Decorating your home for the holidays can be fun and exciting. But it can also be costly if you’re not careful. As you plan for holiday spending, remember to include decorations in your budget.
Below are several ways to reduce the cost of making your home look festive for the holidays.
Timing is everything when it comes to getting the best price on holiday decorations. You’re likely to see the lowest prices if you start shopping after the holidays are over. It’s never too early to start planning your holiday decorations for next year, with online retailers offering up to 75% off winter merchandise in early spring.
What if you don’t want to wait until after the holidays to buy your decorations? You still have options. Head to your local thrift store to scope out deals. The items you find will be far cheaper than those you’d find in a specialty store, with markdowns up to 40% beyond the initial discount if the item isn’t sold within a set number of days.
When looking for low-cost decorations for the holidays, it pays to adopt a “buy once, use multiple times” mindset. Instead of spending on a cut Christmas tree and fresh wreaths and evergreen garlands each year, purchase reusable, artificial versions. You can pack them away at the end of the holiday season and bring them out again the following year.
Choosing artificial trees wreaths, and garlands has an additional benefit. You can choose unnatural, fun and festive textures and colors, such as a shiny tinsel garland or a flocked tree.
These aren’t the only examples of reusable holiday decor. Instead of using traditional wax candles, purchase LED versions that will never melt away. Shatterproof ornaments are also more durable than traditional glass ornaments. If you have pets or kids at home, going shatterproof is a smart move, both for your finances and for the safety of paws and hands.
Look beyond the sticker price of the decorations you buy, and consider the cost of ownership. Just as you have multiple options when choosing lightbulbs for your home, you have many options when choosing the type of bulbs used in light strings and other decorations.
For example, although LED lights have a higher upfront cost, they typically use just 25% to 30% of the energy that incandescent lights use. LED lights also last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Another thing to consider is your decorations’ power sources. Some holiday decorations need batteries, others can plug into a wall outlet, and a few are even solar powered. Decorations that run on batteries might have a higher cost of ownership, as you’ll need to replace their power source regularly.
Going the DIY route when you decorate for the holidays is another way to keep your costs in check. In some instances, you might already have the items you need to make your own holiday decorations. It’s also possible to source some decorating materials and craft supplies for free or for very little money. Making your own holiday decorations can also be a great way to get your kids involved in the process.
Some budget-friendly DIY decorations include: