I was going to post about groceries... And then I thought, "That's boring! I'll do it tomorrow."
So then I decided to post about something Christmas-y. I just haven't figured out what yet.
I will post about our Christmas tree and how we paid for it instead. First, I love Christmas trees, especially real ones. And I love glass ornaments. And shiny things. And instead of an angel, I always have grown up with a tacky glittery star lit up with multi-color mini lights, so that is what I wanted when I first moved into my apartment 3 years ago. But as usual, money was tight. So for my very first Christmas in my apartment, I had no tree.
Since my husband (then, husband-to-be) is allergic to pine (tragic!), I knew we would be getting a plastic tree (sad). But really, it doesn't look that bad. I do miss the pine smell though. And the real green of real trees. Anyway, after Christmas we went to Walmart and the Dollar Store and loaded up on Christmas tree stuff. I got my beloved tacky star for $3. I got my tree for $20 or $30. I got lights on sale. I bought real, glass ornaments at the Dollar Store for 2 for $1, and some of the fancier ones were 1 for $1. I also bought some cheapo plastic ornaments which I don't like as much but it's nice for variety.
Overall I think I've spent about $50-$60 on my Christmas tree and it's pretty well decked out. Just yesterday I spent another $1 at the Dollar Store for another beautiful glass ornament I found (score!). I will add it to our tree probably on Christmas day. I think that it might become a tradition each year to buy another pretty ornament, even if it's just a $1 ornament. It's a frugal, fun activity we could do each year to add to our decorations, without breaking the bank. Even if we splurged and bought a Hallmark ornament (ack! those things are like $20 sometimes), it still wouldn't break the bank.
My point in all of this blathering, my point besides just telling you more about me, is that it's very possible to decorate for Christmas on a budget. We don't decorate the entire apartment. Just the tree. Honestly there isn't room for much more besides the tree! I could have saved even more had I searched for a tree second-hand, but I was still fairly new to the whole saving money thing while buying for an apartment (I bought pretty much everything new).
The biggest thing for decorating for Christmas is to buy right after Christmas. Stores, especially stores like Hobby Lobby and other craft-y stores, will be looking to unload all their Christmas merchandise. I might look for a wreath for our door after Christmas this year. I've been wanting one for a while. I've also been wanting some higher quality tinsel (Edit: when I say tinsel I mean garland, but I've always called it tinsel so that's what I still call it). Mine is very 2-D and not very fluffy. And of course, this works for any holiday and not just Christmas.
Finally, my favorite part about buying decorations just after a given holiday is that next year when you go to get them out again, they are brand new and it's like getting presents early!
What about you? How do you save money when decorating for the holidays?