With less than a month until Christmas, are you already stressing about the cost of putting gifts around the tree and how you will afford feeding a large family? With the economy still struggling and more people finding themselves without a cash flow during the holidays, it’s a good time to educate yourself on surviving Christmas on a budget. Follow these tips to enjoy the holidays and ring in the New Year with a little extra cash in your pocket.


  • Go Potluck! If you are hosting your family Christmas dinner, plan on buying and cooking the turkey and ask all your guests to bring a side dish and beverages. After Thanksgiving,Missoulagrocers will most likely have a sale on turkeys, so you can probably get away with feeding your entire family for under $20!


  • Celebrate Christmas a week AFTER Christmas. Now, this one would be difficult for me, but this is a good tip for anyone who absolutely must save every penny this year. You can take advantage of all the local post Christmas sales and exchange even more presents than you would have been able to afford had you bought presents before Christmas!


  • Break up gift sets. If you are shelling out for a gift basket, or a gift set, separate a few items from the set and give them to a separate recipient. This tips works especially well for perfume and lotion sets.


  • Make Christmas gift memories! Chances are that your child already gets more toys than he or she knows what to do with from grandma and grandpa and their aunts and uncles. This year, instead of buying multiple less expensive gifts, buy just one great present and create a special game like a treasure hunt, so your kid can search the house for that special something. This is so exciting for the parents too.


There are a ton of ways to save money during the holidays. You just need to be willing to change up a few traditions. Remember to teach your children what Christmas is REALLY all about, and they will quickly adjust to this year’s budget changes.