Frugal Holidays Ideas

What if I told you I have the best gift idea for everyone on this holiday!  How about ideas for everyone to enjoy, gifting them the ability to keep away from holiday debt!

Now more than ever Christmas is all about spending, most of us will go into debt making everyone happy. What if I told you, that debt shouldn’t be an issue when getting ready for the holiday season? Not only are these tricks frugal but they emphasize the importance of being together.

Real quality time between one another is rare nowadays, with our cellphone being glued to our hand and face, we totally forgot what its like to feel and be connected.

Try to get everyone involved around you! (At least the people you’ll be spending time with) It will facilitate the whole thing. Plus everybody will be glad to have a money break!

Gifts

Twenty bucks here…  100$ there,  60$ for tickets, 100$ of teachers gifts! the list can go on. The true goal of the holidays is to spend quality times with loved ones, why would we need to give 10 gifts to buy one person’s love when they only truly want to spend quality time with you!

One gift for each person in the family

Whether its friend or family if they love you they will understand.  Instead of buying a gift from mommy and another one from daddy for your kid, add to that the from Santa gift, that’s already 3 gifts for one child ….

When we give gifts we give them as a family. And we buy one gift for any couple we have to give gifts to. As for me and my s.o. I don’t recall any gift giving between us even at the beginning of our relationship.

Use old Newspaper to Wrap

Every year massive among of gift wrapping paper ends up in landfills after the holiday.  Not only are they polluting our planet but they cost money. For every wrapping roll you buy, it is like taking your money and dumping it in a landfill directly. Why not us something that we put to the recycling anyway.  This brings me to the newspaper!  Wrap gifts in newspaper, they’re easy to find and free.

Ditch the Cards

Am I the only one who think wishing cards useless? According to the article: Greeting Card Industry Facts and Figures, by Kate Pullen, The Greeting Card industry is worth 7.5 billion dollars in sales every year.  That means we put 7.5$ billion worth of paper to either the recycling, drawer, or someplace that it would get forgotten every year… What a waste! Whatever you write in that card you can tell the person verbally. Seriously grow a pair!

If your still not convinced let’s do some math.  Let’s say you have a 30$ budget per gift per person. A decent card in my area goes for 6$ plus tax (6.89$)…  leaving you with 23.11$ tax included, to purchase the gift and wrapping!!!

Homemade Gifts

Homemade gifts are a great way to stretch your budget and offer something personalized and made with love to people you care for.

You can check out an amazing list of ideas of DIY Gift ideas on Crystal Owens article 

Gift Exchange

Having large families can make Christmas pretty expensive, a great way to reduce your spending is to do a good old gift exchange.  One rule, everybody leaves with only one gift at the end of the evening!

This will cut down your Christmas shopping list by a lot. Especially if you have 7 aunts and uncles with all their kids type of family. to save even more you can also read my article How to Prepare for Black Friday it might be too late for this Christmas but you can use it to get ready ahead of time for next year.

Activities

Volunteer

What better way to spend the holidays than to give back to your community and the less fortunate? I love to go help in soup kitchens, you get to meet, and talk with people that have the most heartwarming stories.

Another great way to volunteer is in your local library, you can hold holiday activities for any age group. Volunteer in the elder community, most spend the holidays alone, having a nice smile from a friendly face will make their day.

  • Soup kitchen
  • Spend the day at an old age home
  • Go build Christmas tree in childcare facilities and old age homes
  • Charity events (food drives)
  • Nez-Rouge (CANADA)

Have a Holiday Charity Family Goal

This is my holiday 2019 goal!  This takes a while to put together, but as a family, it can be really fun! My goal will be to collect food donations, coupons from everyone and give a massive donation to a local food bank from the holidays! My ultimate goal is to do it with only 100$.

  • Clothing Drive
  • Non-Perishable food drive
  • Toy drive
  • Holiday decoration drive

Holiday Movie Marathon

If you have any subscription to streaming services, you’re probably being bombarded by s collection of holiday movies. Gather the family and have an evening of Christmas movies in your pyjamas. I know it may sound a tacky thing to do but the important thing is to be together.

Board Games

Ever since video games have hit the market, boardgame nights are scares in North American households.  It a great way to spend hours having fun and put to use those dusty games! Adults why not combine it with any of your favorite alcoholic drink, you’re in for a wonderful evening.

Go Outside

Play a family game of football, soccer, go sliding etc.. local ice rinks are either free or dirt cheap! If your lucky enough to have snow build a fort together or a snow man.

Me and my s.o.  had fun rolling a bolder of snow to a ridiculous size while we were out letting Kyrra run!  (our Husky)

Emphasize on time spent together, away from any distraction (leave your phone alone time!) A lot of people will be alone for Christmas yet again this year. If you are fortunate enough to be able to spend time with loved ones, please do! Not everyone is as lucky! I’m very thankful to spend time with my loved ones: friends and family, its all that counts.

Family & Friends Gathering

Potluck

Boy did this save Christmas at the in-laws this year!  As my s.o.’s grandmother ages, cooking for 15 people and paying for everyone was unrealistic! My parents-in-law decided to host and the potluck idea was lurking around and everyone thought it was a wonderful idea. I offered to bake my famous Ferrero Roche cake!

Follow me on Instagram to see how this year’s cake will be decorated!

For those who don’t know what a Potluck is: Potluck is to have your guest bring a dish that going to be part of the meal. Christmas example: one family brings the cooked turkey, another the cooked ham, meat pies, cheese plater, dessert, cold cut plater,  meatball dish, potato salad and so on.

You can pre-establish what every family brings or you can risk it and let each family surprise one another. I love to add themes to these nights or weird challenges (we do potlucks a little too often) Halloween vampire theme dish or Mexican night,  Greek dish night and so on! Have fun with it! Change it up it doesn’t have to cost more.

Bring Your Own Booze!

With the price of alcohol being higher than my hourly wage, I hate to host events that aren’t bring your own booze. The bill can add up significantly especially for someone (like me) who don’t drink much or often. I’m not saying: not to offer a drink to your guest, but you don’t have to supply their whole alcohol intake.

No Host Gifts

Am I the only one who thinks its always socially awards, you either bring alcohol that the host will end up serving you during the night or a weird dust collecting thing we certainly don’t need. Therefore, the best host gift, in my opinion, is to bring your own booze, act respectably, and a thank you at the end of the evening!

If you are having an important meeting during the holiday (business meeting, asking your girlfriend’s daddy for permission to marry her) then I do recommend giving a host gift, but between friends and close family its another story. We’ll all be happy with the expense break.

During the holidays it’s a time of gathering with, friends, family, loved ones and the occasional new faces or newborn children. Please take the time to not only think about your loved ones but please go see your elders and wave to that lonely neighbor of yours.   Give old toys to a charity for kids who are less fortunate. Teach your kids that some kids aren’t as lucky and it’s not their fault. Take the time to embrace the true values of the holidays and they will be your wallets best friend!

let me know in the comments below what you did with your family this holiday or what you are planning to do! I’d love to hear all about it!

 

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