Savvy Savings: Spending Less and Decorating More This Holiday Season

The holidays are an expensive time of year. Between gifts, parties, traveling, and holiday décor, costs can quickly add up. But just because you’re watching your budget doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on festive flair. With a little creativity and smart shopping, you can decorate your home for the holidays without breaking the bank. Here are 10 tips to spend less and decorate more this season.

1. Stick to a Plan & Budget
Before you start decking anything out, map out exactly what you want to decorate and how much you can realistically spend. This will help prevent impulsive buys that sabotage your budget. Be strict about sticking to your plan. Knowing your limitations upfront makes it easier to work within them.

2. Shop Discount and Dollar Stores
Dollar stores, warehouse clubs, and discount chains like Target and Walmart can have incredible deals on holiday décor, especially as the season progresses. Shop sales and clearance sections for the best discounts. You’ll find everything from string lights to wreaths, garlands, ribbons, and more for up to 75% off retail prices.

3. DIY Décor
Creating your own decorations using supplies from craft and dollar stores allows you to customize pieces exactly how you want them for a fraction of the cost. All you need is a little creativity and time. Make wreaths from scrap fabric or tree branches, garlands from popcorn or paper, ornaments and candleholders from wood slices or mason jars. The options are endless.

4. Use What You Already Have
The decorations packed away in your basement, attic, or garage are a goldmine waiting to be reused and repurposed. Get creative re-imagining how you can use them. Paint old ornaments with metallic spray paint for an updated look. Turn last year’s Christmas cards into a paper garland. Use strings of spare lights in new ways. Raid your everyday furnishings for festive throw pillows, blankets, and candleholders that you can work into your décor.

5. Take Advantage of Nature
Evergreen branches, pinecones, berries, leaves, and more make beautiful natural décor that literally grows on trees – for free! All you have to do is keep an eye out for nature’s winter elements and use them to add organic texture. Place pinecones in glass hurricanes or fill vases with red winterberry branches picked from your backyard.

6. Raid the Craft Cabinet
Fabric scraps, ribbon, paint, glue guns, and other craft supplies can transform into amazing holiday décor. Let your creativity run wild. Design felt button garlands, ribbon wreaths, or painted-canvas holiday signs. Even simple touches like covering plain white candles or vases with ribbon or burlap can make them feel more seasonal.

7. Swap, Share, and Borrow
Talk with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to see if anyone has holiday decorations they’re willing to lend or swap. It’s a great way score free decor. Offer to share what you already have in exchange. Or organize a holiday decoration swap meet to trade your never-used decorations for some new-to-you pieces.

8. Stick to a Color Scheme
Choose one or two holiday colors as your palette and only buy decorations in those shades. Having a cohesive color theme ties everything together, makes your space feel curated instead of cluttered, and prevents those impulse buys of anything bright, sparkly and shiny.

9. Mix Old & New
Blending new bargain pieces with your existing decor creates a custom holiday look that appears chic instead of cheap. Use what you already have as the foundation and fill in with a few coordinating new things like throw pillows, a wreath, string lights or a holiday candle. The combination disguises a sparse budget.

10. Remember Less is More
Just because something is inexpensive doesn’t mean more is better. Knowing when to stop is key to avoiding a gaudy, cluttered look. Stick to your plan for what to decorate and focus on doing it well with fewer quality pieces instead of going overboard on quantities of cheap décor items. Simple, classic and elegant will always look more expensive.

With some resourcefulness, creativity and smart shopping, you can decorate every inch of your home for the holidays without draining your bank account. Follow these savvy saving tips and get ready to deck your halls affordably.

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