5 Ways We Saved in December

5 Ways We Saved in December

I love reading blogs like Frugally Blonde and Joyfully Thriving which share practical ways that their family has saved money.  A few months ago I decided to write my own post each month on how we save, and it has quickly become one of the most popular features here on The Orthodox Mama.


5 Ways We Saved in December



1. We Used Gifts We Had Bought Earlier

One of the biggest ways we are able to save money on Christmas presents for our children is by buying them throughout the year when we see something on clearance.  Earlier this year we spotted a really cute doctor’s kit that we knew our daughter would love.  It was also on sale for half off.  Score!  I also stock up on art supplies during the back to school season when they are so inexpensive.  They make great gifts at Christmas!


Amount Saved:  $25



2. Sent Leftover Christmas Cards

When I got out our boxes of Christmas decorations this year I noticed that we had lots of odds and ends in the Christmas card section.  It seems like every year we don’t quite finish the package of cards that we bought.  So, this year over half of our Christmas cards were actually leftovers from previous years!  I don’t think that anyone noticed.  🙂


Amount Saved:  $15



3. Enjoyed Free Entertainment with Our Extended Family

We had a great time spending several days with family this Christmas.  There were 8 adults and 5 kids staying in one house, which only added to the fun!  Earlier in the month we had discussed our plans and decided that we didn’t want to spend a lot of money going to costly events or activities together.  So, we didn’t go see movies, go out to dinner, etc.  Instead we enjoyed staying in the house, going to the park, taking walks, visiting the local library, and going to the DC zoo.  The kids had a blast with their cousins, and all of the adults enjoyed catching up with each other–without spending a dime.


Amount Saved:  at least $50 (the amount it would have cost our family to go out to one nicer restaurant.)



4. Limited the Gift-Giving

Our family also decided to limit our gift-giving this year.  Each family only bought gifts for the kids.  In years past we have given gifts to each of the couples as well, but we are all a bit budget-conscious right now.  So, we only brought gifts for our three children and our two nephews.  If you are looking for ways to reduce your Christmas spending, this is a huge one!  Having an open, honest discussion with your family can be really helpful.  You may find out that others would love to reduce or even skip gift-giving all together.  Spending time together is a gift in itself.


Amount Saved:  $60 (we budgeted $20 per couple in past years)



5. Drain Clog Remover

This last one is rather random (and a bit gross)!  The drain in our shower is very easily clogged.  Part of it is due to plumbing issues and part of it to my incredibly thick hair.   For the past several months we have spent at least $5 a month on Liquid Plumber and other similar products.  My husband decided to stop pouring money down the drain–literally.  He researched and bought a simple Drain Clog Remover tool for $4.  It can be used over and over again and will save us quite a bit of money.


Amount Saved:  $60 ($5 a month for the next year)


Total Saved: $210 


How did you save this month?  I’d love to hear!


(This post contains affiliate links.  If you click a link and purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Thank you for supporting The Orthodox Mama!)


(Linked to Thrifty Thursday, Frugal Fridays, Share the Wealth, Small Victories Sunday.)


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13 thoughts on “5 Ways We Saved in December

  1. Happy 2016, Sarah!

    I’ve had to (reluctantly) temper my “buy gifts ahead of Christmas” strategy. As my kids get older they inevitably change their minds/interests by the time Christmas rolls around. Then, I’m stuck with gifts they no longer “want”. I tend to just wait it out now and buy presents closer to Christmas and look for great deals. Hip2Save.com is a great site for up-to-date deals on just about everything. Definitely a resource I check often. She’s saved me lots of money over the years 🙂

    You’re right about the drain tool. I also have thick hair which tends to clog our drain. It’s definitely cheaper and also gentler on your pipes. I’ve heard that over time things like Liquid Plumbr etc, can possibly damage your pipes.

    • Hi Carrie! I hadn’t thought about how gift giving will change as my kids get older. Good point. And, I hadn’t heard about liquid clog removers being tough on your pipes, but that makes total sense. It is a short term fix that could be used sometimes, I guess, but may not be best in the long term.

    • Definitely! I am not always very good about planning ahead. This year, however, when my kids mentioned something that they were interested in, I wrote it down. Then if I saw it on sale, I picked it up ahead of time. It helped out!

  2. I love the creativity you used with all these savings! I think that’s where people get stuck – perhaps they don’t realize that it sometimes takes a little creativity and innovative thinking to save money. Just like our grandparents did during the Depression. (I just pinned this to my Pinterest account).

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