There's No Reason Why You Can't Save During the Holidays

by Team HomeServe Top Tips and Lists  
Person giving gift at secret Santa party

Over the past few years, my holiday shopping spending has gotten a little out of control. (So what if I splurged a little on those eight life-sized reindeer?! They’re festive!)

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According to the National Retail Federation, the average American family will spend $1,048 during the 2019 winter holidays. That’s 34% more than we spent 10 years ago! (Yep, time to set a budget people!)

If you’re like me, you know you shouldn’t spend a lot of money during the holidays. And that means if you’re to save a lot this Christmas, you need to get your spending under control. And TBH, there's absolutely no reason you can't save money and still have a nice, festive holiday season. Sure, it’s easy to feel pressured into all the hot new trends and luxury wish lists, but as your family and friends will tell you, it really is the thought that counts.

This year, I’m giving you 31 ways to get the most bang for your holiday buck. Consider it my free gift to you. (Aha! I’m already saving money.)


  1. Set a gifting budget for how much you can spend on each person.
  2. Keep an eye out for seasonal sales, coupons and free shipping deals.
  3. Draw names instead of buying everyone presents.
  4. Prioritize simple, meaningful gifts over trendy, expensive items.
  5. Establish a spending cap for your gift exchange group. Try a Secret Santa.
  6. Consider gifting your time or a helping hand this year.
  7. Look around for items you can re-gift to people who will appreciate them.
  8. Shop with cash instead of credit cards.
  9. Pick up stocking stuffers and wrapping paper from discount stores. (Or Target’s dollar bin section!)
  10. Repurpose last years’ gift bags and bows.
  11. Use a free budget-tracking spreadsheet or app to manage your spending.

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  1. Elevate your everyday décor with a few seasonal accents or a statement piece.
  2. Bring the outside in with winter greenery, berries, twigs and pinecones from around the yard.
  3. Make DIY holiday decorations with things from around the house.
  4. Send e-cards or picture messages in lieu of traditional holiday cards.
  5. Drive around to marvel at holiday lights in your neighborhood instead of creating your own display.
  6. Wait until the end-of-season sales before stocking up on new holiday decorations.
  7. Let the kids make simple table centerpieces and paper chains.
  8. Re-style an old wreath with a few new trimmings.
  9. Hang up some festive and free printable graphics around the house.
  10. Create garlands with dried fruit, cranberries and popcorn.


  1. Be strict about sticking to your holiday grocery list. These stores have the best prices.
  2. Buy party essentials like plates and utensils in bulk.
  3. Host a pot-luck where everyone can bring their favorite dish.
  4. Only accept the invitations that matter most and politely decline the rest.
  5. Be up-front about why you’re cutting back so family and friends can support you.
  6. Enjoy free holiday entertainment through your local park, mall, church or rec center.
  7. Volunteer at the holiday gala so you don’t have to buy a ticket.
  8. Choose nonalcoholic drinks over pricey cocktails when you go out.
  9. Plan a cozy night in with your loved ones.
  10. Visit extended family after the holidays.

Another smart money-saving idea? Having a home warranty plan in place before you have unexpected appliance or home system breakdowns. Learn how a plan from TotalHome Warranty can help with the costs of covered repairs.

View plans in your area

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