The easiest way to save money is to not spend it.

Be less than average this year. Spend less than what Americans tend to for the holidays (https://www.fool.com/retirement/2016/12/01/heres-what-the-average-american-spends-on-holiday.aspx).

Follow all of these tips and not only will you save money, you’ll possibly make a profit (you won’t):

  • Write a list of what you need to buy and set a budget. Then, start or restart a blog documenting how you’re going to stick to it. Plan to fail, but not by too much.
  • You don’t have to do holiday photo cards. I love getting holiday cards. I decorate a closet door with them, and I think photo cards are really cute and sometimes I keep them. I thought I needed to make them. But for my kid’s third Christmas, I ran out of steam and didn’t get the photo cards made in time. I decided not to make them and it was fine and I haven’t done them since. I still usually send regular Christmas cards because I chose to and want to.
  • If you’re making a photo gift, before you go through Shutterfly or the like, check and see if it’s something you can instead make through your local photo shop  or a drug store. The online places have great deals, but the shipping costs basically makes the promos useless.
  • If you can’t afford it, then it’s not a good deal.
  • You don’t have to buy presents for people who voted for Trump.
  • Take people off your list if you need to. In previous years (and also this year) I didn’t have money to buy gifts for some people who are normally on my list, so I didn’t buy anything. And we remained family.
  • Cut out the fritter: gift bags, pricey cards, ribbons, end-cap deals, dollar spots. If the gift doesn’t add value and only serves as an extra object to be opened, it’s not necessary.
  • Avoid Target in general and do all your shopping at a big Kroger. Or whichever are your stores where you spend too much money at and the stores where you can save money on the items you actually need.
  • I’m going to try this out this year: finish shopping early. If you wrap it up with weeks to spare, there is less panic shopping and less “buying one more thing” if you consider yourself done.
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