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Eight ways to cut your holiday costs

For years, I’ve skipped the holiday lights on the outside of my house. Since it’s the coldest time of the year and electricity demands are high for heat, I don’t think light displays are an environmental thing to do.

Rita Decorating TreeLiving in the Seattle area, I also grown my own Christmas trees. I let volunteer trees grow in my yard and cut them when they get big. That's one of my trees on the right.

Other tips from for saving money include:

  • Skip the wrapping paper. I’ve wrapped presents in the comics, new towels, and new dishtowels. Reusing gift bags is great, too.
  • Don’t get carried away with gift cards. Have gift cards as part of your holiday budget, and don’t go over it.
  • Cut the costs of holiday cards.  Buy cards on sale, send eCard, or have your kids make cards.
  • Reduce transportation costs. Order gifts online.
  • Keep the cost of hostess gifts down. Buy wine by the case and shop for low cost gifts.
  • Watch the costs for your own party. Ask guests to bring an entrée, side dish, or beverage.
  • Make decorations yourself. Use your Christmas cards as decorations, such as hang them on your shutters with wooden clothes pins.

See’s “Ho, Ho, Hold It!: 8 Hidden Holiday Costs and How to Avoid Them” for details on these ideas.

Copyright 2012, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist


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