Money & Career

6 easy ways to save money over the holidays

Photography by ©iStockphoto.com/asiseeit Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by ©iStockphoto.com/asiseeit

Money & Career

6 easy ways to save money over the holidays

Splurge on festive fun this season without breaking the bank. Canadian Living insiders share their best kept secrets for an affordable and memorable Christmas.

1. Save on a Christmas tree

Cut down your own tree. You will get a good-quality tree and start a family tradition at the same time. But do some research before brandishing a saw. Some cut-your-own tree lots offer complimentary services such as wrapping the tree and tying it to your vehicle.
– Steve Bezanson, owner-operator, Bezanson Family Christmas Tree Farm, Berwick, N.S.

2. Save on cards
Plan a family craft night when you and your kids can make cards together. We take memorable photographs, get them printed and put them on card stock. If you’re printing a bundle, it will cost at most 10 cents a print. You do have to buy card stock, but watch for sales at your local craft store throughout the year.
– Suzanne Nourse, founder, Protocol School of Ottawa

3. Save on fashion
If you’re invited to a ritzy holiday soirée but don’t want to drop a ton of cash on a designer gown you’ll likely wear only once, you can rent one from a high-end dress boutique or upscale vintage shop for a fraction of the price. No time to search for the perfect dress on foot? Rentfrockrepeat.com is a Canadian e-tailer that lets you choose from thousands of dresses to rent from the comfort of your computer chair.
– Julia McEwen, director, Fashion & Beauty

4. Save on mailing gifts
Know your shipping dates and deadlines. If you procrastinate on sending your gifts, it’s going to cost you more for shipping. For example, mailing a 2.25-kilogram package from Toronto to Vancouver using UPS standard shipping is about $34, compared to more than $100 using next-day shipping.
– Nicolas Dorget, vice-president, marketing, UPS Canada

5. Save on decorating
Stretch your decorating dollar by mixing fresh-cut and faux evergreens. While you’ll want to splurge on a fragrant fresh cedar wreath for a prime position like the front door, the next generation of artificial garlands are ideal for using elsewhere in your home, and will last for years to come. Think amortization!
– Brett Walther, director, Home & Garden

6. Save on entertaining
Aside from Christmas Eve dinner, I never entertain with a sit-down meal around the holidays. I do a casual drinks party. Rather than splurging on a big, expensive roast, I can make a little money go a long way by putting out a variety of dips, crudités, canapés, cheeses, crusty bread, olives and other less expensive nibbles.

When it comes to drinks, rather than having an array of alcohol and mixes on hand, I supplement whatever guests bring with a large punch bowl filled with a "signature cocktail." It's fun and economical.
– Annabelle Waugh, director, Food


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This story was originally titled "Santa's Thrift List" in the December 2012 issue.

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6 easy ways to save money over the holidays

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