17 December 2012

Saving Money During the Holidays

Following is a guest post by Jen L.

Ways to Save Money During the Holidays
Saving money is always a good idea regardless of the economy. The holidays are one time of the
year where saving becomes a particular challenge to many as the temptations abound and gift
lists continue to grow. There are, fortunately, many areas where applied frugality can be a great
benefit to the budget. All we need to do is to apply a little holiday common sense.
Shipping – The cost of shipping has ballooned in the past couple years, due to rising
fuels costs. This has made the shipping of certain gifts, like toys and clothing, cost
prohibitive. Buying a toy for 25.00 and paying the same or more to ship it can make you
question reasoning. A gift card to the same Toy store or online site costs only the price
of a postage stamp to mail. What child does not like to pick out his or her plaything?
Also think media. Books, DVDs, Blu Rays and CDs can be shipped via media mail which
is far less costly than priority, first class, FedEx or UPS. Note that tablets like the Kindle Reader and other brands are not considered media by the USPS. Also media ships
according to available space so allow for extra shipping time.
Create Your Own Gifts – If you are a crafter, a handmade gift will be appreciated and
cherished for life by the recipient. A gourmet gardener may create attractive products
in jars from the past seasons harvest. For the candy aficionado, an attractive and
delicious homemade creation in chocolate, like Christmas candy ideas from Martha Stewart, would be enjoyed.

Create Personalized Photo Gifts – If you are not the crafting type, it is easy and
affordable to take ready-made items and personalize them with your favorite photos.
For the tech savvy, a customized iphone case with their name or
favorite photo shows thought and creativity without having to dig out your craft

Give the Gift of Time and Talent - If you, or your mate or partner, have a skill that
someone could utilize, the unique gift you can give, would be like none other. Cook
a gourmet dinner in someone’s own home or build them something useful, if your
talent is such. Offer decorating advice or do a photo portrait of their entire family for a
holiday card if photography is your talent. These are gifts that will never be returned.
There are more, less festive, ways to save around the holidays too. These can include staying
close to home to save on the cost of travel and gas. Serving a turkey instead of the standing
rib roast can save you substantially at the Christmas table. Avoiding the energy consuming
incandescent holiday lights and replace them with LED lighting inside and out. This will save
electricity and they will last for many years.
Not only will all of the suggestions made in this post save you money; most will also help to
save the planet. Less shopping and travel, together with reduced purchasing of factory made
imports and decreased electric usage all work towards reduction of pollution and waste. The
benefits are many and the savings are great. What could be better?

Jen L. is a freelance writer and aspiring blogger. She enjoys writing about parenting, cooking (especially cupcakes!) and crafting. Jen is happily married to her college sweetheart and a mother to two beautiful little girls. If Jen's not at home, you can find her at Whole Foods! Follow Jen on Twitter @KeepCalmandMom 

1 comment:

Sarah Tressia said...

Thanks for the guest post Jen!