How to Save Money on Your Family’s Holiday Expenses

Hey Moms! The holiday season is a magical time filled with joy, laughter, and cherished memories. However, it can also bring a hefty price tag that might make us feel a bit overwhelmed. But fear not! With a little planning and some clever tricks, you can keep your holiday expenses in check without sacrificing the festive fun.

Here are some tried-and-true tips to help you save money on your family’s holiday expenses.


1. Create a Holiday Budget

First things first, set a budget. List out all the expected expenses, such as gifts, decorations, food, and travel. Having a clear budget helps you stay on track and avoid those sneaky impulse purchases. And remember, sticking to the budget is key!

According to Hyper Jar, “To maximize your chances of staying on track, start with the big stuff first – anything that’s not included in what you’ve paid for already. If you’ve booked all-inclusive, the added costs are likely to be for things like day trips, taxis, and souvenirs.”

2. Start Early and Spread Out Your Shopping

Avoid the last-minute rush and start your holiday shopping early.

By spreading out your purchases over a few months, you can take advantage of sales and discounts as they come along. Plus, it’s less stressful than doing everything at the last minute!

3. DIY Decorations and Gifts

Get crafty! Making your own decorations and gifts can be a fun family activity and a great way to save money.

Homemade gifts like cookies, candles, or hand-knitted scarves are thoughtful and often more appreciated than store-bought ones.

4. Use Coupons and Cashback Apps

Before you hit the stores or shop online, check for coupons and use cashback apps. Websites like RetailMeNot or apps like Rakuten can help you find great deals and earn a little back on your purchases. Every little bit helps!

5. Plan Potluck Gatherings

Hosting a holiday meal can get expensive. Why not turn it into a potluck? Ask each guest to bring a dish. This way, everyone shares the load, and you get a delicious variety of foods without breaking the bank.

6. Set Gift Limits

Consider implementing a gift limit within your family or among friends. This could be a monetary limit or even a “one-gift” rule.


It takes the pressure off everyone to spend excessively and keeps the focus on the joy of giving rather than the cost.

7. Shop Sales and Clearance

Take advantage of post-holiday sales for next year’s celebrations. Items like wrapping paper, decorations, and even some gifts can be bought at a fraction of the cost after the holiday season.

8. Embrace Free Activities

The holiday season is full of free and low-cost activities that can create wonderful memories. Drive around to see neighborhood light displays, have a holiday movie night at home, or take part in local community events.

These activities are often just as enjoyable as more expensive outings.

According to Unicorns, Dinosaurs & Me, “Fun days out don’t need to cost the earth. All destinations will have free attractions. Researching free attractions before your holiday can be a fun and budget-friendly way to discover the hidden gems of your destination. Start by browsing the official tourism website and local blogs for listings of free museums, local or national parks, free events, free activities, or historical landmarks.”

9. Give the Gift of Time

Sometimes, the best gifts aren’t things but experiences. Offer to babysit for a friend, plan a special outing with your kids, or have a family game night. These moments of togetherness are priceless and often more meaningful than material gifts.

10. Travel Smart

If you’re traveling, book flights and accommodations as early as possible to get the best rates.

Consider traveling during off-peak times to save even more. And don’t forget to look for family discounts or bundle deals.

Involve the Kids in Saving

Teaching kids about money and the value of saving can be a fun and educational experience, especially during the holidays. Here are some ways to get them involved:

Make It a Game

Turn saving into a fun challenge. Create a holiday savings jar and encourage your kids to contribute their spare change. Set a goal together and celebrate once you reach it.

DIY Projects

Get the kids involved in making homemade decorations and gifts. This not only saves money but also allows for quality family time.

Kids love crafting, and their handmade creations add a personal touch to your holiday décor and gifts.


Plan Together

Let your kids help plan holiday activities. Give them a budget for an outing or a holiday meal and let them make decisions within that budget.

This helps them understand the value of money and the importance of making thoughtful choices.

Thrift Store Treasures

Take your kids to thrift stores or flea markets to hunt for unique and inexpensive holiday decorations and gifts. It’s a fun adventure and a great way to find budget-friendly treasures.

Cook and Bake

Involve the kids in cooking and baking for holiday meals and treats. Not only does this save money, but it also teaches them valuable cooking skills and creates lasting memories.

According to Momma Wandelust, “Food is a major expense while traveling. This is why staying at a or staying in a hotel with a kitchen or kitchenette can provide the biggest savings. We generally try to book our accommodations in a condo-style resort with a full kitchen. After check-in, we usually go to a local grocery store to pick up enough food for a few meals.”

Storytime Savings

Read books or watch shows about saving and budgeting with your kids.

This can spark conversations about money and encourage them to think about ways to save during the holidays.

By involving your kids in the process, you’re not only saving money but also teaching them important life skills. Plus, it makes the holiday preparations more enjoyable and meaningful for the whole family.

Why Saving on Holiday Expenses Matters

Saving on holiday expenses is more than just keeping your bank account in check; it’s about creating a stress-free and joyful holiday season. By managing your spending, you avoid the financial hangover that can come with overspending.

This means starting the new year without debt and with a sense of financial stability.

Teaching your kids about the importance of saving also sets a good example for their future. It shows them that the holidays are about togetherness, love, and creativity, not just about how much money is spent. When you save on holiday expenses, you can focus on what truly matters: spending quality time with loved ones, making memories, and enjoying the simple pleasures of the season.

Remember, the holidays should bring happiness, not financial worry. By being mindful of your spending, you can ensure a joyful, relaxed, and meaningful holiday experience for the entire family.

To Wrap Up

Remember, the true spirit of the holidays is about love, joy, and spending time with the people who matter most. With a little creativity and some smart planning, you can make this holiday season magical and memorable without the financial stress. But if you really want to go on that summer vacation or a trip abroad there are lots of ways to do it without breaking the bank! Have fun, moms!

Kathy Urbanski

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