding the perfect ornament that will have meaning for the recipient is fun. The recipient will appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into picking out the gift. Special ornaments have more meaning than a new sweater or a gift certificate.

Baked Goods
Everyone loves baked goods. Christmas pies, cakes, and cookies are absolute essentials during the holidays. One frugal holiday idea is to give away baskets or bags of baked goods as gifts instead of spending outrageous amounts of money on gifts that may or may not actually get used. Inexpensive gift bags or baskets can be purchased at a local dollar store or craft store. They can be decorated with red and green ribbon and filled with blueberry muffins, gingerbread cookies, chocolate cake squares, or slices of pumpkin pie. These gifts are often the best because recipients know the time and effort that went into the gifts.

Holiday Activities
Keeping the kids busy during the holidays can also be costly. Instead of paying for expensive activities, decide to only participate in free holiday activities that do something nice for others. Volunteer at the homeless shelter or the community soup kitchen. Take the kids to the nursing homes and visit the elderly. Go sing Christmas carols to shut-ins in the community. Write and mail letters from Santa to young children in the family. These holiday activities have more meaning than many others, and you will feel good spreading holiday cheer.

We hope these ideas are helpful when you're planning your frugal holiday season. Remember, being cost-conscious doesn't have to mean giving up on all the fun!

See more from the Saratoga Holiday Guide »