12 ways to save money during the holidays

Posted at 3:15 PM, Nov 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 15:15:10-05

Cutting your holiday spending doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the quality of what you buy or shortchange friends and family on fun during this festive time of year. With a little planning, smart shopping and creativity, you can actually lower your spending this year and make it one of the most memorable holidays ever.

Spend proactively, not reactively
The first step to controlling your holiday spending and getting the biggest bang for your book is to plan what your holiday activities will be. This includes planning your entertainment, gift giving and who you’ll interact with during the holidays. Listing your activities in advance helps you plan your purchases and avoid impulse spending, last-minute panic buying (at higher prices) and unplanned splurging that cuts into your budget. Decide:

Find free entertainment
Check your community calendar for free holiday plays, concerts, Christmas walks, Santa visits and tree lightings. Organizing an evening of caroling, complete with a rehearsal party. Look for neighborhoods that organize decorations up and down the block and take your car on a viewing jaunt with a thermos or two of hot chocolate.

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