Last Minute Ways to Save Money for Christmas 2023


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It might seem a bit soon to start thinking about Christmas, but it’s never too early to think about how you will pay for all the stuff you buy between now and December 25. There are only a few Saturdays left between now and then. These money saving strategies will help you find a few last-minute ways to save money for Christmas!

white fur stocking with 100 dollar bills sticking out of it against christmas tree

Last Minute Ways to Save Money for Christmas

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, last-minute efforts to save money for Christmas presents make a significant impact on your budget. For best results, use a combination of money-saving strategies to maximize your budget.

The first step, of course, is to set a budget. How much can you realistically afford for Christmas? Is the point to experience joys and fun with loved ones or is the point to keep up with the Joneses?

assortment of gift cards for christmas money saving

Gift Cards

Buy a gift card on discount with every paycheck leading up to the week before Christmas. Get them for 5-10% off on sites online. Use them to buy last minute gifts at stores or use them as gifts on their own.

Gift cards allow you to plan where you will shop and also allows you to get your Christmas gifts cheaper. Buying gift cards in smaller denominations lets you pay for Christmas on a payment plan, but without any interest like a credit card.

I’ve seen discount gift cards at Costco and Swagbucks! Don’t forget that you can also use your gift cards when you shop online and save even more money if you go through a site like Ebates before making your purchase!

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Loose change

Start saving any and all change from now until the holiday. You may not think it will add up to much, but if all family members save all of their change, from pennies  to quarters, you may be surprised at what you have. One year I did this starting October 20, and by December $20, we had a little over $50. That $50 could go far on some gifts, especially if you make homemade gifts instead of buying everything!

people serving themselves at a potluck to save money for christmas

No eating out

Skip eating out at all until the holiday. Even if you only grab one $10 lunch a week, you could save nearly $100 by just skipping that meal if you started right now. Avoid spending it on something else by putting the money into savings each week and watch it add up.

Invite family and friends over for a potluck meal instead of eating out. Sharing meals is good for both your budget and creates memories.

Sell unwanted stuff

Sell all of your old stuff that you don’t use or need. This can be done on Marketplace or other online sites or with a yard sale if weather still permits. Promise yourself that you will tackle one area a week and sell what you can from that area each week. You might be surprised at how much you have that other people would be willing to buy.

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No-spend week

Have a no-spend week. This can be quite a task, but a no-speed week is simply a week where you vow that no one in the house will spend any money on anything at all. No bills (pay them ahead of time of course), no gas for the car, no eating out, no entertainment.

The money you would have spent gets put into your bank account. It forces you to find fun at home, spend time together with friends and family and get creative with what you have in your fridge and pantry. We’ve done no-spend MONTHS before (usually in January after the holidays and have had varying degrees of success!)

calculator with pens, pencil, and stack of bills on table

Renegotiate bills

Check if you are over-doing it on services. You may be paying for internet speeds you aren’t using, Gigs of internet time on cell plans no one needs, and delivery serves that aren’t necessary. Do an intake by looking at your usage and lower your plans if you can to save a few bucks before the holidays on your bills. I’ve heard of people who have great success with this! Let me know if it works for you.

Minimize Costs

The final tip I have to save your Christmas budget is to minimize costs. Let’s face it, those Pinterest perfect matching wrapping papers all end up in the trash anyway. Save some moola by making your own wrapping paper with brown paper and then letting your kids decorate it.

If you participate in a Secret Santa with extended family, have the theme be a “free Christmas.” If everyone participates by gifting something they made, found, or already have then no one has to bust their holiday budget.

Do you really need to send paper Christmas cards? Opt for digital greetings whenever possible. If you are tied to the tradition of sending Christmas cards through the mail, minimize your list.

How can I make the most of holiday sales without overspending?

Make a budget and then stick to it. Friends and family cherish memories and quality time. If you can’t afford the latest gadget, spend time with your loved ones instead. Your presence is a present! 😉

Are there any flexible jobs I can get to increase my income before Christmas?

Most retailers hire seasonal help around the holidays. Getting a part-time job or starting a side gig will help you save money before the holidays. Gift wrapping, pet sitting, and catering services are all in high demand this time of year.

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Whatever Christmas money saving tips you try, I’m sure you can find an easy way to save a few dollars between now and December! I’d love to hear what you think of these tips, and what tips and tricks you have yourself!

Last Minute Ways to Save Money for Christmas

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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  1. Eating out is one of the places where I know that we overspend. That’s a great tip to save some money this month.