Christmas Activities on a Budget

For many, Christmas is stressful due to a tight budget. Using a little creativity, you and your family can happily enjoy a budget-friendly holiday season. 

Tree Decorating

Spend an afternoon decorating your Christmas tree. Put on Christmas music or a movie to make the activity more festive. If you need a Christmas tree, check out your local thrift store. When downsizing, many people donate larger artificial trees. 

Make Christmas Ornaments

Yes, you can buy inexpensive ornaments at your local dollar store or at the thrift store. Or you can spend time making homemade ornaments. Salt dough ornaments, construction paper chains, stringed popcorn, canning lid ornaments, and numerous others are simple and inexpensive. Make ornaments as a family activity.

Make Homemade Christmas Cards

Construction paper, glitter, glue, markers, or paint can be found at your local dollar store. Spend time making together making the Christmas cards. When you are finished, hand-deliver the cards. 

Attend a Tree-Lighting Ceremony

Many communities hold tree-lighting ceremonies or present Santa with a key to the city. Attend local events. Generally, outdoor community events are free. 

Attend a Christmas Parade

Christmas parades or light parades are a fun community tradition. Many communities combine the parade with the tree lighting ceremony. 

Attend a Live Nativity

Churches often host live Nativity events. Viewing the Nativity scene does not require you to be a member of the church. Enjoy the evening.Sing carols. Many churches invite people inside to drink hot cocoa and eat cookies. Some churches even set up free activities for children. 

View Christmas Lights

When decorating a home or business, some people go all out. Every part of their property is highly decorated with lights, figures, and other Christmas related items. Take a slow drive around your community and look at the Christmas lights. The outing is a perfect evening activity. Consider packing snacks to enjoy on your night out. 

Visit Santa Claus

 Many places play host to Santa to get you to come inside the business. For younger children, visiting Santa Clause may be a dream come true. Often, candy canes or other small treats are passed out as part of the event. Depending on the business or event, visiting Santa may include live reindeer or photo opportunities. 



Host a Christmas Movie Night

Pick out a Christmas movie or cartoon to enjoy as a family. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or A Charlie Brown Christmas are two popular favorites. Serve hot cocoa, popcorn, or other snacks. 


Make Christmas Cookies

Make a batch or two of your favorite Christmas cookies. Christmas cookies would go fantastic with your movie night. 

Go to the Library

When thinking of Christmas activities, visiting a library is probably not on your list. But go to your local library to check out Christmas-related books. Reading to younger children is a great way to spend quality time. Older children may find Christmas stories fun to read. Many libraries allow you to check out movies, DVDs, or other media to make the holiday season more fun. Also, your local library may have a visit from Santa or other Christmas related events for your family to enjoy. 

Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to skip on family fun. Enjoy the simple things, the memories you make will last forever.

Planning Ahead: Tips for Black Friday Shopping

Are you already thinking about the 2019 Christmas season? You are not alone. Frugal shoppers are already looking forward to finding deals for the upcoming holiday season. Whether you shop at the store or online, one of the best days to save is Black Friday. 

Tips for a Successful Black Friday

Black Friday is a fun and exciting way to save money for the Christmas season. For many individuals, planning for the day is the start of holiday shopping. 

Plan Ahead

Preplanning is one of the best ways to get the most out of your Black Friday experience. 

  • Make Lists: Before Black Friday, make lists of desired items. Keep the lists on your phone or use a small notebook. Using a list keeps your focus on the wanted items to prevent overspending. 
  • Comparison Shop: Get the store ads ahead of time. Compare your wanted items with the store ads. 
  • Strategize: Use the ads as a way to strategize your shopping to get everything on your list. Take advantage of store apps to help guide you through shopping on Black Friday. 
  • Divide and Conquer: Strategize with friends. If you want items at more than one store, ask friends who are shopping to help. Offer to get their desired items at one location if they get yours at another one. The divide and conquer method is the best chance to get all of the Black Friday shopping lists wants. 

 Be Safe

Safety is essential on Black Friday. Large crowds mean lots of people in enclosed areas. Unfortunately, not everyone follows the rules. Being safe requires extra precautionary measures. 

  •  Use the Buddy System: Remeber when you were little, the teacher or parent stressed using the buddy system for safety. Rules have not changed for Black Friday. Get a friend or relative to shop with you. 
  • Watch Your Purse or Wallet: Be aware of the people around you at all times. Carry your purse inside of your coat or zip your wallet into your coat’s interior. If you place your purse in the cart, slip the child’s safety belts through the handles to lock in place. 
  • Mind Your Money: Keep your money or credit card in your purse until you are at the counter. 
  • Save All Receipts: Regardless of the size of purchase, save the receipt. Along with proof of purchase, a receipt can be used to exchange items, monitor your spending, and check credit card activity. 
  • Check Your Surroundings: Park your vehicle in a well-lit area. Keep your car locked at all times. Be aware of anyone who is around you. Generally, stores add extra security, and police officers are around during Black Friday sales. 

Have Fun 

Yes, Black Friday is about finding the best deals. But you can have fun while you shop. 

  • Use Your Voice: Sing to the Christmas carols playing on the loudspeaker. Singing along to Christmas favorites is a great way to spread holiday cheer.
  • Talk: Engage in friendly conversation with others while standing in line. 
  • Eat: Go out to lunch or dinner. Remember to stay hydrated, shopping can be exhausting. Stopping for a simple meal is a must on any shopping excursion. Use the stop to analyze your list and figure out your next move. Anyways, a rich chocolatey dessert can be part of your Black Friday shopping tradition. 

Participating in Black Friday is a great way to kick off your holiday shopping. Grab a friend and make the day memorable.

Shopping for School Clothes on a Budget

The beginning of the new school year is fastly approaching. Getting your children ready to go back to school does not need to be stressful. Planning early for your child’s school necessities is essential to stay within budget.

Tips on Shopping for Your Child’s School Clothes

Children seem to sprout up a couple of inches every summer. When school time comes around, a whole new wardrobe may be necessary. Before starting school clothes shopping, check the current student handbook to learn about any dress code changes. 

Make Lists

Lists are a must when preparing for the new school year. Consider picking up a spiral notebook to keep all your needs in one location. 

Check the Closets

Go through your child’s clothing. Use this time to clean out any unwearable items. Making piles of your child’s clothing helps get an overall view of the situation. 


  • School Wearable: The pile consists of clothing suitable for school wear. Extending their use, summer clothing may still be worn during the warmer fall days. 
  • Home Wearable: The pile consists of clothing only suitable for stay at home days. The clothes may look worn.
  • Donation: Clothing still in good condition go into this pile. The clothes are wearable but no longer fit your child. The clothes in this pile may be suitable for resale at a consignment shop, garage sale, or simply donated to your nearest charity. 
  • Discard: Clothes with stains or unrepairable holes go into this pile.


Creating piles provides the perfect opportunity to assess your child’s clothing needs. Make an inventory of wearable clothes to help prepare a shopping list of needed items. Do not forget to check footwear. 

Begin Shopping

After creating your child’s list of necessities, time to go shopping. 


  • Updating Wearable Clothing: When creating your wearable piles, did you see any clothing that could use updating. Get creative. Sewing on new buttons, dyeing clothes, or adding other embellishments may extend the use of your child’s clothes. 
  • Go to Consignment and Thrift Shops: Going to your local second-hand store may result in some terrific clothing finds at a lower cost.
  • Garage and Yard Sales: Like you, other parents are preparing for the upcoming school year by selling off unwearable clothing. 
  • Social Media Marketplace: Many communities host social media marketplaces. Basically, the marketplace is an online garage sale. Searching different marketplaces in your area may result in back to school clothing finds. 
  • Clearance Section: When children start going back to school, warmer days are still around. The good news, many clothing chains are already discounting summer wear to make room for winter items. 
  • Ad Deals: Search different ads to find upcoming sales on need clothing items. Use the Internet to comparison shop. 


Back to school is an exciting time for your child. Creating lists and searching for the best deals will help eliminate the stress of back to school shopping on a budget. 





%d bloggers like this: