By: Stella Katsipoutis
If you read our blog, you know that we here at VyStar love sharing our expert tips that’ll help you save money—especially during the holidays, when budgets can be easily thrown off track. But we also know that our members are full of fun, creative, and just plain great ideas too. So we took to Facebook and asked our fans to tell us how they like to save on everything from greeting cards to gift wrap. Here are some of the wallet-friendly tricks they shared to help you have the merriest holiday season of all!
“I stock up a few days after Christmas for 75% off. Also, when anything with Christmas packaging is on sale, I stock up on anything we may need at a fraction of the cost. Napkins, plates, tissue paper, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, storage containers and baggies last forever. Pajamas are always a must, so why not buy them after Christmas for $5 versus $25?” -Isay G.
“I buy lots of things the week after Christmas (gift wrap, gift packs, stocking stuffers, etc.) and put them away for the next Christmas. I use all the coupons I can and shop all year long. I don’t wait till November.” -Chrissy R.
“My family always reuses gift bags from birthdays, to Easter, to Christmas! Just fold them up and put them away. We also go after-Christmas shopping and stock up on wrapping paper, name tags, tape and even gifts for the next year. We also buy throughout the year: We start buying early so we don’t have to buy everything all at once during Christmastime, that way we can spend more time with family!” -Heather R.
“Set up an extra savings account to add to throughout the year. VyStar makes this super easy to do! I have several savings accounts for expenses I know I need to plan for (new washer/dryer, taxes, holiday gifts, vacation and more)!” -Stacey S.
“I decide at the beginning of the year how much I’m willing to spend [on next year’s holiday shopping], I divide that number by the number of paychecks I’ll receive between January and November, and I save that amount each payday.” -Tisha R.
“The best money saver we’ve found is shopping around and using the Internet to find the item we want at its lowest price. (Don’t forget to include shipping costs when figuring the cost.)” -Jim S.
“I use Facebook groups—mostly ones created by the page ‘Extreme Christmas Savings,’ they post Amazon deals a lot. Also, I use coupons to save extra. But I always price-compare too; you never know, there could be a store you wouldn’t think of for an item that’s actually the place where it’s the cheapest.” -Amanda R.
“In October, I started taking my lunch to work every day. I also started eating breakfast at home, and I no longer stop and spend a dollar every morning for a coke; I just bring a can from home. Also, it’s amazing how much you save in gas running around at lunchtime.” -Sandra W.
“I automatically deposit my check into my savings account instead of my checking account. I allow $50 for pleasure spending on whatever. I ONLY transfer the exact amount of a bill due that week to my checking account to pay it. It is amazing at the amount you save when you actually have to transfer money to spend it. You get that extra time to ask if it is really needed or worth the purchase.” -Deanna B.
“I use rewards programs (such as the VyStar [UChoose] rewards program) year-round, then cash them in around Christmas. I also use cash back from shopping apps.” -Ruth R.
“When shopping, purchase a prepaid Visa® card to put your money on to eliminate carrying [and spending] large sums of cash.” Gina J.
“I always look for the deals that get free gifts with purchase. This allows me to get two gifts for the price of one.” -Melissa B.
“I log on to the retailer’s website (a place where I have an online account), place an item I want in my cart and then leave the website. By the next day, I usually have an email from the company with a promo code for money off if I purchase what was left in my cart.” -Erin T.
“Make homemade cookies, breads and photo cards for family and close friends! Use your kids’ handprints and footprints to do reindeer and snowman prints [on DIY holiday cards]!” -Patricia P.
“I make gifts most of the time. One year it was personalized pillow cases (I did buy everyone new pillows), one year it was almond bark candy in many different flavors, and one year it was fudge. This year it’s preserves.” -Beth M.
“I wait for Cyber Monday for all shopping, and we do a lot of gifts that are handmade, like frames with family photos in them. For the younger kids, we give them $20 and take them to the dollar store to pick out some silly gifts they think others might like.” -Kelly N.
“Don’t just spend and spend, but pay attention to the amounts you put on your credit card because the bills do come due.” -Terence C.
“I know in these times it is hard not to use credit cards, but budget so that you will not be paying off credit card bills all year or until next Christmas. Pay cash when possible.” -Patricia C.
“Buy [smaller] gift cards throughout the year and save them for a big purchase. As for gift wrap, buy it on December 26th and save it for next year. Especially the super-large rolls at [wholesale clubs]. They last forever!” -Cheryl L.
“Newspapers and magazine pages can be used for no-cost wrap on Christmas gifts.” -Phyllis B.
“Get a jar and fill it with all your change throughout the year.” -Marilyn H.
“Focus on gifts that are truly meaningful instead of just trying to buy a lot!” -Tammy S.
The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author(s) alone and should be used for informational purposes only. VyStar Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided.