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!
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